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Teaching solution to career confusion

Published on Friday, 01 Mar 2013
Sharmini Thomas

I've just turned 27 and I am thinking about a career change. Half of my life was spent in Canada, where I graduated with a BA in Recreation, Sports and Tourism in 2009. Recently, I've been working as a part-time tutor at a local secondary school. I am trying to decide whether to become a teacher, but I'm not sure what path to take. Should I study a full-time PGDE (Postgraduate Diploma in Education) for one year, or a master's majoring in English? I am also not sure whether I should apply for the primary or secondary route, as there are currently fewer secondary and more primary students in Hong Kong because of its economic situation. Also, what can I really do with my first degree in Hong Kong? Banana Girl

You should know that pursuing a path into teaching and education as an experienced professional is more common than you think. Many people do this to get out of corporate life and invest in something for the community.

You will need to evaluate the various qualification options, however a PGDE is clearly a more directly suitable qualification that will entitle you to teach, rather than acquiring a master's with a major in English.

Making the decision on whether to teach at secondary or primary level really depends on you as an individual and what type of audience you feel you can engage with best. I would not be too worried about the impact that the economy is having on the teaching profession because there will always be a need for teachers in both categories.

Regarding your bachelor degree, the most obvious way to combine this with the career path you want to take in teaching would be a transition to physical education or teaching sports. I have seen other individuals with a similar qualification branch out into sporting events management, personal training and marketing roles for tourist attractions.

Sharmini Thomas is regional director of Michael Page’s financial services, sales and marketing, and supply chain and procurement teams in Hong Kong. Michael Page is part of PageGroup.

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