The trend of New Year career resolutions looks set to be as popular as ever with data from last January (2016) showing online search terms relating to “new job” the highest in the last five years.
Google Trends data and PULSAR social listening statistics show January as the month the nation expresses the most interest and sentiment for changing their career, compared to other times of the year. January sees a rise in search terms such as ‘new career’, ‘interview questions’, ‘CV templates’, and more than a three-fold increase in posts relating to these topics across social media platforms. To add to this, searches online for both ‘be a teacher’ and ‘start teaching’ continue to show an increase during the January months.
Figures from the national Get into Teaching campaign support this trend. January was the busiest month in the 2015/16 academic year with just over 21,000 registrations of interest in teaching – including about 14,000 from people currently working in other fields. Over 6,200 people aged 30 or over started initial teacher training in 2016/17 - this is the highest number of trainees aged 30 or over since 2012/13.
Additionally, the Get into Teaching website – where prospective candidates can find out more about teaching as a career and access support all the way through the application process – showed a sharp rise in traffic during the New Year period. January 2016 saw over 400,000 unique visitors to the website, higher than any other month of the year.
January was a pivotal time for me – that’s when I decided that I needed a new challenge to focus on, and so the time felt right to research more about teaching
As the New Year dawns, many people may be considering different careers that will be more fulfilling in 2017. Separate research carried out recently on behalf of the Get into Teaching campaign shows that less a third (31%) of non-teachers feel they have the opportunity to inspire people every day - compared to two thirds (68%) of teachers.
Commenting on the findings, Roger Pope, Chair of the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), an executive agency that provides a comprehensive programme of support to aspiring teachers, said: “Naturally New Year marks a time of reflection and ambition setting, especially when it comes to jobs and careers. If people are not feeling fulfilled in their current role, they may wish to shake off the January blues by considering teaching and taking their skills and experience into the classroom. Teaching is a fantastic career as it gives you the opportunity to inspire young people to fulfil their potential. It is also a career that offers great opportunities for progression, so you could make a real difference this year to both your future as well as theirs.
“We know from research like this that many people look online to explore their career options at this time of year. Anyone interested in teaching as a career should visit the Get into Teaching website where they can register their interest and receive all the advice and information they need about teaching and the training options.”
Former IT engineer Martin Leach, a trainee Computer Science teacher from County Durham, who made the career change move last year, said: “I’d always been interested in teaching, but my life took me in a different direction for a while. January was a pivotal time for me – that’s when I decided that I needed a new challenge to focus on, and so the time felt right to research more about teaching. I looked online at the practicalities of training to be a teacher and what the job would entail day-to-day, whilst deciding on the best next steps. I registered my interest online, and am now a fully qualified teacher.”
To support the latest generation of New Year career changers, NCTL is hosting six online events this month which are specifically designed to show what teaching can offer, the routes into the profession and the financial support packages available to those making the change from established careers:
Monday 9 January, 6.30-8pm: Routes into teaching and subject knowledge enhancement
Wednesday 11 January, 6.30-8pm: Funding your teacher training
Tuesday 17 January, 6.30-8pm: Managing a career change into teaching: shared experiences
Thursday 19 January, 6.30-8pm: Gaining school experience as a career changer
Monday 23 January, 6.30-8pm: Professional skills tests
Wednesday 25 January, 6.30-8pm: Support with your application
To help attract people with the passion and potential to be exceptional teachers, tax-free bursaries and scholarships are now available in a range of subjects. For example, trainees in physics can receive a bursary or scholarship of up to £30,000 while they train. Scholarships worth £27,500 are also on offer for chemistry, computing, geography, maths and modern foreign languages.