How to get into tech as a teacher

Considering moving from education into tech? Our guide walks through everything you need to know about how to get into tech as a teacher.
Written by Genevieve Carlton, Contributor

Tech careers are in high demand. The tech field attracts many career-changing professionals with strong salaries and diverse career paths. And teachers are uniquely positioned to move into tech.

If you've wondered how to get into tech as a teacher, you may think the field is intimidating. But while some tech careers require coding skills, many do not. By highlighting your transferable skills and educational strengths, you can move into careers like instructional designer, eLearning developer, training specialist, or technical writer. 

Transferable skills from teaching to tech

Teachers are exceptional communicators who know how to design lesson plans covering complex subjects. Education requires interpersonal and organizational abilities. And teachers also bring strong assessment, leadership, and problem-solving skills. 

Computer science careers and tech companies benefit from these people skills. 

Technical roles for teachers in tech

What technical roles can teachers pursue? In addition to many types of coding jobs, educators' backgrounds and skills may make the following technical roles a good fit.

EdTech developer

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: eLearning developer; EdTech specialist; instructional technology specialist
Important characteristics: 

  • A strong understanding of pedagogy and learning methods
  • Tech skills, including programming languages 
  • A background in education or assessment

EdTech developers create software and tools to help students learn new material. They design learning apps, digital tools, and learning technologies that assist teachers. EdTech developers act as a bridge between educators and the tech industry by communicating educational needs and creating tech solutions. 

Digital strategist

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Social media strategist; digital analyst; tech strategist
Important characteristics: 

  • An understanding of marketing platforms and strategies
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills
  • The ability to work closely with a team to reach goals

Digital strategists help organizations reach their goals through SEO, PPC ads, and technology. They recommend strategies to achieve goals, including expanding the customer base or improving efficiency. Digital strategists come from many backgrounds, including marketing, and require strong communication skills.

Web designer

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Web graphic designer; front-end web developer; interaction designer
Important characteristics: 

  • Proficiency in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • A detail-oriented outlook

Web designers create websites' look and layout. Web design and related fields like web development require coding skills. One way to become a web developer is by enrolling in a full-stack web development bootcamp

Non-technical roles available to teachers in tech

Teachers can also move into non-technical roles. Eligibility for these jobs depends on your education, skills, and previous experience. A bachelor's degree in teaching meets the minimum degree requirements for each. 

Training specialist

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Learning consultant; instructional designer; training consultant
Important characteristics: 

  • Strong instructional and communication skills
  • The ability to plan training sessions and measure their impact
  • A creative approach to teaching material

Training specialists typically work in human resources, where they help organizations strengthen their workplace skills. They create training materials, lead training sessions, and assess the impact of training strategies. A human resources degree, such as an MBA in human resources, helps teachers break into this field.

Marketing manager

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Digital marketing director; brand manager; brand strategist
Important characteristics: 

  • The ability to analyze and draw conclusions from data
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Leadership and decision-making strengths
  • Creativity and an understanding of the product 

Marketing managers research customer demand and competitor strategies. They create marketing plans for their organization's products and services. Marketing managers also oversee staff who carry out the strategy. With a marketing graduate certificate, professionals may qualify for marketing roles in tech companies.

Technical writer

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Technical communicator; technical content creator; information developer
Important characteristics: 

  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to explain complex information in simple terms
  • Exceptional writing abilities
  • Teamwork experience and a detail-oriented outlook

Technical writers create supporting documents for product and service users. They write instructional manuals, create how-to guides, and communicate technical information to non-technical readers. In tech, they work closely with software developers and engineers to understand products.

Tips for how to get into tech from teaching

If you're considering moving from teaching into tech, the following tips will help you launch your new career. Investing time early in the process will pay off in the long run. 

1. Get clear on the type of tech role you want.

Before launching a tech career, consider which roles best fit your interests and abilities. Are you interested in working at a startup or a large company? What industry would you prefer to work in? And what kind of work/life balance do you want? 

Research tech salary ranges and learn more about the requirements for different tech jobs. Then consider where you might thrive in one of the many tech jobs for extroverts or work-from-home tech jobs. 

2. Skill up

Gaining tech skills is a key step in getting into tech as a teacher. But how can you build tech skills? Consider online courses, coding bootcamps, and information technology certifications

While some roles, like computer scientist, typically require an advanced degree, many information technology careers hire candidates based on skills rather than majors. A teaching degree plus a coding bootcamp gives you the skills necessary for many tech careers. 

3. Maximize the quality of your application and portfolio.

Applicants showcase their experience, strengths, and qualifications through a job application and portfolio. So spend time developing your resume, cover letter, and tech portfolio. 

Your resume should highlight your tech training and desirable soft skills. Consider a skills-based resume that includes your programming languages and highlights teamwork, self-motivation, problem-solving, and other top soft skills.

Whether you're interviewing for web design jobs or coding positions, your portfolio shows your qualifications to potential employers. Include sample projects that demonstrate your abilities. 

Consider hosting your portfolio on a website that includes your resume. Learn more about how to build a coding portfolio to stand out from other candidates.

4. Show your expertise, self-awareness, and passion throughout the interview process.

Teaching gives you many transferable skills. Make sure to showcase those abilities during the interview process. Highlight your strong communication and problem-solving skills. Draw on examples that show leadership and independence. And show passion for your new career path.

In tech, companies typically begin with a phone screener. In the second interview, you may face technical questions or tests. Check out our phone interview tips and computer science interview questions for more. 

In conclusion

Transitioning from teaching to tech can feel intimidating. If you're wondering how to switch careers to tech, set aside time to research career paths, expand your skillset, and network. 

Tech companies need strong communicators and instructional specialists — and teachers bring unique strengths to tech careers.

This article was reviewed by Sarah Holliday, MS 

Sarah Holliday, a Black woman wearing a purple top, smiles.

Sarah Holliday has years of experience working with nontraditional and traditional-aged students in areas related to career coaching and training and development. Holliday holds a BA in English from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and an MS in instructional design and technology (training and performance improvement) from Walden University. Holliday is currently working on her doctorate and looks forward to dissertating in the near future. 

Sarah Holliday is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network. 

Last reviewed March 16, 2022.

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