Tutoring as an Alternative Career Path, by Charlotte Jacobs - July 2017

By Charlotte Jacobs MTA - Founder of Strive Tutors

August is often a time for holidays, relaxation and reflection; a period
when we actually have time to think about ourselves, how we are feeling and
how we are feeling about what we are doing. It is little wonder, then, that
many workers in the UK return from their summer holidays rejuvenated, with
new ideas about their future. These ideas often manifest themselves as
career changes, as people have reflected on their salaries, bosses and day
to day activities.

Tutoring is becoming an increasingly popular career path both for graduates
fresh out of university and for seasoned professionals from different
industries who come to teaching after many years away from the classroom.
The figures speak for themselves; in 2013, Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
(GIA) predicted that the global tutoring market would surpass $102.8
billion by next year and this prediction is becoming increasingly robust as
new tutoring companies, particularly in the online learning sphere, are
being established worldwide. At Strive Tutors we have clients from all over
the UK, USA and Asia as well as Russia, specifically requesting
remotely-delivered lessons in subjects ranging from English to French to
Business Studies. This trend has been incredibly popular with our tutors as
it enables them to work from anywhere via Wi-Fi and gives them the
opportunity to use technology in an innovative, exciting way.

So what exactly is it about this industry that has attracted not only
professional school teachers but also workers from fields as diverse as
BioTech and Public Relations?

There are many reasons why tutoring has become such a popular occupation.
Let’s start with the most obvious: flexible hours and control over your
daily schedule. Whereas the average job demands at least 9 hours in the
office with unpredictable meetings and travel demands, tutoring offers a
work schedule that tutors can engineer around their own lives and
commitments. Whilst the most popular times to tutor are between 5-9pm
during the week (after school hours), weekend lessons are a great option
for those not ready to give up their Monday- Friday routine quite yet.

Secondly, tutoring is immensely rewarding - not only can you teach a
subject you are passionate about (the real world rarely affords
opportunities for discussions about Shakespeare, Pythagoras or Homer) but
you can also make a real difference to someone else’s life. Tutoring allows
you to make a real, tangible impact on the life of a young person and
enable them to secure grades that really will make a difference to their
futures. Whilst students might spend most of their days learning in classes
with 25 or 30 other children, tutoring provides a special platform for
building confidence, resilience and love of a subject. My team of tutors
frequently tell me how invigorated they feel after lessons and how
discussions have really fired them up for the day and provoked further
intellectual musings.

Next is the unique bond that can evolve over time between tutor and client
- as a tutor you spend focused time with a student, getting to know their
strengths and weaknesses as well as their learning quirks. Fostering the
respect of a child is extremely satisfying and personally I find that this
is where I derive much of my professional fulfillment from. The ‘thank
yous’, smiles and exam results that follow a series of successful lessons
really do make every minute worthwhile - what other job guarantees this
kind of thanks?

Tutoring is not only a flexible career option - it can also provide a very
solid income stream. While hourly rates vary quite widely, on an
hour-for-hour basis they compare very favourably with other careers that
provide a great deal less flexibility and satisfaction. Many agencies,
including Strive Tutors, will also pay tutors a premium if they hold
postgraduate degrees such as PGCEs, MAs or PHDs to encourage the
well-educated to educate well. With a huge range of subjects being taught
in UK schools, the potential for a career change is huge; you may find your
expertise is worth more than you thought!

So for those of you who find yourselves reminiscing about the days when you
could learn for learning’s sake, or wish that your day to day work made
more of an impact, think about tutoring as a career path. In our
experience, the best tutors are a blend of efficient, organized, reliable
and enthusiastic personalities, and have a knack of making learning fun,
engaging and relevant. I always interview prospective tutors personally and
often ask about their subjects and why they like teaching them. For me,
both a passion for education and subject knowledge must come before
anything else as this is what makes for great lessons - and great tutors.

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