Tutoring as an Alternative Career Path - Jul '17

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
fulfilment 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, organised, 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.

By Charlotte Jacobs MTA - Founder of Strive Tutors

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