After finishing your degree and leaving university you are faced with different options, although they really buckle down to two choices: staying within the education system for longer, or leaving to start your employment career (unless you wish to defer these choices through, for example, travelling). Either course of action requires a lot of thought, as well as consideration of your finances, in the short, medium and long-term future.
This stage in your academic career is when you ideally need to start thinking seriously about what it is you want to do, if you haven’t already done so. Once you feel you have made a decision you then need to explore the different ways through which you will gain entry to your chosen career.
This could take the form of postgraduate study, or by going directly to the work place. Some professions require further study if you have not already specialised in that particular vocation as an undergraduate.
One such profession is teaching. If you already have your degree in a different field then the most common route to teaching is through a PGCE, or Post Graduate Certificate in Education. You can study teaching as an undergraduate, though it may be you came to this decision later, or you already knew that you wanted to teach but wanted to study a core subject first.
To commence a PGCE you will need to have passed your undergraduate degree, and you also need a GCSE pass of C or above in English, Maths and the Sciences.
You will need to choose whether you want to go in to Primary or Secondary School teaching at this stage, as the PGCE prepares you for a specific age group, rather than a general gateway in to teaching. There are three choices: Early Years, Primary or Secondary School.
In order to assess which course provider is best for you, you need to undertake some research both from the point of view of what you are looking for, and also what they can offer. It is advisable to enquire about pass rates and also employability rates following the course, and of those, how many did go in to teaching.
At Middlesex University we encourage students to make informed decisions, and so are open to communication from prospective candidates. You also need to think about where you will be based, as the placements you undertake will be at schools closest to the course provider; if you are studying close to where you plan to live and work after your PGCE then it will provide a good opportunity to assess potential employers, and likewise them for you.
In addition to studying a PGCE, you can access a teaching career through Employment Based Initial Teacher Training, where all of your training is hands on classroom training.
At Middlesex we offer both, depending on what you feel will suit you best.