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Education Industry Overview

By Erdin Beshimov

From a simple numbers perspective, education is one of the largest industries in America today. This shouldn't be surprising -- currently as many as one out of every four Americans attends some educational program, be it kindergarten, college or mid-career training. To cater to this spectacular demand, the industry employs millions of people in teaching, counseling, administration, and many other roles.

The teaching profession is the face of an education industry that fundamentally furthers the common good of society. Education is the key for social advancement -- for breaking cycles of poverty, creating prosperity, promoting peace, and many other things that give hope and meaning to our experiences as individuals and members of society.  At the end of the day, it all starts with a textbook and a teacher you love. 


At the same time, teaching is sometimes perceived as an occupation lacking much glamour or reward. Sometimes it is disparaged as a career for the unambitious.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and yet there are drawbacks to pursuing a profession in which the investment of a teacher's time and energy often far exceed the compensation he or she receives. In some positions, teachers feel lucky to reach just a handful of students each year -- and the personal rewards of igniting a young mind have to be enough to sustain a teacher in the face of poor pay, budget cuts, disciplinary issues, and unsympathetic administrators. 


Still, some say that for performative types, teaching is second only to acting -- you're always on center-stage.  Unlike other industries, in which it's very difficult to get a foot in the door, all you need to do to set yourself on this promising path is to seek out a college education and teaching certification. There are plenty of jobs to go around.  Retiring baby-boomers are creating many vacancies, and the growth of new types of institutions such as charter schools is creating additional opportunities for aspiring teachers. 


While teaching is the most common career path in education, it's really just the tip of the iceberg.  The industry closely reflects the economy at large, constantly keeping pace with new skills and knowledge needed by growing sectors.  People with an interest in education are in high demand to consult for educational institutions, to create, develop and market educational products and services, and to invest in new educational ventures.  Want to test your creativity, challenge yourself, and make a difference?  Look no farther. 

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