July 22, 2020 | Rachael Thompson
The United States is in the midst of a major economic downturn with the unemployment rate expected to peak at 25% in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New college graduates are entering the job market with the worst prospects since the 2008 economic recession and will likely be forced to look outside of their chosen career paths.
Whether you’re reading this as a new grad or looking to help the graduate in your life, it’s important to first understand what new college grads in the US are experiencing right now.
So, let’s start by taking a look at a couple of the biggest challenges that lie ahead for new grads:
- Rescinded job offers.
- Limited opportunities for continuing education.
Rescinded job offers
One of the biggest blows to the class of 2020 (now more commonly known as the class of COVID-19) is rescinded job offers.
As companies have laid off or furloughed existing employees over the past few months, this also puts an end to their ability to hire new graduates many of whom have had job offers in hand since late 2019.
Limited opportunities for continuing education
During the 2009 recession, many college grads and undergrad degree holders chose to forgo a job search in the less than ideal job market and continue their education earning a graduate degree.
However, as COVID-19 hit in the spring of 2020 many missed the application deadline for upcoming programs, leading them back to square one, unless they look to alternative upskill programs.
With huge industries like retail, finance, hospitality, transport and entertainment amongst the hardest hit, job seekers are now paying close attention to industries outside of their chosen career path.
But where might college grads facing job scarcity have the most success?
While upskilling options for undergraduates are far better than what they were during the 2008 recession, they can often only offer temporary options.
Luckily, there are some long-term career opportunities available that you may not have considered. Keep reading and we’ll get into this.
While 2020 has been a lot of things, this time of immense change has without doubt highlighted areas of the US economy and society that are in desperate need of support and change.
Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers out there.
It’s hard to debate the fact that what happens in classrooms across the country today will have a profound impact on the next generation.
So, new graduates, we think it’s time to go back to school.
Head back to school
K-12 schools across the country continue to function with a surplus of unfilled jobs.
In fact, the Economic Policy Institute reports that by 2025 the United States is expected to be short around 200,000 teachers.
And according to LinkedIn’s 2020 Grad’s Guide to Getting Hired, education is currently amongst the top 10 industries with the most open jobs, with over 35,000 entry-level positions currently listed.
So what does this mean for new grads who majored in fields like English, writing, communications, arts, and science?
It means it might be time to go back to school, in more ways than one.
For many undergrads, enrolling in a graduate degree program is not an option due to time and cost.
But because of the economy and the ongoing teacher shortage, a new opportunity has presented itself.
College grads now have the chance to become licensed teachers through alternative certification programs!
What is an alternative teacher certification?
Non-traditional or alternative teacher certification programs were created to fill critical teacher shortages.
Today alternative certification is widely accepted as a way to train people with bachelor degrees (in any subject).
Alternative certification programs also overstep the social and economic barriers many prospective educators face with traditional teacher training programs.
They can be completed at a fraction of the cost, with flexible course delivery, and in an expedited amount of time.
We’ll use Klassroom’s Teacher Certification Program as an example to compare the similarities and differences between alternative and traditional programs for new college graduates.
How does it compare to traditional teacher certification programs?
A team of education experts developed TCP’s breakthrough program that bridges traditional and progressive learning.
The program’s core curriculum is self-paced, delivered 100% online with asynchronous lessons, and includes support from online instructors.
An in-person clinical placement makes up the second half of the program, however, this can be completed anywhere in the country.
TCP Hawai’i is recognized by the state-approved body, Association for Advancing Quality in Education Preparation (AAQEP), as an approved teacher certification program that adheres to association standards for teacher licensure.
TCP Arizona is a state-approved teacher certification program that adheres to state standards for teacher licensure.
The program was designed to fill teacher shortages throughout the U.S. by helping aspiring teachers get into the classroom at an accelerated pace, without barriers like price, in-person learning, and long-term program commitments.
How do you complete an alternative teacher certification program?
Enrolling in a state-approved, AAQEP-accredited program, like Klassroom’s Teacher Certification Program is fairly simple.
As long as you’re a US citizen or authorized to work in the US and you hold a 4-year bachelor’s degree, you can submit your initial application at any time.
You’ll be guided through the rest of the process by an admissions advisor but be prepared to submit your transcripts and a letter of intent.
Alternative programs vary in length and delivery but the road to earning your teaching license with TCP looks a little something like this:
- Submit your application and gain acceptance into the program.
- Start the program with your cohort – there are four cohorts per year!
- Complete the online core curriculum – about six months of asynchronous content.
- Get into the classroom with a clinical placement. Complete 450 hours of teaching experience in a location convenient for you.
- Apply for your teaching license from the state Department of Education. TCP offers certification in Arizona or Hawai’i but state reciprocity allows new teachers to exchange their licenses in most states.
How much does it cost?
Undergraduate student loans are no joke. $29,000 is the average student debt at graduation in 2019, a 2% increase from 2018.
Want a graduate degree? According to PEW research, that number climbs up to an average of $45,000.
Luckily for you, alternative teacher training programs are designed to be affordable.
Accredited programs, like TCP, come in around $5,000 and offer flexible monthly payment options so you can upskill and start working without doubling your student debt.
I'm interested! What do I do next?
Getting your teaching certificate after college is the first step towards employment and a new career in the classroom!
To get started, take a look at some of our accredited teacher certification programs online.
Or you can talk to one of our admissions advisors for more details.
From teacher training to placement, we’ve got you covered.