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Career Pivot: Why your next job should be in FE

Only 13% of workers worldwide are engaged in their current jobs, according to a Gallup study into global employee satisfaction. Almost two thirds of employees are not engaged and lack motivation, while a quarter are “actively disengaged”, meaning they are unhappy at work and liable to spread negativity to colleagues. In rough numbers, this equates to 1.24 billion not engaged or actively disengaged workers around the globe.

This had led to the rise of the career pivot, with many employees leaving their industries behind to find more fulfilling roles in a different sector. In the UK alone, 47% of employees are seeking a new career path. Millennials are particularly keen on a change, with two thirds of people aged 18 to 34 wanting to change careers.

However, such a radical life change can be daunting. Many people do not know how to navigate a career pivot and have no idea where their current skill set can take them. One of the best places to start your search is the further education (FE) sector. With a plethora of different roles available, here are some of the reasons a position in FE could be the career pivot you so crave:

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FE is a diverse sector with plenty of different roles

One of the biggest misconceptions about working in FE is that you have be a teacher or a lecturer. Sure, there are plenty of teaching roles in FE, but the sector is far more diverse and offers roles in a number of fields.

It’s easy to forget that, beyond providing education, colleges are businesses that need to monitor growth and sustainability. Because of this, some of the biggest potential entry routes into the FE sector lie within leadership and management. The skills required to work in these roles vary and are not always directly related to education.

There are also important roles available to those with a background in marketing – if a college fails to attract enough students, they won’t receive the necessary funds to keep going. Financial experts are also sought after, as are technicians, care workers, admin assistants and a range of other professions. Whatever your skill set or experience, there is probably something for you.

Specialist skills will always be relevant in the FE sector

As technological innovations continue to transform industry, more jobs will become automated. This means the job market is likely to become more competitive and previously sought after skills will become less relevant.

Take the highly specialised SAP job market which is becoming more saturated than ever before. As SAP moves towards automation, more candidates are battling for fewer positions, meaning only the best of the very best will get hired.

However, specialist skills like this will always be required in further education. Digital skills are essential to the future growth of the economy, therefore the teaching of these skills in colleges is absolutely paramount. Consequently, there is huge demand for educators with sets of specialist skills such as coding, cloud computing and SAP.

Fresh challenges in FE jobs prevent workplace boredom

Boredom is one of the prime causes of disengagement at work. Even high-performing professionals can fall foul of boredom, often resulting in withdrawal, loss of productivity and, in extreme cases, sabotage. Neuropsychologist Richard Chaifetz believes this happens when employees are not being challenged enough. The more challenging the task at hand, the more engaged the employee.

Those that are not being adequately challenged in their current role can find more fulfilment in FE. A broad range of age groups and backgrounds access FE, meaning you’ll continually be working with new people who require different services or levels of support. One day you might be working with young people gathering the qualifications necessary to launch their own careers, the next you could be working with retirees who have returned to education to enrich their lives with new skills.

Working will such a variety of people enriches the job as each task is slightly different every time, tailored to individual involved. There are also plenty of opportunities to transfer skills from the private sector to the public sector, while simultaneously learning new skills to aid with your continued professional development.

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