Education Careers

As one of the most popular fields that Bowdoin students pursue, alumni interested in education are working in the classroom, as administrators, developing policy, consulting, and more--all over the world.

For those interested in education, there are many opportunities both domestic and international, including: public/private school teaching and administration, coaching, literacy, tutoring, higher education administration and teaching, community-based education, educational consulting and policy, and outdoor and environmental education. Many students also enter graduate programs in education.

Sample Career Paths

K-12 Teaching: Teaching certification is not required to teach and/or coach in a private, independent or charter school, and Bowdoin students have great success securing these positions, often through fellowships or apprenticeships. For those who want to become certified, the Bowdoin Teacher Scholars Program through the Education Department offers an additional semester post-graduation of student teaching and rigorous academic teaching preparation.

International Teaching: Traveling and teaching internationally is a popular choice for Bowdoin students and alums alike. The majority of positions are teaching English through fellowships including the Peace Corps, Fulbright, Princeton in Asia, Princeton in Africa, JET (Japanese Teaching Exchange), and many other programs. Bowdoin students are well-equipped with intercultural competence, language skills and resiliency strategies, setting them up for success in these positions. Additionally, there are opportunities within international schools worldwide teaching specific subject areas, and Bowdoin’s alumni network is a great resource for connecting into these opportunities.

Outdoor and Environmental Education: Bowdoin students are adventurous, and not daunted by the outdoors, having spent a lot of time outdoors in the elements of Maine! The Bowdoin Outing Club offers Leadership Training for students to become certified trip leaders for their peers, equipping many graduates with the skills and desire to continue on as outdoor educators or wilderness leaders. Additionally, the many fellowships, opportunities and grants that Bowdoin offers to support student internships over the summer with environmental organizations, allows students to develop the professional and interdisciplinary skills necessary to become future environmental educators.

Higher Education: Positions within higher education institutions generally are in Administration, Student Affairs or Academic Affairs (including faculty positions which require a graduate degree). Many Bowdoin students, having enjoyed their undergraduate experience at Bowdoin, enter into entry-level positions at colleges or universities after graduation. Competitive candidates for these positions usually have gained experience as an undergraduate student in the particular area that they are applying for, for example, Admissions, Residential Life, Athletics, Multicultural Student Life, Alumni Relations and so on. Many Bowdoin students and alums also pursue graduate school in courses of study such as Education, Educational Policy, Student Affairs Management or doctoral programs in focused discipline areas.

Educational Policy and Consulting: Many Bowdoin students pursue careers as educational consultants or policy makers, working with a wide range of educational institutions, including public school districts, charter schools, independent schools, higher education institutions, and educational nonprofits. These positions require strong quantitative skills and ideally experience within an educational setting. The Bowdoin alumni network is a fabulous resource for exploring and making connections within this field.

Community-based Programs: Pursuing careers that promote the common good and equity and diversity within education is of particular appeal to Bowdoin students. The opportunities are prolific, many within the nonprofit sector, and span the range of services from public health, to environment, to educational access, to art education, criminal justice and diversity and inclusion.

Meet Alumni

Alumni Ron Brandy '89 discusses his path to developing a meaningful career in education.