What can I do with a degree in Primary Teacher Education?

What skills have our graduates gained?

Through their Primary Education degree, graduates develop a valuable set of skills that are transferrable to a range of careers, including:

  • Knowledge of teaching and learning processes
  • Thinking critically and creatively
  • Initiating and challenging ideas
  • Planning and organisation
  • Patience and flexibility
  • Knowledge of child development
  • Interpretive and analytical thinking
  • Problem solving skills
  • Oral and written communication

Opportunities to apply your learning outside the classroom through work and other experiences also exist and can deepen your skills set and employability. Work and other experiences can also support and inform learning and skill development in the classroom.

Where have our graduates been employed?

Graduates have gained positions in primary, intermediate, middle and area schools in New Zealand and overseas. Primary Teacher Education graduates also find employment in government departments, educational publishing, social service agencies and research fields.

UC’s Guide to Job Hunting offers a variety of career resources including employer information.

For more information about UC student and graduate opportunities, go to UC CareerHub

What jobs and activities do our graduates do?

Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs including primary teaching in New Zealand and overseas; advisory teaching roles; educational research; programme coordination of a range of areas; ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teaching; adult education; and professional development in a range of settings.

Some of the jobs listed may require further study at postgraduate level. Postgraduate study can contribute to your employability. It enables you to extend your knowledge and skills, indicates your motivation and ability to persevere at a high level academically and can make you more competitive in the job market. Postgraduate study may be a prerequisite for certain jobs.

  • Primary school teacher
    • Prepares and delivers instructional activities and lessons
    • Observes and evaluates performance in order to provide feedback
    • Develops and marks tests and assessments
  • Kaiwhakaako Māori (Māori medium teacher)
    • Provides Māori medium education through the development of Māori language and culture
    • Collaborates and maintains contact with whānau (family) and iwi (tribe)
    • Prepares class plans, and sets and marks assessments
  • Special education teacher
    • Evaluates the needs of students
    • Teaches children with a range of special learning needs
    • Assists primary school teachers in developing suitable learning plans for students
  • Teacher aide
    • Follows, but adapts, teachers' learning programmes to the needs of specific students
    • Works with students, often on a one-to-one basis or in small groups
    • Assists students with personal care, involving for example, medication, toileting and eating
  • OSCAR carer
    • Provides care to children in afterschool and holiday programmes
    • Manages behaviour and ensures all children are safe and supervised
    • Assists with homework and play activities
  • Private tutor
    • Develops students' understanding and knowledge of a particular topic
    • Maintains knowledge of the curriculum to guide lessons
    • Prepares students for upcoming tests, exams or assessments
  • Educational publisher
    • Develops educational materials for use in classrooms, eg workbooks or DVDs
    • Writes assessment questions
    • Ensures an efficient material distribution system
  • Nanny
    • Supports children's development and learning in their home
    • Plans and supervises daily activities
    • Carries out household duties such as cooking and cleaning
  • Auditor
    • Checks the legality of schooling policies and practices
    • Reports to management with findings and recommendations
    • Assesses use of funding
  • Child advocate
    • Promotes wellbeing and optimal conditions for children
    • Works directly with children and their families
    • Attempts to address wider policies and situations that negatively impact upon children

Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly becoming an important part of the world of work and should be considered as a career option. For more information about UC student innovation & entrepreneurship, related internships, scholarships, courses and activities go to Careers, Internships & Employment

For further information on job titles, please see the latest UC Graduate Destinations Survey

For additional graduate destination information go to www.graduatecareers.com.au or www.prospects.ac.uk

What professional bodies and organisations do our students and graduates link to?

As they progress in their studies and into a career, our students and graduates often join professional bodies specific to their area of interest. These organisations offer the opportunity to network and collaborate with others within the same community. Other relevant organisations are also listed.

Social media networks, such as LinkedIn (including LinkedIn groups), Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues for students and graduates to keep up-to-date with current industry knowledge and ‘best practice’, networking opportunities, industry-related events and job vacancies.

What further study can I do after my degree?

It is possible to study at postgraduate and graduate level in subjects both directly and indirectly related to your degree. For a list of postgraduate and graduate study options, go to Courses, Subjects and Qualifications

The Bachelor of Teaching and Learning with Honours (BTchLn(Hons)) is a one-year, full-time postgraduate qualification for Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (or equivalent) graduates with a B grade average in their 200 and 300-level courses. Available on campus in Christchurch, the BTchLn(Hons) provides students with the opportunity to focus on educational issues or curriculum areas in which they have special interests. Other options include a Graduate Diploma or Master of Education degree, and PhD study.

Postgraduate study can also lead to an academic career pathway in teaching and research.

Carefully consider your motivation for study, how it fits in with your long-term career plans and whether it is likely to enhance your employment prospects.

  • Careers, Internships & Employment
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140
    New Zealand
  • Phone +64 3 364 3310
    careers@canterbury.ac.nz
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    Level 1, Geography
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