18 Companies That Hire Former Teachers

Educators have plenty of transferable skills for other industries.

Written by Jeff Rumage
18 Companies That Hire Former Teachers
Image: Shutterstock / Built In
UPDATED BY
Brennan Whitfield | Apr 09, 2024

According to 2023 research by McKinsey & Company, nearly one third of U.S. K-12 teachers said they planned to leave their role before the next school year began — leading them to careers outside of a traditional classroom.

Teachers possess many transferable skills that are useful in other fields, like the ability to explain complicated concepts, develop lesson plans and resolve unexpected issues on the fly. These skills can apply to any number of roles, including project managers, customer success and human resources (especially HR roles that focus on learning and development of employees).

Perhaps the most obvious pivot for a teacher is to work at an edtech company, which often search for former educators to develop content, guide the instructional design of the product or work with current teachers to integrate the startup’s technology into the classroom. 

Companies That Hire Former Teachers

  • Pearson
  • Discovery Education
  • Guild Education
  • Paper
  • GoGuardian
  • Newsela
  • Panorama Education
  • McGraw Hill

In any case, if you’re thinking of switching from teaching to another industry, you might want to take a look at these companies that hire former teachers.

 

18 Companies That Hire Former Teachers

Pearson is a major textbook company that offers a suite of digital educational tools, and it relies on the expertise of educators to develop its products and services. In 2015, an executive at the company said that more than 15,000 of its 40,000 employees were former teachers or worked in the education sector.

 

Discovery Education develops digital textbooks and other educational content for millions of educators around the world, so it’s not surprising that they rely on the expertise of former teachers. The company’s curriculum content team, for example, includes many former educators.

 

Guild Education works with companies to provide education, upskilling and other professional development training for their employees. The company, valued at $4.4 billion, told Built In in 2016 that the company hires former teachers and counselors as student success coaches and advisors.

More About Edtech59 Edtech Companies Changing the Way We Learn

 

Paper was founded in 2014 by Philip Cutler, a former teacher and tutor. The company partners with school districts to provide their students with 24/7 access to virtual tutors and essay reviewers. Teachers are well-suited for tutoring roles as well as corporate roles. The company has shared testimonials from former teachers who now work as partnership associates, data specialists and customer success roles.

 

Elevate K-12 helps school districts solve their staffing woes through livestreamed lessons from experienced teachers. The company hires part-time, certified teachers who want the flexibility of working from home.

 

Goalbook was founded in 2011 by Daniel Yoo, a former teacher and district administrator. The startup partners with 1,000 school districts to help teachers develop their instruction plans. Goalbook specifically requires teaching experience for sales development representatives and customer success representatives that support schools and school districts.

 

CDW, which has been providing its clients with hardware, software and technology services since 1984, also prides itself on hiring former educators. Teachers and other experts from the education field have been hired as educational strategists, for example, to support the needs of its K-12 and higher education clients.

More About EdtechEdtech Recruitment: What You Need to Know

 

GoGuardian provides a suite of software solutions that help teachers engage students and monitor their computer activity. In a blog post from April 2023, chief diversity officer Dionna Smith said GoGuardian employs many former teachers and that those teachers’ perspectives are considered in the product design process. In 2021, product manager Holly Hunt-Mugica told Built In that many former teachers work on GoGuardian’s account teams.

 

Newsela digests news coverage of current events for K-12 schools in the U.S., and offers quizzes and writing prompts to coincide with readings. Its content can be focused for social studies, science, ELA and general learning. Newsela founder and CEO Matt Gross — a former teacher himself  — said in a 2016 interview that the company employs former teachers and curriculum specialists to produce quizzes that test the student’s comprehension of the subject matter.

 

Coursera is an online learning platform that offers courses, degrees and certificates from more than 300 universities and business partners. Nikhil Kumar, a former partnerships manager at the company, said in a 2014 article that the company employs many former teachers who have leveraged their classroom experience to improve the Coursera platform.

 

Founded by Nobel Prize-winning economist Josh Angrist, Avela is a software platform that uses data to help schools make equitable admissions and enrollment decisions. The company has hired teachers for a number of different roles, mentioning that education experience as a teacher or administrator is preferred in its job postings.

 

Panorama Education helps school districts survey students, parents and teachers so the district can make more informed decisions. The company hires former teachers as well, stating on its career page that it is “a remote team of engineers, educators, salespeople, researchers and designers.” In 2018, Product Manager Sarah Robinson — now the VP of product — told Built In that Panorama has hired “lots of former teachers.”

 

IXL Learning uses data analytics to personalize learning and improve K-12 curriculums across multiple subjects. The company is behind names such as Rosetta Stone, Education.com, Vocabulary.com and more. In an IXL blog post, an IXL professional learning specialist said that all of the professional learning team has a background “teaching in the classroom or working in education.”

 

The BrainPOP platform provides learning solutions for K-8 students and teachers, acting as a digital hub for student assignments, quizzes, games and other interactive activities. In one of its blog posts, BrainPOP features commentary from a senior curriculum specialist at the company, who is also a former fourth-grade teacher.

 

McGraw Hill, a big textbook company that has evolved into the digital realm, also hires former teachers. In 2021, the company highlighted three former teachers who now work as a software engineer, portfolio manager and implementation manager.

 

Amplify develops assessments that help teachers identify the educational needs of its students. It also develops curriculum in literacy, math and more to target those needs. Amplify hires experienced education leaders as instructional coaches that provide support to K-12 school districts.

 

Proximity Learning provides understaffed schools with live-streamed lessons from certified teachers. In a Forbes blog, founder and president Evan Erdberg said he has hired more than 100 former educators at the company.

 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt develops digital K-12 learning curriculum solutions, student assessments and lesson plan resources. Its content marketing team is one area of the company that hires former teachers, as a portion of the staff has previous teaching experience in elementary and high school settings.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Teachers cited compensation, unreasonable expectations and an inability to protect their well-being at work as some of the top reasons they quit or plan to quit their jobs, according to a survey by McKinsey & Company.

Teachers may leave their jobs to become educational consultants, sales representatives, corporate trainers or human resource professionals, among other roles.

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