Conference Papers

Employability and Career Choices in Education Studies: A Recent Graduate’s Reflections

“What can I do with Education Studies if teaching doesn’t work out for me?”

The above is a common question that I was asked when working for recruitment events in a previous role. My assertion, which I will present in this talk, is that Education Studies (ES hereafter) can lead to a range of careers beyond teaching. Moreover, these other careers do not necessarily have to be a fall-back option, and could in fact be seen as feasible options right from the start. Thus, I will show how the multi-faceted nature of ES allows for opportunities beyond school teaching.

To explore these issues, I will use myself as an ES graduate (2014) case study. Utilising a personal narrative autoethnographic approach, I will explore my journey from choosing my university options through to becoming an educational researcher. I will critically evaluate these experiences in order to highlight how I arrived at my rather unorthodox career choice. As a researcher who firmly believes in multiple realities, I will also reflect upon the careers of my graduate peers. In doing this, I hope to challenge traditional career trajectories. I do not seek to undermine the dominant career path but rather to highlight alternative routes.

I will highlight how these personal experiences relate to wider implications for career choices and employability in ES. I will then finish with some reflections about how the Higher Education landscape has changed, contrasting my experiences with my brother’s (a current first year ES student) to highlight some of the challenges facing today’s students.

Snape, R. (2016) 'Employability and Career Choices in Education Studies: A Recent Graduate’s Reflections', paper presented to The 12th Annual Conference of the British Education Studies Association (BESA), 30 June-01 July, viewed 09 August 2020, <>