It won’t have escaped your notice that the teaching industry is crying out for STEM teachers. It is likely that you have already considered whether you will move on to teaching after graduation or look for a role in the commercial world.
Naturally, you will be looking for a well-paid career with prospects for development over time. Teaching certainly offers a career progression route for those who want it: mentoring towards leadership is generally something that schools do well, however teaching has traditionally struggled to keep up with the salaries on offer from the corporate world. As a result, various incentives are now on offer to entice new graduates into teaching.
The Welsh government have just announced an offer of up to £20,000 one-off ‘golden hello’ for graduates with a first class degree in chemistry, physics or maths. Students of these subjects who achieve a 2:1 or 2:2 may be eligible for £10,000 or £6,000 respectively. There are also incentives for modern foreign languages (MFL) or computer science, with a potential lump sum of £15,000 for a first class degree, or £6,000 for a 2:1. Some of the UK’s most renowned universities are in Wales, making it a high-quality option for your next move.
This compares directly to England’s Get into Teaching campaign which offers an incredible £30,000 bursary to first class physics graduates and generous amounts up to £25,000 for other subject graduates moving into teaching. Graduates with a 2:1 or a 1st in chemistry, computing, geography, languages, maths or physics can also apply for a generous scholarship from one of the specialist bodies for those subjects, such as Royal Society of Chemistry or Institute of Physics scholarships.
Whilst the sums on offer seem lower for some subjects in Wales, the cost of living is different, most importantly, the setting in which you choose to establish yourself plays a part. It pays to visit a town, whether in England or Wales, before considering studying there.
The teacher training course itself could be one of a few choices but if you are accepting a bursary, you would most commonly complete a Post Graduate Certificate of Teaching (PGCE). It takes one year, is worth one third of a Master’s degree and is a busy mix of teaching experience and lecture time.
Want to know more about teaching in Wales? Here are 5 good reasons to try it.