Miami’s Career Landscape: Education
The education sector is the biggest industry in the United States, second to healthcare. With over 3 million teachers hired this past Fall, the public school sector spends around $634 billion per year on education. Yet the industry has seen a shortage in the work force.
According to Education Week, nationwide enrollments in university teacher-preparation programs have fallen by 10% in the last 12 years. However, the Bureau of Statistics proves that job openings in the area have steadily increased in the last 8 years. But as a profession that is notorious for lay-offs, budget cuts, and meager pay compensation, young adults are steering clear of the industry.
Between 2008 and 2011, $2.1 billion was cut from state education. The Miami Herald stated that the Miami-Dade district plans to hire less instructional staff this year. Additionally, school district officials are projecting retirement for 500 teachers this June. This is due to huge changes in teacher retirement plans in 2011. Many were pushed to participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Program, which has now forced many into retirement.
With this all in mind, demand for new hires will be on the rise next Fall to fill these positions. But due to decreased job security and reduced job satisfaction since 2008, young adults are afraid to pursue a career in education because of its bad reputation.
However, there has been a shift within the education system in the area. Charter schools are now becoming the popular alternative to the public school system with students and teachers. This past school year, public schools welcomed 400 new students. Alternatively, charter schools saw over 6,000 new students come through their doors.
Charter schools have a unique set-up in which they are publically funded and associated with a school district but operate independently. Therefore, with the rise of charter schools, there is less money to be allocated within the public sector. By the end of this school year, it is predicted that these schools will have claim to $400 million from the district’s general fund. Many teachers are now turning to charters for their various benefits. With small class sizes, flexibility, and higher pay rates, this is where the workforce is moving.
With the move towards charter schools and magnet programs, the county is beginning to see the need for custom tailored education that fits the needs of the students and teachers within the area. Officials understand that this is an important sector, as a community cannot flourish without education. A new report by Endeavor Miami found that along with technology, healthcare, creative industries, and the hospitality sector, the education industry has the strongest growth potential in the local innovation economy. New technologies have created hybrid learning that includes game-based incentives and online education, moving education into the future.
Ultimately, the education industry has been disappointing in terms of earnings but healthy job growth shows the need for more trained individuals to become teachers. MiamiJobs.com currently has over 800 jobs in the education industry, spanning from teachers to security positions.