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Roles & Work Environment

There are a wide variety of jobs within the Education, Counseling, & Youth Development industries, but people are often attracted to this field for similar reasons - to make a difference in the lives of others. To find out more about roles and work environments in these areas, visit Vault Guides such as the Vault Guide to Education Jobs, Vault Guide to Library and Information Services Jobs, Vault Guide to Social Services Jobs, Vault Guide to Elder Care Jobs and others. You can access the Career Insider by Vault resource in Handshake under the Resources tab in the Career Exploration section. Some sample jobs in Education, Counseling, & Youth Development are listed below.

Adult Education Teachers

Environmental Education Program Directors

Athletic Directors

Guidance Counselors

Career and Employment Counselors

Library, Media, and Information Science Specialists

College and School Administrators

Mental Health Counselors 

College Professors

Social Workers

Curriculum Developers

Student Affairs Professionals

Education Directors and Museum Teachers

Teachers (Pre-K and K12)

English as a Second Language Teachers

Tutors and Trainers

As there are many types of roles in Education, Counseling, & Youth Development, there are also a variety of work environments. In K-12 schools, different work environments have different requirements about licensure and education background. For example, you must be licensed to teach in public school, but many private schools do not require state licensure or an extensive background in education coursework. Students who are not education majors are often eligible to teach in a private or independent school setting. 

Examples of K-12 work environments include:

Public Schools | Private/Independent Schools | Charter Schools | Magnet Schools | High Needs Schools | Urban Schools | Rural Schools

While many jobs in the Education, Counseling, & Youth Development exist in traditional K12 school settings, there are also opportunities for work in other environments. As you are considering opportunities in these fields, also think about working for:

  • Universities
  • Nonprofits focusing on Education or Youth Programs
  • Education Technology companies
  • Research Institutions or Think Tanks focusing on Education
  • Human Resources Departments
  • Government and Private Organizations focused on Human Services (Counseling, Social Work, Youth Case Management, etc.)

Lifestyle, Job Market & Salary

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information such as job summaries, education required, salary, job outlook and more for various jobs in the Education, Counseling, & Youth Development industry. 

When investigating particular opportunities, you can use some of the following tools to research salaries and other information:

Alumni Stories

  • Good Sports and Positive Youth Development Ellen Markowitz is a social entrepreneur who uses sports to help youth become their “super selves.” She studied Sport Psychology and Positive Youth Development through sport at the Curry School of Education.
  • Cathy Lechowicz (Curry ’99) Inteview with the Director of the Center for Community Partnerships at Wesleyan University. She majored in Speech Pathology at Curry and was active in Madison House as an undergraduate. 
  • Reginald G. Benbow Jr. (Col ’11) Reginald served in Teach for America after UVA and is now in graduate school, planning to go into politics to work toward better outcomes in education. 
  • Why Teach Abroad Rosalind Reischer (CLAS '13), a recruiter in China, finds teachers from the U.S. and places them in AP programs in some of the top high schools in the country. 

Get Connected

Want to find out more about Education, Counseling, & Youth Development programs and opportunities at UVA? Sign up for the Education, Counseling, & Youth Development Career Community newsletter and consider following me on Twitter at @michelleskeen. You can also learn about what's going on in the Education world by reading industry news. Here are a few suggestions:

Connecting with alumni in Education, Counseling, & Youth Development can give you valuable perspectives and information about various career paths in this industry. Check out the following resources to assist you with networking and mentoring relationships:

  • Virginia Alumni Mentoring program: Connects UVA students with alumni who can offer insights into their own undergraduate experience, career progression and current work.
  • LinkedIn: A professional social media site. You can use LinkedIn to research a company, see where alums land after graduation and connect with other professionals. Check out the Find Alumni section to see where UVA alumni are currently working.