Career area: Secondary education – EMBL Fellows' Career Service

EMBL Careers

A life science careers blog for early career researchers

This blog aims to inspire early career researchers exploring different career options. We provide interview-based profiles of life scientists working in diverse science-related careers and articles on a broad range of career-related topics, with new content added on a regular basis.

Career area: Secondary education

If you enjoy communicating science and in particular teaching, a career path as a school teacher can be an option for you.

Roles and responsibilities

On a day-to-day basis, you will:

  • prepare and deliver lessons
  • mark classwork, coursework and exams
  • monitor student progress
  • prepare lab activities
  • provide pastoral support to students
  • contribute towards other school activities and governance 

Knowledge and skills

In our careers & skills survey, 5 science educators told us about the competencies they used most often. The most commonly selected competences were:

  • effective communication (selected by 80% of respondents)
  • broad scientific knowledge (60%; and ranked as most important for success)
  • organization (60%)
  • mentoring and leadership (60%)
  • self-management (60%)

Career entry and progression

Requirements for these positions are specific to national educational systems. A small number of programmes e.g. TeachFirst in the UK provide a fast-track option for graduates, and some private schools also do not require a full teaching degree. But for the vast majority of teaching positions,  you will require a formal qualification from a  teacher training course.

Why consider this career area?

In our careers and skills survey, 5 science educators told us what they appreciate most about their work. The most common selections were, that the work:

  • is intellectually stimulating
  • allows me to be creative

Want to learn more?

Sources / further information

Further internal resources

For EMBL fellows

Within EMBL, further internal resources (e.g. recorded career seminars) can be found on our career exploration intranet pages.

Informational interviews

For all career areas, we highly recommend first learning more about the careers using the resources above, then conducting informational interviews to gain further insights directly from former PhDs working in career areas that interest you.

Last update: August 2022

EU flag and text, co-funded by the European Union
The EMBL Fellows' Career Service incorporates the EMBL Interdisciplinary Postdoc (EIPOD) career development programme. EI3POD and EIPOD4 have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreements 664726 (2015-2020) and 847543 (2019-present) respectively.