Teachers Most In Demand

Math and science teachers appear to be the most in demand teachers at Recruiting Fairs. Every school needs at least one or more, so it’s not uncommon at Recruiting Fairs to hear teachers of these disciplines sharing the news of the many interviews they have lined up. 

The good news for those of us who teach in the liberal arts is we, too, are in demand. If you didn’t already know, many countries require International Schools to hire expats who hold an actual degree in the subject they’re hired to teach.  In other words, an art teacher is required to not only hold a teaching credential but also at least a bachelor’s degree in the subject designated on their Contract. This measure is meant to protect host-country teachers who could otherwise fill the position, as in this instance, without an art degree.

An ISR member tells us that when she was in college, family and friends asked, “What in the world will you do with a music degree?” Was everyone in for a surprise! With so few teachers having majored in music, she found herself in high demand among International Schools required to hire subject-degreed teachers. Twenty years and six schools later she’s in even higher demand. She believes the trend in universities towards technical-oriented majors has created a shortage of teachers to fill liberal arts positions.

Teachers of core subjects may do well targeting large and small schools alike. For liberal arts teachers, keep in mind that larger schools offer extensive curriculums. If you’re a librarian or philosophy teacher, for example, your chances of landing a job in a small school are not as great as your technical-credentialed colleagues. In a larger school with an extensive array of classes your specialty will be in demand. Schools ARE looking for you. It’s just a matter of letting them know you’re available.

No matter what you teach, it’s all about finding the right school. There may be a higher demand for teachers of some subjects because every school must have at least one or more or them, but for the right school, we’re all in demand.

ISR invites you to Share recruiting experiences relating to the subject you teach

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11 thoughts on “Teachers Most In Demand

  1. Ageism alive and well in teaching for over 50s – unless you are math or physics. These specialities will always be in demand.


  2. Be it as it may, none of these comments or cheer leading section will change the fact that math and science teachers are and will stay in high demand, with wide range of job options, whereas humanities teachers will have to fight the too many of them for the scraps left behind. Also as noted, ageism is rampant, which is amusing given that the the demographic slice most often guaranteed to take the most sick days (and it’s not even remotely close) are young female teachers.


  3. There is also a tremendous amount of “ageism” in the hiring process regardless of disclaimers that
    age would not be a consideration in making a selection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely agree. Older teachers are also seen as a covid risk. At one school in Bangkok, an announcement was just made that nobody over 60 would be hired after next year. Several talented teachers will not be renewed.


    2. As an older educator, I am very aware of my age starting to count against me, however, I also fully understand schools hedging their bets on younger staff just now, even with the great vaccination happening.

      I am sure as well, those older teachers are not looking at countries with substandard health care just now thinking that it would be a good place to be during a pandemic. It would be interesting to know if schools in places such as Singapore, saw an increase in 50+ applicants.


  4. I am an older teacher with nearly 30 years experience in teaching Mathematics at the senior level. Yet my degree is in Earth Sciences with a minor in Biology. I also have a decade of experience in teaching Biology and Chemistry. I hate to think that I would be excluded from a job because some bureaucrat says I don’t have a degree in Mathematics.


  5. There is also currently a penury of certified and experienced counselors, school psychologist and college counselors among others. All international schools above a certain size, having grade 11-12 cohorts MUST, by their certifying associations, have a counselor who can do both mental health and career/college counseling. What I find distressing is that at the management level, there are so many unqualified or poor school management “professionals” and that despite this, the recruiting services continue to promote their candidacies and help them “escape” after they are found out. Then there are the perverts, abusers, narcissists and so on who find job after job because the due diligence is so feeble and wishywashy that schools fail to protect their students (and staff) from these predators far too often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree here. I do wish certifying associations had clearer standards on a training threshold for management appointments. It is so sad to see decent schools brought down by complete frauds and then still walk away unscathed as they are part of the ‘ Bro Squad’ or ‘Old Boys Club’. There is too much sweeping under the rug at some institutions, especially in cultures that are worried about saving face and reputation. A decent international management team has to navigate this with balance, without losing integrity.
      One school I am currently thinking of has just lost all trust from its remaining long term cohort. Everybody knows who has been protected and who has been stitched up. A sad affair.


  6. Agree. The idea that the more highly qualified someone is, the better equipped they are to teach is questionable. This is perhaps particularly true in mathematics and science. Teaching is more of an art and this conflicts with the general personality traits of those with a science and mathematics background. The college I taught at raised the educational requirement of all teachers to a minimum of Masters to the detriment of teaching quality, particularly in my area of mathematics and science.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Depends on ages taught. Research shows for exam courses a specific subject specialism, and I mean specific eg Chemistry for Chemistry, is worth a whole grade higher results on average.

      I teach IBDP physics and it makes a difference to be a Physicist.

      Younger kids under 13, its less important to be that specific.


  7. I agree that there are positions for everyone and it is all about finding the right school. I, like the person in the example in the article, am a music teacher. I’ve never had any difficulty finding a position in an International School. I have an advanced degree in Music. I’ve seen many math majors and science people left out in the cold. They may know the subject but many of them don’t have the personality to teach kids. They are better suited for an office with adults. That’s my take on it.

    Liked by 1 person

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