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This publication reports on the job market for teachers entering the work force for the first time and for career changers. The study, which surveyed nearly 3,000 preservice teachers currently enrolled in educational programs in 25 mid-Atlantic colleges and universities, explored three areas: (1) preservice teacher perception of the job market; (2) their motivations for choosing teaching as a career; and (3) careers they identify as alternatives if they do not find a teaching job. A majority of respondents perceived a surplus of teachers in the job market: 34 percent indicated some surplus and 24 percent indicated a considerable surplus of teachers; 21 percent perceived the job market with a balance of teachers and openings. Although 22 percent perceived a shortage of teachers, 33 percent rated their chances of finding full-time jobs in their certification fields right after graduation as good, 54 percent rated their chances as fair, and only 14 percent rated their chances as poor. The major reasons cited for choosing to teach were consistent with the literature--working with young people, a love of children, and desire to make a difference. Less than three percent listed income, benefits, and job security as reasons for entering the field. Over a third of respondents indicated a desire to pursue an alternative career within the field of education or closely related service; 47 percent of elementary preservice teachers and 25 percent of secondary/other preservice teachers fell into this category. Tables of data are included, as well as some comments from respondents. The findings suggested that preservice teachers seem to recognize that the job market is competitive, however a majority view their chances of getting a job optimistically. Most preservice teachers expressed willingness to serve as substitute teachers, to teach in a private school, and to relocate. (Contains 11 references.) (ND)

Descriptors: Career Choice, Career Planning, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Labor Market, Secondary School Teachers, Teacher Employment, Teacher Motivation, Teacher Supply and Demand

Autor: Snyder, John F.; And Others


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