Question: I work in business and have a degree in commerce and law, and a post-grad in technology. I have been reading about teacher shortages and am interested in a career change. How would I go about qualifying as a teacher – and are there job opportunities in tech or business?
Answer: The first thing you should check is whether you meet the requirements in at least one post-primary curricular subject for the purposes of teaching it to higher level in the Leaving Cert.
The Teaching Council is the standards body for the teaching profession. All teachers employed in State-funded teaching positions in schools in Ireland must be registered with the council in order to be paid a salary.
The requirements for entry onto the register of teachers are set out in the Teaching Council registration regulations.
These state that a post-primary teacher must hold an honours bachelor degree (NFQ level 8) or equivalent which is deemed by the council to be suitable for teaching at least one curricular subject at post-primary level.
The applicant should also hold a Teaching Council-accredited initial teacher education qualification for second level.
Check the "curricular subject requirements (post-primary)" on the council's website (www.teachingcouncil.ie) to check if you meet the requirements for at least one curricular subject.
If so, proceed to applying to the professional masters of education (post-primary), commonly known as the PME.
You will need to apply to the postgraduate applications centre, which accepts applications for admission to postgraduate programmes in the four constituent universities of the National University of Ireland.
You can also apply directly to Trinity, Dublin City University and the University of Limerick.
Hibernia College also offers a two-year post primary PME online, for those who may prefer this mode of study
As part of the application process, you will be requested to complete a “subject declaration form” declaring that you meet all the subject requirements.
If you do, UL has a specific professional master of education (technological education) which is a two-year, full-time initial teacher education programme, designed to meet the needs of graduates who wish to become post-primary teachers of technology subjects. They include engineering, technology, construction studies, and design and communication graphics.
These PME courses are all designed to prepare teachers for today’s second-level schools.
Students undertake a study of the principles of teaching and learning, develop practical teaching skills and engage in a supervised teaching placement in at least two second-level schools.
Students normally take disciplinary courses in the teaching of two curricular subjects.
As to your second question, there is an acute shortage of qualified teachers in a number of subject areas, including STEM and modern languages.
If you were to proceed with a career change to become a second-level teacher, you should experience little difficulty in securing employment.