Want Job Security, Good Pay, and Plenty of Time Off Right Out of College?

This is one of the most rewarding careers you can choose, and some of the other benefits aren't bad either.

Apr 27, 2014 at 1:15PM

Source: Flickr / dcJohn.

Although the job market has improved over the past few years, it's still not great, especially for recent college graduates. In fact, almost 11% of 2013's graduates are currently unemployed. If you graduated in the past few years, you may have found out your "dream career" is tougher to get into than you thought.

However, there is one great option you may not have considered yet: teaching. Now, I know what your thinking, and I've heard all of the excuses. Maybe you're worried you won't make a decent salary. Maybe you have no idea how to teach and assume you'll be no good at it. A lot of people dismiss the idea of teaching for a variety of reasons, but there are some very good reasons to give the profession a closer look.

About the salary...
We've all heard how underpaid teachers are, and in a lot of ways, it's true. Especially if you have a degree in a technical or scientific field (chemistry, mathematics, computer science, etc.), it's probably true you could make more money elsewhere.

However, when you consider how much you actually work, teaching has one of the best starting salaries of any profession. Teachers only work 10 months out of the year, and get much more time off around the holidays than in other professions. In total, teachers generally work about 190 days per year, as opposed to about 250 for other jobs. Many teachers also work less than 40 hours per week and about 37.5 (7.5 hours per day) seems to be the normal contractual requirement.

Consider the following graphic of starting salaries for selected college majors, and how the gap narrows when you think of the salary on an hourly basis. All of a sudden, teachers' pay seems a bit more competitive.

Many teachers choose to work during their summer break, which can help equalize the salary with other professions. On the other hand, it may be worth the lower annual pay to have two full months off every year. How many of your accountant or engineer friends have such a benefit?

Job security
One of the best reasons to get involved in teaching is the job security. The unemployment rate for certified teachers is just 4.1%, well below the national average, and many states still offer continuing contracts, or "tenure" to teachers after just a few years on the job (three years in most cases).

The trend lately has been toward abolishing tenure for new teachers in some states, but most still offer it. In 39 states, tenure is automatic after three years, and 8 more award tenure based on performance. Even if the state you work in does wind up eliminating tenure, teachers already employed are usually grandfathered in.

Do you have student loans?
There are two big benefits teachers can take advantage of in regards to their student loans. The first is the teacher loan forgiveness program, which can forgive up to $17,500 for teachers in low-income schools after five consecutive years of employment.

Also, teachers can qualify for the potentially more lucrative Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, under which any remaining balance is forgiven after making 120 qualifying monthly loan payments (10 years) while working in a public service job.

Depending on how much student loan debt you have, this could be a huge salary bump. In fact, I have a friend who is set to have almost $60,000 in loans forgiven after his 10th year of teaching. This benefit is like getting $6,000 more in salary each year for a decade!

But I don't know if I'd be good at it!
Here's a little secret they don't tell you in college: nobody is a great teacher their first year. In fact, most veteran teachers will freely admit it takes several years before they really "got it." When I first started teaching, my employer told me the main thing he looks for are people who are "young, smart, and energetic", and with this combination, the teaching will take care of itself!

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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