Teaching abroad

Teaching opportunities look set to keep growing

With the vast number of students and the continued prominence of English as an international language, teachers are more in demand than ever. ISC Research data shows there are now 300,000 fully qualified English-speaking teachers in international schools. That figure is expected to pass 500,000 by 2022, so the market is going to be wide open for people looking to make a new move into education or thinking about working and living abroad.

“The future looks very bright for international schools,” says Nicholas Brummitt, the chairman of the ISC group; and what is good for schools is good for teachers, as the sector has grown massively in the first decade of the new millenium. According to the ISC Research, around 6,400 recognised international schools now form part of the educational network that caters to 3.2 million students engaged in learning English (compared to 2,584 schools in 2000).

The huge growth in English schooling is difficult to attribute to any one factor, but the study did note the perceived prestige of English-taught education that is attracting more and more locals to enroll their children in international schools.

The business benefits are already clear, as English continues to function as a lingua franca between various nationalities lacking a common language. Even the Internet remains a broadly English-using community, although this balance of linguistic power is changing as more countries develop online infrastructure.

As international schools and English teaching programs continue to grow, the outlook for teachers improves as competing institutions vie for the best and most able educators.

Standards and oversight have improved dramatically over the past ten years making teaching in a foreign land a much more secure prospect. With the ISC study indicating the number of international schools will exceed 11,000 by 2022, and the future does indeed look very bright for international schools and their teachers.