‘I didn’t get my first preference and am enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts but I really want to be a secondary school teacher. What do I do?’

Posted March 1, 2013, by Career FAQs team
'I didn't get my first preference and am enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts but I really want to be a secondary school teacher. What do I do?'

‘I didn’t get my first preference and am enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts but I really want to be a secondary school teacher. What do I do?’ 

Anne, 18, Melbourne

'I didn't get my first preference and am enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts but I really want to be a secondary school teacher. What do I do?'

The most important thing to tell you is that there are different ways to qualify as a secondary teacher.

The first option is to complete a bachelor degree followed by a one- or two-year postgraduate teacher education program. The other option is to complete a four-year undergraduate teacher education degree – this is a double degree program where you study two degrees at the same time, for example, a Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts. 

The great news for you is that you have options. You could complete your Bachelor of Arts and then complete a postgraduate education program or you could look at transferring to a double degree program. Either way, your studies this year are not a waste! You are lucky that you asked this question now and didn’t wait to the end of your degree. 

When you work as a secondary teacher you need to teach specific subjects, which are known as your ‘teaching methods’. This means you can plan your studies around the subjects you want to teach. A very important document for you to look at is the Victorian Institute of Teaching’s Specialist Area Guidelines, which describes the specific subjects you need to take to teach each method.

Given that you live in Victoria, you should also look at the Department of Education’s How to Get Qualified. If you are thinking of studying interstate then go to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership website and this will point you in the right direction.

Make sure you also have a look at the course options available online. Career FAQs offers a range of online education courses for both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching qualifications. 

'I didn't get my first preference and am enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts but I really want to be a secondary school teacher. What do I do?'

Jo Messer is a Career Development Specialist who has many years of experience in supporting and guiding students and graduates of some of Australia’s most respected universities, as well as mature-aged clients, across all facets of their career. She is a Professional Member of CDAA and an active member of NAGCAS. Whether you have a specific question about how to achieve your career goal or something more general, Jo is available to provide you with up-to-date advice.

'I didn't get my first preference and am enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts but I really want to be a secondary school teacher. What do I do?'
'I didn't get my first preference and am enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts but I really want to be a secondary school teacher. What do I do?'

Jo Messer is a Career Development Specialist who has many years of experience in supporting and guiding students and graduates of some of Australia’s most respected universities, as well as mature-aged clients, across all facets of their career. She is a Professional Member of CDAA and an active member of NAGCAS. Whether you have a specific question about how to achieve your career goal or something more general, Jo is available to provide you with up-to-date advice. 

Career FAQs team

Academy Xi
AD1 College
AIM Business School
APM College of Business & Communications at Torrens University
Australasian College of Health and Wellness
Australasian College of Natural Therapies
Australian Catholic University
Australian College of Physical Education
Australian HR Institute
Australian Institute of Business
Australian Institute of Personal Trainers
BCA National Training Group
Builders Academy Australia
Charles Sturt University
Chifley Business School at Torrens University
College Australia
Deakin University
Dūcere
Edith Cowan University
Ella Bache College
Foundation Education
General Assembly
Global Training Institute
Griffith University
Hammond Institute
HTMi Australia
James Cook University Online
Jansen Newman Institute
Kaplan Professional
La Trobe University
MCI Institute
Melbourne City Institute of Education
Mentor Education
Monarch Institute
Monash University
New Horizons Australia Institute of Technology
Open Colleges
Patricks Career Academy
Real Madrid Graduate School at Torrens University
Rose Training Australia
Sarina Russo Institute
Southern School of Natural Therapies
St Mark's National Theological Centre
Swinburne Online
The Hotel School
The National Finance Institute
Torrens University Australia
UniSA Online
Upskilled
William Blue College of Hospitality Management at Torrens University
University of Canberra
Integrated Care & Management Training (ICMT)
Open Colleges School of Health