Dan Goldhaber and crew have asked a question about the teacher labor market that I haven’t seen discussed elsewhere: Do student teachers go into teaching or do they end up in some other job? I was surprised to see how many student teachers end up doing something else. The authors’ picture gives a great snapshot of the outcomes.
Basically, a third of student teachers end up not teaching. This strikes me as high, since it means a lot of training resources are “wasted.” On the other hand, lots of folks have romantic ideas about teaching. If student teaching disabuses a candidate of the idea that the job is easy, then switching directions before landing a teaching job is a very good outcome.
Note: The sample is from Washington State. Student teachers who do not receive a teaching credential are excluded, so the actual fraction who end up not teaching is probably somewhat higher than a third.