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Biology vs chemistry teacher

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    I am just about to start my open university degree in natural sciences but to go down the biology route hoping to follow my ambition of becoming a teacher. I have been reading many web pages that says biology teachers are not really in demand and it's difficult to get a job but there is a huge demand for chemistry teachers? Is this true? If so why is this?


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    What sort of answer are you looking for... The number of people training as physics, chemistry and maths teachers is insufficient. I got this from the tda careers fair thingy a few months back.
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    More people go into biology teaching than chemistry. I think this is partially due to more women doing biology than chemistry, and women being more likely to go into teaching.

    There is still demand for biology teachers, however significantly more for physicists and chemists. As such the pay for training is significantly higher for chemists and physicists.

    As long as your course is a around 50% content applying to the subject you want to teach, you'll be fine. Given that many areas of science cover both biology and chemistry content, putting yourself in a position where you can keep your options open and apply for both shouldn't be that hard.
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    At the moment biology teachers like myself aren't in as high demand as chemistry. However, because over the next 2 or 3 years fewer places will be available for biology graduates on PGCE courses, this may change a few years down the line. If biology is your passion I would stick with it, but choose your modules carefully to keep your options open. Best of luck.


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    Possibly you could do a biology degree and teach a different subject - one of the things they were pitching at the careers fair thingy was Subject Knowledge Enhancement http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into...ject-knowledge. You can do a shortage subject PGCE with a degree that's not in a directly related subject.

    Of course by the time you graduate the shortage subjects situation might have changed - as others say they're still recruiting Biology teachers anyway, just it's not currently targetted as a shortage subject.
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    Chemistry is a much better option in terms of getting a course place, getting a larger bursary and getting a job.

    It's quite simple. Getting a job as a chemistry graduate is about as difficult as falling off a log in comparison to biology. Less people take chemistry and more jobs want chemistry graduates meaning smaller pool for teacher training colleges to pick from.
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    (Original post by kjglen24)
    I am just about to start my open university degree in natural sciences but to go down the biology route hoping to follow my ambition of becoming a teacher. I have been reading many web pages that says biology teachers are not really in demand and it's difficult to get a job but there is a huge demand for chemistry teachers? Is this true? If so why is this?


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    There is a bigger demand for chemistry teachers. For example, when I was looking for jobs in my area I didn't see many which were specifically for biology, but lots for chemistry. Or the teacher of science jobs would say that being a physicist/chemist would be an advantage. I am specialised in Biology and I got a permanent post for a teacher of science job so it isn't impossible (most of the biologists on my course have a job), and of course there are still some chemists without a job.
    I don't know why this is, maybe fewer chemists go in to teaching?

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Updated: July 2, 2012
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