However, one thing you might not know is that teaching can offer you an amazingly challenging, stimulating and rewarding career. So we put our heads together with the National College for Teaching and Leadership (part of The Department for Education) to give you five reasons to stand up at the head of the class, and explain how you can get involved.
1 - A satisfying career
Teaching is a profession that attracts the best and brightest minds. Some 71% of new trainee teachers have a first or 2:1 degree, and schools and universities are the second most popular graduate employer.
That means that as well as putting your degree to good use and flexing your nicely toned academic muscles you'll be surrounded by other sharp, enquiring minds (and not just the ones you're teaching), which can only make for an interesting day-to-day working life.
"Teaching has changed - it is now a career of choice for our top graduates," says Charlie Taylor, chief executive at the National College for Teaching and Leadership. "It offers a rewarding career for people with talent and ambition."
2 - Good earning potential
It can also pay to teach. For certain subjects – such as maths, chemistry and physics – there are bursaries of up to £20,000 while you train. Some subject associations, such as the Institute of Physics or the Royal Society of Chemistry, offer scholarships too; again, they can be up to £20,000. Very nice.
On top of that the average starting salary for teachers is a rather appealing £22,900, which puts it towards the top end of the national average earnings for grads.
3 - A chance to go far
Employment prospects for teachers are improving all the time. While there are no guarantees, your prospects are pretty rosy at the moment: nine out of 10 trainee teachers who want to teach find work within 12 months of completing their training.
Once you're in, the ride doesn't stop. Teachers are twice as likely to be in a management position as graduates in other careers after four years in the job, so there's plenty of scope to move on up.
4 - Make a difference
Teaching has a lot to offer you, but you'll also be able to offer a lot to others. Somewhere in a classroom in the near future will be the future poet laureate; the person who ushers in the next tech revolution; or the physicist who finally gives us those jetpacks we were promised. You could be the one who provides the spark of enthusiasm and knowledge that helps them, and many other students like them, on their way. (Think about it: jetpacks!)
5 - Lots of ways to train
The great thing about training to be a teacher is the flexibility – there are plenty of ways to enter the profession depending on what life stage you're at.
There are plenty of university based courses to choose from and now a new programme called School Direct allows you to train together with other top graduates in a school or partnership of schools, gaining the skills you need to teach.
Whichever training route you choose you will be supported to develop your confidence and communication skills throughout your training. New teachers rate their training as a very good preparation for the classroom. In 2012 90% of all newly qualified secondary teachers, and 89% of newly qualified primary teachers highly rated the overall quality of their training.
So if you want to help shape the future, make a difference and enjoy a career like no other, the classroom might be the place for you. The National College for Teaching and Leadership can help you find out more about the ways into teaching, the work experience you need and offer advice and support, including your own personal recruitment adviser if you’re planning on teaching certain subjects. Visit the Get into Teaching website, Get into Teaching Facebook page, or contact the Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500 for more.