Earn while you learn with this postgraduate teaching course

What happens if you wake up one day and realise your career is no longer for you? Perhaps you’d like a role with more stability. Or better work-life balance. Or something that induces a sense of true influence and meaning.

Whatever your priorities, teaching has long been considered an extremely fulfilling profession. But how do you make the switch? The great news is, it’s never been easier – or more rewarding – to study teaching in Victoria.

Course Director of Deakin’s Master of Applied Learning and Teaching (Secondary), Dr Kellie Tobin, along with Aris Vela and Georgia Pandelios, share their reasons for choosing this course. Read on to learn how this postgraduate teaching course may be the pathway for you.

Who are these courageous career changers?

When we look at the types of people who enrol in the Master of Applied Learning and Teaching (Secondary), we find a diverse range of backgrounds. There are marketers, dieticians, HR professionals – plus an array of people from all sorts of trades and vocational learning.

So why are so many professionals from so many sectors looking to shift careers? Aris Vela provides an insight.

‘I spent six months in media sales and marketing, but I was unhappy with the role and the culture. So, I started to think about a career that would reward me on a deeper level. One that would allow me to make a real difference.’

Georgia Pandelios shared similar sentiments. ‘For 15 years I was a self-employed dietitian, subcontracting across a range of sectors. But I was tired of not feeling valued or appreciated, and disappointed by the inadequate employee benefits.’

When Aris and Georgia came across Deakin’s Master of Applied Learning and Teaching (Secondary), they knew they’d found a path that would fulfil their desires for stability and work-life balance – all while having a positive impact.

Deakin’s teachers receive this feedback regularly. ‘We get a wide range of applicants. From corporate or allied health professionals to people who have never studied but are highly skilled in a trade,’ says Dr Kellie Tobin, Course Director for the Master of Applied Learning and Teaching (Secondary).

‘But no matter what field the applicants are coming from, the consistent theme is that they’re looking for fresh opportunities in a career that satisfies their desire to make a difference.’

A flexible course with exceptional offerings

What is it about the Master of Applied Learning and Teaching (Secondary) specifically that draws in such high-quality teaching candidates?

‘We believe the course’s flexibility is a key factor, as it can be studied full-time over two years or the part-time equivalent,’ says Dr Tobin.

‘With many students leading full lives with financial responsibilities, families and commitments, they need something that works with their schedules.’

Georgia echoes Dr Tobin’s sentiments in her decision to study at Deakin. ‘I was considering courses at different institutions but ended up choosing the Master of Applied Learning and Teaching (Secondary) at Deakin because it was more flexible. Deakin understands that I lead a busy life and knows how to cater to that.’

There’s another powerful drawcard that attracts mature-age students. ‘A big incentive for many people is the Teach Today program, which we offer with support from the Victorian State Government,’ says Dr Tobin.

‘This earn-while-you-learn model is the perfect way for people to get back into studying without the concern of a big HECS-HELP loan or not being able to cover their living expenses.’

Each day is filled with interesting, helpful people who want to help you start your career in a good place. I’m getting so much fulfilment from the experience already, feeling thrilled that I made this choice.

Aris Vela

Master of Applied Learning and Teaching (Secondary)

Changing the landscape with employment-based learning

When planning for a mature-age cohort, it’s important to recognise that many people may be worried about the financial restraints of studying.

That’s why the Victorian Government – and providers such as Deakin – introduced the Teach Today program. Through this program, students are employed by schools as paraprofessionals, earning a salary of $50,000 for their practical training inside the classroom. On top of this, students receive study support.

‘Teach Today offers unprecedented incentives,’ says Dr Tobin. ‘Along with employment-based training, students are paid to study one day a week. Plus, they also receive a $2400 scholarship to support them during their intensive study period.’

If you need to relocate for the duration of your training, you can receive an extra $2000 to cover your relocation costs. Additional incentives are also available for people entering the course for Vocational Education and Training (VET) pathways, to support the skills shortages in these areas.

Apprehensive about studying? You're not alone

For some students, the idea of hitting the books again is a major deterrent to further study. But according to Dr Tobin, it’s a fear Deakin staff are happy – and ready – to support you through.

‘Most of the cohort is returning to student life after many years. So we’re aware that they need extra support and guidance.'

‘This is especially valuable to those applying from a trade or Graduate Certificate background. They may have never studied at a university level, so we provide support options to suit people from every walk of life,’ says Dr Tobin.

As the course has been running for some time now, the faculty has identified areas that students find daunting, such as onboarding and final assessments.

‘We have face-to-face teaching intensives to tackle those initial concerns and plenty of support for things like academic writing and assessments.'

‘Plus, every Master of Applied Learning and Teaching (Secondary) Teach Today student has access to a teaching coach to support them in the classroom. So our students never feel out of their depth,’ says Dr Tobin.

Jack's journey to teaching

Jack's journey to teaching

Jack wanted to change careers in order to find a more meaningful role. Deakin’s Employment Based Pathway provided the opportunity for him to be employed in a school while completing his teaching qualification.

Positive outcomes for students and schools

The Teach Today program is a win-win for both new-career seekers and the schools looking to employ them. It focuses on areas of need, such as priority subjects like science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), languages, specialist education and applied learning.

In turn, this brings a new wave of teachers with specialist skills and cutting-edge industry insights into schools, adding a whole new dimension to the classroom.

For the Master of Applied Learning and Teaching (Secondary) students, the benefits are plenty.  

‘No two days are the same. But each day is filled with interesting, helpful people who want to help you start your career in a good place. I’m getting so much fulfilment from the experience already, feeling thrilled that I made this choice,’ says Aris.

Georgia agrees. ‘I feel like a valued and integral part of my school’s community. And I can still use the skills from my previous life as a dietician, but in a more nurturing and wholesome environment.’

‘I also take a lot less work – and stress – home than I used to!’

A university that inspires and supports

With several of these incentivised courses on offer, what is it about Deakin that’s so appealing to applicants?

‘The importance of being teachers who teach teachers is not lost on us. And our teaching staff take it very seriously,’ says Dr Tobin.

‘We know the onus is on us to produce the next generation of skilled classroom professionals. We’re dedicated to walking the talk.’

Deakin is also #1 in Australia – and #5 globally – for education and educational research.* A true testament to our dedication and focus on embracing new technologies, pathways and teaching methods.

Ready to jump into a new teaching career? Explore Deakin’s Master of Applied Learning and Teaching (Secondary) course today.


*U.S. News & World Report, Best Global Universities Subject Rankings 2022–2023