From developing software to developing students

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Steven Li,
Deputy director of learning for ICT and maths

I graduated with a degree in computing mathematics and spent 13 years in industry with 4 different companies ranging from small to large, I didn’t feel the role was as enjoyable or rewarding anymore. I did some work at schools and I relished working with pupils and the sense of reward I got whilst supporting them. It’s worth noting that teaching was never in my career plan!

I enjoyed my earlier roles and the companies that I worked for, but I sometimes found that I wasn’t recognised or valued. The market also became more competitive and volatile, so project deadlines often became more unrealistic to secure customers and we had to meet tighter budgets.

The sense of job security worsened after I had been with 2 companies for over 4 years, and major changes were announced with no warning. This had a major effect on my commitment to the industry and pushed me to consider a different career path – which I do not regret at all and I’m thankful for.

I am now deputy director of learning for ICT and maths at Bluecoat Academy.

Becoming a teacher has been the best decision ever. Teaching is so much more satisfying. In teaching, the job becomes your reward and the salary is almost secondary.

Though in hindsight, I do not regret my career in computing – it has contributed to my teaching skills, knowledge and experience.

The financial support available is also good, but the primary reason must be that you want to teach, as no amount of money will compensate for the commitment that you make once you become a teacher.

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