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Chicago Education Jobs Turn Competitive

Posted on February 5, 2009

Anyone looking for a Chicago education job is bound to have some tough competition.

While the State of Illinois certifies many teachers each year, only a fraction of those actually make it into teaching positions. For instance, during the 2007-2008 school year, only 6 percent of the overall teaching force was made up of first-time teachers. However, Chicago Public Schools have been inundated with applications recently. A recent career fair brought out 1,100 Chicago job seekers, and applications for teaching positions have doubled in the past five years to 23,568 during the 2008-2009 school year.

According to an article by the the Illinois State Board of Education, the State of Illinois as a whole is producing thousands more new teachers than public school districts are hiring. There is an oversupply of teachers in all subjects except bilingual education, and the highest concentration of teachers is in social science. In the year ending June 30, 2007, 5,033 teachers were certified to teach social science in Illinois, but only 373 were hired by public school districts for the following school year.

According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, local school districts are reporting an oversupply of applicants for elementary school, English language arts and physical education teachers. However, the system has the most need for special education teachers.

Representatives at Illinois State University‘s College of Education say Illinois has often been known as an exporter of teachers, because the state produces more new teachers than available jobs. Because of this, the University has been limiting the number of students who want to pursue elementary education in favor of those who want to pursue special or bilingual education.

During December 2008, the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet area’s education and health services industry employed 608,800 workers, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 608,000 workers during November 2008 and a 1.5 percent increase from last year.

Illinois’ education and health services industry employed 790,700 workers during December, down from 791,700 during November and a .8 percent increase from last year.