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Leaving the Classroom 40: You Don't Need Another Degree

#becomeaninstructionaldesigner #becominganinstructionaldesigner #leaving the classroom podcast #leavingteaching #leavingtheclassroom #mastersinstructionaldesign #youdon'tneedanotherdegree Feb 21, 2024
Leaving the classroom podcast episode 40: You Don't Need Another Degree graphic with Kristi Oliva's photo with a black chalkboard in the background.

Leaving the Classroom: A Transitioning Teacher Podcast

Leaving the Classroom 40: You Don't Need Another Degree

In this episode, Kristi Oliva shares her journey transitioning from teaching to a career in instructional design. She discusses initially pursuing a master's degree with the goal of becoming a professor. Kristi highlights how she discovered IDOL Academy and gained far more practical skills and knowledge applicable to her new career through their program compared to her master's degree.

Tune in to hear:

  • Kristi's initial thought that she needed another degree to change careers
  • How she discovered IDOL Academy and the practical skills she gained
  • Advice for teachers on proving they have the experience for new roles without additional degrees
  • Details on Kristi's resume and interview coaching services

 Listen to the episode here:

Connect with Kristi on LinkedIn


This podcast is sponsored by IDOL Courses and is the only authorized vocational school and implementation program of its kind that not only shows you exactly how to create your job application assets and build a portfolio from scratch, but also includes credentials, mentorship, expert coaching, and paid experience opportunities in corporate instructional design and online learning for life! Learn more about the program here.


Enjoy the podcast transcription:

Welcome to Leaving the Classroom. This is a podcast for teachers who are ready to transition out of the classroom and into a new career. Each week I'll share stories about what I've learned moving from education to the corporate world. I'll answer the most common questions and share my best tips to help you get started. If you are considering leaving the classroom, this show is for you.


Hello, everyone. Welcome to Leaving the Classroom. I'm Kristi Oliva, and I'm so glad you are here. This episode is sponsored by HelloFresh. Sign up today using the link in my show notes and get a free box. If you are new to the podcast, welcome. I can't wait for you to get started on your journey to leave the classroom. And if you've listened to the podcast before, thank you so much. You all are the reason I do this podcast and passion work to help teachers leave the classroom. Please subscribe and follow so you never miss an episode. Did you know that when you leave a five star review, it helps other teachers find this podcast. Please take a minute and leave a review. A five star will do. Now let's get to it.


When I first decided to leave the classroom and pursue another career, I thought I only had two options, get a higher degree in order to become a principal, or get a higher degree in order to become a professor. Either way, I thought the only way for me to switch careers was to get another degree. So I enrolled in a master's program. My goal was to get my master's and eventually move on to my PhD so I could become a professor. But to be honest, I still wasn't excited about changing careers. I researched the possible positions open for professors as well as the salary expectations, and I wasn't impressed. After going to school for several years more, I wasn't going to make much more and I was still going to be in the abusive education system that doesn't value teachers. Not long after, I discovered IDOL courses Academy, which is the first and only trade school for instructional design and online learning. I continued with my Masters and IDOL Academy at the same time. And let me just tell you that I learned way more in IDOL Academy than I did in my master's program. In fact, I have never used anything I learned in my master's program. Never. But, I use what I learned and IDOL Academy every day. And frankly, I would never have gotten the job offers I received without the experience and knowledge I gained through IDOL courses. 



Why couldn't I just get another job with my teaching experience? I probably could have. But, it really depends on the role. I was pursuing a new career in instructional design, and you won't even get an interview for an instructional designer role without a portfolio, most of the time. Other positions will ask for your experience. You don't need another degree, you just need to prove that you can do the tasks. And while that may seem daunting, it isn't, if you have a clear direction of which career path you want to pursue. I talked in another week's episode about choosing a path and this is why it's so important. Once you have figured out which career path you want to take, you need to study job descriptions for that role. Revise your resume to translate your teacher skills to match what you see in those job descriptions. You need to practice interviewing and highlight these same teacher skills and show how they translate to the role. The point is, there will still be a lot of work to do in order to prove you have the quote, unquote experience for that role. But you can do it. Take your time, research, find the role that fits your skills and passions and pursue it. It's yours for the taking. And I have an exciting announcement. I am now offering resume and interview coaching. Just go to to find out how to sign up. It's time to take control and make the career change that will change your life. It changed mine. See you next time.


That's all for this episode, but you can find more at or subscribe to the podcast and if you are ready to leave the classroom, use my code classroom100 And get $100 off enrollment to IDOL courses Academy.

Send your stories or questions to [email protected] or share them with me on Instagram @leavingtheclassroom.

This episode is sponsored by HelloFresh.