Recently the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released Projections of Education Statistics to the year 2028. It is a good starting point from which to build a five-year plan. It provides projections for preschool through college of enrollments, staffing, budgets, and much, much more.
For example, in the fall of 2021, NCES projects there will be 3.7 million teachers for grades PK-12. About 10% of these teachers, or 353 thousand of them, will be new hires. A new hire is either a public school teacher who did not teach in a public school the previous year or a private school teacher who did not teach in a private school the previous year. The NCES projections of new teacher hires do not include teachers who move from one public school to another or from one private school to another.
The Need for Training and Materials
New teacher hires help keep the education market viable for those selling to schools and teachers, or reaching parents through teachers. New teachers are more enthusiastic and open minded about new approaches to education, including new classroom products. They need training for themselves, and supplemental materials for their students, in order to be effective teachers.
Our research indicates that teachers’ interests in training and supplemental materials varies relative to the length of time that they teach a particular grade and subject. Between their first and fifth years of teaching, their spending moves from mostly out-of-pocket to mostly school funded. Beyond the fifth year, if they stay teaching the same grade and subject, their purchasing activity declines.
New Teacher Hires Soon Become Buyers
In many schools, first time teachers receive little, if any, funding for supplemental materials. They often do not have enough experience to know what materials they need. As they prepare to start year two they know where the curriculum poses the greatest challenge. They begin searching for training and classroom materials to help smooth the rough spots in their teaching plan.
Consider a teacher who gives a quiz that the majority of students fail. An administrator would conclude that the failure was not due to the students but rather to the teacher for not properly presenting the material. The teacher needs to take steps to learn better how to teach that subject, or obtain supplemental materials that help the students to a better outcome.
The vast majority of these teachers will need training and supplemental materials for their classrooms. They represent the future of the education market.
If additional training or supplemental material results in the class achieving acceptable grades, the teacher is not likely to seek additional materials for that particular topic. After a few years, the teacher acquires all the training and materials needed to successfully teach his or her subject and grade. There is no need for additional training or materials until that teacher changes subject or grade, in which case the process starts all over.
More New Teachers than Ever Before
NCES projects that between the fall of the 2021 and 2025 school years, the number of public and private PK-12 teachers will grow from 3.7 million to 3.8 million or just under 3%. During the same period, the Center projects that school enrollments will grow from 56.7 million to 57 million or .5%. Why are the number of teachers growing at six times the rate of students? Because the pupil teacher ratio is projected to decline from 15.2 to 14.9. This will increase the demand for new teacher hires.
Over the next five years, there will be an average of 361 thousand new teacher hires each year. Assuming that new teacher hires are proportional to enrollments, in the upcoming 2021-22 school year, we can anticipate there will be about 170 thousand new teacher hires in grades PK-5, 80 thousand in grades 6-8, and 110 thousand in grades 9-12.
The Future of the Education Market
The major list compilers capture the date when they add a teacher or change the subject or grade taught. You can use this date to target how long a teacher has been teaching the same grade or subject. Over the next five years, the NCES projects 1.8 million new teacher hires. The vast majority of these teachers will need training and supplemental materials for their classrooms. They represent the future of the education market.