We are really proud of our candidates and proud that we can support them in their careers! To give them the recognition they deserve, we’ve been busy interviewing inspirational Protocol candidates – today we chat to Andrew, who used his experience in Mechanical Engineering to embark on a career as a Lecturer.

With the education industry screaming out for trade professionals, there is no time like the present to consider a new career. Making the switch from industry to teaching may not be as hard as you initially thought – and you may be able to do so without the traditional teaching qualifications.

Andrew, has done exactly that and is part of a team of other industry professionals who have moved into education in order to pass on their knowledge and expertise to the next generation.

We did a Q&A with Andrew to find out a bit more about his experience and journey within his new career;

Where are working, and what is your job title?

I am working at Dudley College, and I am a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering.

What were you doing before you moved into education? What experience did you have?

Prior to moving into education, I owned and ran a small machining and fabrication company for over 5 years. Originally, I came from an apprenticeship route but dipped in and out of work to complete an undergraduate and a postgraduate degree.

Why did you decide to move from industry into education?

Running a small engineering company comes with many significant challenges but having little access to funding made the operational duties extremely difficult. For a while it felt like I was too busy being stern, forceful and never helpful to others.

I do believe people need great opportunities in life and in order to do that they need good mentors. Having been through the motions over the years I felt that I was in a good position to be able to motivate and encourage others. It had been something I had wanted to do for several years. It has also given me the time to return as a student to complete my final Doctorate degree.

How did you find the transition?

At first, I thought I may struggle with the lack of autonomy due to having so much control over the last decade but I’m happy to have a set of tasks I am left to complete without being micromanaged. There’s been no questioning returning to industry because the environment is full of like-minded people and the stress levels have all but vanished. It’s not so much about money anymore!

How are you finding your new career?

I feel extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to help others. I’ve been more present in every aspect of my life but more notably at home. I feel there’s still a huge amount of scope ahead at the college should I wish to pursue it, so it is truly a welcome change.

What are the main benefits of working in education vs working in industry?

Unlike industry, I feel that the pressure of money has been lifted. Not my own money but the financial pressures of industry resulting in time and quality constraints and thus high pressure. With that said having come from a trade the fact that I am paid personally on time really helps.

You work in a team alongside other industry professionals that have taken the step into teaching. How have they found the transition? How is the team getting on?

I work within a team of 10 that have all walked into education from industry. As we are trade professionals the environment is as relaxed as it would have been on the shop floor or building site, so we all feel right at home. Speaking with other people in my team we all have the same mind set and feel incredibly lucky to be involved in the subjects we love but in a capacity that allows us to support others.

How was your experience with Protocol?

I have had many dealings with agencies both as an employer and as a potential candidate. I have felt that Protocol have been available as a point of contact throughout and were responsive to questions and issues I had at the beginning. Of course, they got me this job, so I am forever grateful.

Finally, do you have any words of wisdom to others that may be in the position you once were?

If you love your subject, but are no longer enjoying industry work, then do not miss out on the opportunity to continue to work in your discipline and pass on your knowledge and expertise at the same time. Not to mention, the holidays are great, there is less stress, and the money is not too bad either!



Andrew couldn’t be happier that he made the switch from industry into education, why not follow in his footsteps?

For help, advice and guidance about how to take the plunge into education, get in touch with our team today on 0115 911 1212 or email talent@protocol.co.uk.