A career in education

banner_2_square_150_res200Can't stop talking about subjects that matter to you? Are you keen on sharing your knowledge and coming up with new ways to explain complex issues? Do you get energy out of helping others? Then a career in education might just be the path for you.

Why become a teacher?

  • You pass on your knowledge and skills to others
  • You help shape the lives of your students and the future of our society
  • You're not the only one who has something to teach: your students will challenge you and keep you young at heart

What about your PhD?

  • As a PhD you bring scientific expertise to the job that a Master does not have. Your experience as a researcher will also make you a good planner and communicator
  • PhDs are very experienced in information management and critical thinking. In an ever complex world these are vital qualities in eduction
  • While a PhD adds value to your CV, it does not count as a teaching qualification
  • Likewise, having a doctorate does not influence your salary. Salaries are fixed and vary only according to seniority and a teacher qualification

How to become a teacher in Belgium?

Language proficiency

  • A teaching position in primary or secondary school requires a near-native level of Dutch
  • International schools have vacancies in English
  • A teaching position in higher education may either be in English or Dutch (check the vacancy)
  • Study programmes to become a teacher in Flanders are all in Dutch
You need to meet specific language requirements for English and Dutch to teach at Ghent University. Read up on these requirements here and here.

Educational Bachelor (eduba)

A non-specific programme at bachelor level

  • You need a B2 level in Dutch (but C1 is highly recommended)

  • As a master or PhD you are eligible for the abridged programme (60 ECTS)
  • Theoretical courses + intership
  • If you've obtained your Master before 2020-2023, you will get qualification as VE: vereist bekwaamheidsbewijs
  • If you've obtained your Master after 2020-2023, you will get a qualification
    VO: voldoende geacht bekwaamheidsbewijs
  • Visit the Flanders information page (in Dutch)

Educational Master (eduma)

a discipline-specific programme at master level

  • You need a B2 level in Dutch (but C1 is highly recommended) and a C1 for the Dutch Linguistics programme
  • As a master or PhD you are eligible for the abridged programme (60 ECTS)
  • Theoretical courses + internship + thesis
  • Qualification as VE: vereist bekwaamheidsbewijs

Please consider

  • Salary and benefits for VE and VO are the same. Schools can decide for themselves whether to give precedence to VE-teachers, over VO-teachers
  • Information about the differences in certificates of competence (bekwaamheidsbewijzen) is here (in Dutch)
  • Until you've obtained a teacher's degree you will only be paid at bachelor's level (!)

When to start the programme?

  • In the recently reformed programme it is now possible to obtain a Master of Science in Teaching in any of the 8 study fields once you've obtained your Bachelor's degree. In that case you choose to take up an educational specialisation during your Master.
  • It is also possible to finish your Master in any other specialisation and then start the additional eduma to obtain a qualification as a teacher.

If you didn't do any of the above but have taken up an interest in teaching during your PhD you have the following options:

1. Completing the programme after your PhD

  • It's possible to take up a number of classes during your PhD and finish the teacher programme, including the internship (stage), after your defense
  • You either spend another (half) year studying before applying for teacher jobs or you combine a teaching position with the training programme (called Leraar-in-opleiding or LIO)

2. Completing the programme during your PhD

  • You won't have to spend another (half) year studying after your defense and you will be paid at master's level
  • Don't wait too long to talk to your supervisor. As long as you are able to complete your PhD in time you should not have any trouble enrolling in the eduba or eduma. However, you need your supervisor's approval to start the educational bachelor or master
  • A number of courses from the eduma are free when you complete them during your PhD, not the eduba though. You will need to register and pay for the courses that are not included in the doctoral training programme
  • Information about enrollment is on the page of the Doctoral Schools and the Eduma website

Support at UGent

1. Are you a PhD or teaching assistant (praktijkassistent of onderwijsbegeleider)?

The university offers support to acquire teaching skills

  • Check out the course Online onderwijstraject voor Assistenten (Dutch only) on Utop
  • There are additional courses on Utop. Go to the course catalogue, select 'education support services'
  • Go to the resource library on good practices in education: Education Tips or Onderwijstips
The UTOP teaching course qualifies as a transferable skills seminar for your doctoral training programme (look for 'Selection of other courses').

2. Are you a Postdoc?

The university offers support to acquire teaching skills

3. Are you applying for a position as professor or academic assistant?

  • A teacher's degree is not mandatory
  • Newly appointed lecturers are required to follow a learning track that cover the basics of teaching
  • Throughout your career you can take up courses related to classroom teaching and blended learning

4. Are you applying for a position as a language teacher at UGent or the Ghent University Language Centre?

  • The Ghent University Language Centre (UCT) hires Masters in Linguistics, but a teacher degree is not mandatory
  • Most lecturers at the university are academic or research staff (see 1.). The university also hires other personnel including Teaching assistants.
    A teacher degree is not mandatory

Teaching in primary and secondary education

  • A teacher's degree is always required but you can usually start teaching while you are studying to become a teacher

Teaching in adult education

  • Overview of schools in Flanders(in Dutch)

More inspiration

  • Campaign by the Flemish government on working in education
  • Unsure about a job as a teacher? Find out here (in Dutch)
  • Don't know which programme to choose? Use this guide (in Dutch)
  • What makes a good teacher? Watch the video from the School of Life
  • Each year the Ghent University Association organizes Onderwijsinspiratie, an event about developments in education

Steps in the career cycle

Explore yourself

The first part is devoted to exploring your own strengths, motivations
and values.

Explore what's out there

The second step is to discover career options in academia and beyond that fit your professional self-understanding.


Step four deals with applying for jobs, including writing your CV and cover letter and preparing for the job interview.


 The third step is all about setting a goal and focusing on how to get there.