Some people complete their schooling and know emphatically they want to have a career in the outdoor education sector. Others may travel many paths before arriving at a crossroads. A career in outdoor education allows you to indulge in what you love most while continually growing and developing life-long skills and helping to shape the next generation of leaders.
The average Australian will have 17 jobs across 5 careers in their lifetime. No matter your path, the outdoor education sector welcomes passionate, creative and flexible individuals of all ages and from all walks of life. Andy Macbeth, Client Program Manager at The Outdoor Education Group tells us more on the matter.
MY TRANSITION INTO OUTDOOR EDUCATION
My name is Andy, I’m 51 years old and I am Client Program Manager at The Outdoor Education Group. I am part of a team of people who liaise with the schools we work with to understand how we can create and plan incredible outdoor learning programs to bring the best out of their students.
Mine is not a traditional path into the sector. I completed a Marketing degree at university and then had a 20-year career working in media and advertising before transitioning into outdoor education.
When I was a kid in the Scottish Highlands, I grew up with woodland over my back fence and spent all my time building tree houses and damming streams. I spent countless weekends camping, fishing and hiking. After I left home and completed my schooling, the natural world was not a big part of my life for a long time. I was working in the fast-paced corporate world of London and, later, Melbourne, but I never lost my love for nature and all things outdoors.
When we moved back from Melbourne to Scotland for a couple of years, my passion drove me to complete a Masters in Outdoor Education, which led me to my current role at The Outdoor Education Group. It is incredibly fulfilling to finally live my dream of working in a sector I care deeply about and providing an essential and often life-changing service to society in getting young people out into nature, increasing their well-being, personal and social skills, and environmental literacy.
USING THE SKILLS I’VE LEARNT ALONG THE WAY
My role allows me to use all the skills I learned in my corporate career, such as client management, negotiation, presenting and budget management; it also affords me the opportunity to use the theory and teaching skills I learned during my Masters course - discussing and planning program outcomes with the schools I deal with. Many of the skills I had already are readily transferrable to my role in the outdoor education sector and I have been pleasantly surprised at how smooth the transition has been. It is also great to be able to share this knowledge with my colleagues at work and to learn from those who have come from other backgrounds in more traditional outdoor education streams, such as Teachers or Group Leaders.
There have, of course, been challenges to overcome, but when you’re doing a job you love and you are surrounded by a collegiate, helpful and positive team, just like the one at The Outdoor Education Group, nothing seems too difficult and there’s always someone to answer your questions or show you how to do something.
TURN YOUR PASSION INTO A CAREER
Providing exciting and transformational experiences to young people is deeply rewarding. Like me, you can turn a personal interest in an outdoor adventurous activity or appreciation of nature and the natural environment into something much more than a hobby. If you’re thinking about transitioning, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. I encourage anyone who is interested in a career in the outdoor education sector to take the next step and reach out to The Outdoor Education Group’s Careers team with any questions. You can view our vacancies on our Careers page.