A major question for governments is how to transform teaching into an attractive career choice for today’s youth. Countries all over the world are also grappling with the related challenges of poor working conditions and dwindling retention rates.
This research distinguishes the different teacher career models in use, the pitfalls to avoid in terms of design options, and numerous implementation challenges to be prepared for when considering teacher career reforms. This study shows that well-designed and -implemented reforms can have a positive impact on regulating entry into the profession, tackling corruption, diversifying career tracks to help improve retention, and encouraging teacher support roles that help promote greater collaboration. However, these reforms are complex and resource-intensive. In some contexts, the reforms have been mired in implementation challenges to such an extent that it is difficult to be conclusive about the feasibility and desirability of introducing career ladders where education systems still need strengthening.