IB program helps student find employment

April 13, 2022

Educator Brian Cook had one goal when he started his International Baccalaureate (IB) certificate at Western: find a job at an IB school.

He succeeded.

Cook received an employment offer to teach middle years students from the Tamagawa Academy in Tokyo, Japan while studying for the IB certificate.

He credits Western’s program for his employment success.

“It’s given me a head start to teach at an IB school,” Cook said. “The transition to an IB school is intense and there’s a lot to take in. Nevertheless, I feel a few steps ahead thanks to the content of this program.”

Many IB schools say IB experience isn’t necessary for employment, added Cook. However, he said obtaining an IB certificate shows them there’s a genuine commitment to join the IB community and it makes job candidates stand out from the competition.

“If there are five candidates who look pretty good and none of them have IB experience but one of them has an IB certificate, the likelihood of the candidate with the IB certificate being hired is pretty high.”

The IB Educator Certificate Program helped Cook seamlessly jump into his role at Tamagawa Academy. In particular, it prepared him for planning IB student assessments, he said.

“Without this course, I would’ve spent a lot of time figuring out the meaning of all of these criteria.”  

What’s more, Cook believes the IB program and IB schools offer professional development and learning opportunities.

“The IB qualification is going to open doors in the future that I cannot imagine right now,” he said.

Western's IB Educator Certificates strengthens students’ abilities to think critically using a global mindset and gaining access to employment opportunities in over 350 IB World Schools in Canada and more than 5,400 worldwide.

Western offers two certificates: the IB Certificate in Teaching and Learning and the IB Certificate in Leadership Practice. Both programs are online and they’re six months long.

For the last seven years, Cook was teaching at an Ontario curriculum high school in China when the pandemic struck. Tired of being separated from his family, he decided to join them in Japan last summer.

Prior to teaching in China, Cook taught internationally in Taiwan, Australia, Ethiopia, and Sudan.