Contemporary beginning teachers have a diverse mix of ages and prior experiences and many are seeking teaching work beyond their own state or county in a rapidly changing national and international market. The aim of this descriptive comparative study is to investigate the initial and medium term employment aspirations of two cohorts of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) just prior to their entry into the teaching workforce in 2003. The two case studies are from post graduate diploma in teaching programs from a regional Australian university and a university in the Home Counties in the UK. The paper initially explores the characteristics of each case cohort and their programs. Secondly it explores the similarities and differences between their preferred employment aspirations and their realistic expectations with regard to the type, sector and location of teaching work. The final section reports on the factors influencing their initial and medium term professional aspirations against the background of their most likely employment contexts. The purpose of the first phase of this comparative inquiry is to investigate the initial and medium term employment aspirations two cohorts of beginning or newly qualified teachers (NQTs) just prior to their entry into the teaching workforce. The longer term objective of the research is to track a smaller sample from each cohort through their emerging career paths.