Masters Degree

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Guitart, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Guitart

    Guitart Companion

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    Jan 29, 2019

    YEARS ago, when I was considering going back to school to become a teacher, I contacted a local university and the department head told me the current trend was to go from BA right into Masters of Ed, then get a teaching job at higher pay. I have always regarded the title of Master (like a Master Sergeant, Jedi Master or Master Splinter) to be synonymous with years of field experience. I did not feel comfortable going from 0 to "expert on paper only". I also felt it was a sales pitch.

    Fast forward to today, and I hear differently. Don't get your masters and try looking for jobs. You may get turned down because they have to pay you more. Instead, work in a district you are happy at, then pursue your masters and the district pays for it (investing in you).

    Thoughts?

    Another question. Which do you think is more difficult to earn: Masters in Education or MBA?
    One of my education professors earned both and basically said he had a lot of "dum dums" in his MBA program that were not smart enough to teach.
     
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  3. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Here's my 2 cents, and I apologize if I offend anyone on here who has their M.Ed. First, yes, sometimes, having a Master's and no experience can make you a more difficult hire. It often depends on the field--if you are in a high-needs area, probably not so much. Second, some districts will pay, but it often depends on what you're studying, where you're studying, and sometimes it comes with comittments. And sometimes it's not full tuition. And here's where the offensive part may come in. In my experience, M.Eds are really easy to get. There are hundreds of online programs that allow you to finish them in a year. I have known many M.Eds, and while some are wonderful, the majority of them are no better teachers and/or administrators than they were prior to the M.Ed. In fact, I have found that many administrators who have the M.Ed become complete morons. I have a Masters in English. It is content based. My Master's required 2 theses and an exam, and 2 years in a classroom. I busted my butt for that degree. I ve seen the course load of several of my colleagues who got their M.Ed and it was not even close to what I had to do. I have been trying to pursue a Ph.D. in my content as well, but online programs are virtually nil, while online Education Doctorates are everywhere, and unfortunately, with a full-time job and a family, I cannot quit to go back to school full-time, nor can I move temporarily to complete my Ph.D. So, my advice is get a Master's in Content--the ability to teach comes with practice, not reading about it in a book.

    Again, I'm sorry if I offended any M.Eds in the group.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    I think that most districts would love for you to have a Master's degree - looks good on paper - but they don't want to pay that higher salary to a starting teacher. Some of the exceptions may be ESL and SPED. Tuition reimbursement paid for my education grad classes, but in the last five years I have noted changes in how it works, how much is offered, and what the requirements are regarding a guarantee to stay employed where the tuition reimbursement was paid. None of it is terrible or unreasonable, but it is a change that I have noted. I, too, think that many of the MEd. degrees are not overly difficult to achieve, perhaps because you tend to have classes that are comprised of teachers who are already working. Courses are often taught by adjunct staff, not professors. That is just an observation. When I was working on my first Masters - not related to Education - all instructors were professors in the upper tier of staff members, usually with significant education and experience.

    As for comparing to an MBA, how should I know? I don't know any of those students, so have no basis for comparison. I consider that a useless comparison that really has no value.

    I do think that a teacher with experience gets more out of earning the MEd. than someone who, at best, has only student taught. You don't know what you really need to learn until you learn where your deficits and weaknesses are. Without experience, how are you going to know that?
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jan 29, 2019

    Well, until last year everyone was required to get a masters within 10 years. Many people, like me, did it very early while they were young, often single, and life hadn't gotten as complicated. I finished mine in two calendar years by going to classes one or two nights a week each semester and in the summertime. I finished my course work in 1996, and it has earned me an extra $3000 each year since 1997.

    I don't know that an extra $3000 a year is enough to make us overlook a candidate for money reasons.

    My degree is in English. I didn't go for an education degree. At the time there weren't many options, and I was teaching high school English.
     
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  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    I think there is a big difference in adding to your content knowledge versus the MEd. Since mine was in TESOL, it added a new endorsement and content for me. Some of the MEd.'s that coworkers have acquired don't add to the current content, or enable them to teach a new content. That said, NJ is not one of those states where a Master's is mandated within any time frame. I was hired with one MS in place, so yes, always paid more. The second, the MEd., did add another pay bump, as did the TOSD credential. If I was looking for another degree, it would be a content centered degree, not in education. It would make me a better teacher, with more breadth of content knowledge. That would make me feel better, and it would still add another pay bump. I just think that I lack that energy right now.
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    I, too, have heard something along these lines, which is that an MS/MA is preferable to having a MEd. Now, I don’t necessarily know whether there is any truth to that, but it contributed to my getting a MA in Mathematics Education because most of the degree required you to take upper division math courses (which I absolutely loved) as well as write a thesis. FYI, my thesis was on why knowing advanced mathematics is important and how one well versed in said subject can use it to benefit all learners (and I provided several math examples of how I could incorporate it into my curricula), particularly the advanced students because you can show why the math works. Weirdly enough, my graduate program only had 4 actual education classes on how to teach math effectively. The rest were purely mathematical in nature.

    I’m guessing MEd degrees are more common, but not at my school with MS/MA holders being the common spread.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  8. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jan 29, 2019

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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  9. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  10. miss-m

    miss-m Habitué

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    I'm still a new teacher (this is my third year) and I was so ready to be done with my undergrad that I couldn't have cared less if districts preferred teachers to have their masters right away or not. I was out of college for almost 4 years before I started considering my Master's and had taught for a year first. There were other life circumstances that led to starting grad school.

    I've never heard anyone say to go straight from undergrad to a Master's program before teaching though. I've pretty much always heard that it's better to teach for a bit first, then go back for grad school once you're a bit more established in your career.
     
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  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    My sequence was this:

    1) Bachelors
    2) Masters + CBEST, CSET Single Subject Math I, II, and III, and Praxis 5161
    3) get hired as math teacher at my current school
    4) teaching credential program and Preliminary
    5) BTSA/Induction and Clear credential
     
  13. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    I personally wouldn't get a Master's degree unless I knew for sure that was what I wanted to do.

    I got my BA in a kind of useless degree (English) mainly because I started off as a film major and decided to switch, but didn't want to spend more time in college and also still wasn't sure what I wanted to do. My advisor said I had enough credits in English to still graduate in 4 years so that's what I did!
    After graduating, I applied to various jobs in all fields, got a job in daycare, loved it, and THEN went to grad school for teaching.
     
  14. Guitart

    Guitart Companion

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    I too took a different route to becoming a teacher. As a 20-something undergrad I took field exp. as a senior year elective and LOVED it. I took my BA in Computer Graphics and hit the 90's workforce as a "computer guy", but never forgot how neat it was being in the art classroom. Spending years in another career, growing up, wife and daughter = life experience. When I did decided to go back and earn my teaching cert, it was after I spent a school year as a para. Much time and thought has gone into my decision to teach. I am so glad I did not follow the path that advisor told me back in 2000.

    I'm glad many chimed in on the variety of masters. So many flavors and it appears all are not equally strenuous. My sister is getting her MBA and I have no doubt it is because it is the easiest of all the recent post-grad routes she has taken. She has quit law school twice and gave up on a second BS in Engineering.
     
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  15. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    I am about to graduate with my M.S. in Family Studies with a minor in Adolescent Behavior. My career options should be wide, but so far no luck.
     
  16. Guitart

    Guitart Companion

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    You may need to start low and work up, regardless of your degree. I did it too AND it is valuable. I would never take back my time as a para or a sub.

    Our oldest graduated with a BA in Family Services and I think she minored in English (she had once been on track to be a secondary lang arts teacher). She is young and was bummed at first because her generation thinks college = $35K to start. She wanted a big girl job that would allow her to move out, pay bills, and have a social life. After much convincing from us (reality check), I helped her get a job as a para in a HS SPED dept. This got her foot in the door in a large district and she stuck with it. Now she works at an elementary as a behavior interventionist. It is a tough job and a tough building. At my school, I get hugs on a daily basis. She gets "the finger".
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    It sounds as if she is still searching for a path that truly speaks to her. Giving up on law school must have been hard, and taken a toll mentally. Everything else must feel like she is simply settling, and that is much different from finding a new passion. I wish her the best.
     
  18. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Jan 31, 2019

    In my district, a masters degree no longer makes you more expensive. You do need it at a certain step on the salary scale, but everyone with no experience starts at the bottom. I still think that it makes sense to get some experience first - especially given how many teachers leave the profession after a few years. Why go to the expense of a masters until you are certain that teaching is for you?
     
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  19. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    Yes! Exactly what I said. It only makes sense.
     
  20. MaleTeacher

    MaleTeacher Rookie

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    If I had to do everything again I would wait to do my master's degree. I have one now, and I don't get paid any more than a teacher with a regular bachelor's. With the changing regulations, my master's degree will be worthless (in terms of monetary value) since it isn't exactly linked to my undergraduate major, which was elementary education.
     
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    What is your Masters in? I’m curious why you got a Masters in a different subject. My Bachelors and Masters are both in Math because some districts want it to be tied to your subject matter.
     

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