Advanced Degree Worth It?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Froreal3, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Jun 3, 2012

    Ok, so I've been in this field for just about 10 years. I am certified Birth - 2nd grade, though all of my experience is in Preschool/Pre-K.

    I'm currently a preschool teacher at a large for-profit, international child care company. I've recently been feeling a bit unfulfilled. I love what I do, but I feel it all boils down to low pay (please don't judge me) :unsure: I certainly don't expect to be rolling in the dough, but I have a family and would like to be more financially secure. I feel I would be fine making close to a typical teacher salary with a Masters (average 40K). I do not live beyond my means, but I would like to be able to afford my basic living expenses and have some money left over to maybe go on vacation one day or even :eek:hmy:save.

    I had been looking at going for a M.Ed in ECE or even ECE Administration. The courses look interesting and since I am already in the field, it would not be hard to complete. I could move up in the ranks of my company (become a director or something, though I'd probably prefer program coordinator because I like supporting teachers). My concern is, I am not sure that going for this particular degree will make much financial sense for me. I don't know what a program coordinator or director in my company makes. I suspect it is not very much in relation to the work load (as is typical in this field).

    Honestly, I am a bit confused and probably need some career advice. I've been looking into Speech Language Pathology because it looks really interesting, but I've heard those schools are very competitive (plus it would take about 3 years). I've been trying to do some soul searching, but am not really getting anywhere.

    Does anyone have an advanced degree and teach preschool/involved in ECE? Do you feel financially comfortable? Any advice would be appreciated. :)
     
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  3. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Jun 3, 2012

    Personally, if you are unhappy in the for profit company, why bother getting the admin degree to move up there. I would go for the ECE if I was you in hopes of moving into a public school (which I assume is what you are trying for). What did you major in? Special Ed, ESL, Reading Specialist would be even better though.

    P.S. You are allowed to wish for financial stability. No one will judge you for that.
     
  4. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Jun 3, 2012

    Hi. Thanks for your reply. I majored in Early Childhood Education. I have also thought about the Reading Specialist. I enjoy working with smaller groups of children.

    Honestly though, some of the public school teacher stories scare me. I hear about always taking a ton of work home, not being renewed, having to go to a ton of meetings, having to differentiate a million lessons, being blamed for students failure/teaching to the test, no parent accountability. While upper grade teachers clearly make more than most of us, I don't know if it will be worth my sanity.

    That being said, my father is a veteran elementary teacher (urban school might I add) and he seems to be very happy. He didn't start out that way though...*thinks*
     
  5. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Jun 3, 2012

    Very much so! I just received my M.Ed and will be teaching PreK next year, and my salary will be well above $48k/yr. It definitely puts you at an advantage!
     
  6. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    In NJ Elementary and High School teachers make the same thing.
     
  7. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Jun 4, 2012

    I think they do in GA too. Clarification: The difference between preschool and K-12. I do know that they also value continuing education, whereas most preschools I know don't. The main reason is due to the fact that preschools' revenue comes from the parents. Thanks for reading. I have some decisions to make! This is a bit nerve-wracking!
     
  8. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Really? Wow, I've never heard of that...for a director yes, not a teacher. What state are you in? Are you in one of the elite/exclusive preschools? Or is your preschool part of the school system in your district?
     
  9. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    No, I'm at a public school and I'm in a metropolitan area where the cost of living is quite high so the salaries are higher than a more rural part of the state.
     
  10. jennirich

    jennirich Rookie

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    Jun 4, 2012

    Continuing education, in any way or form is always worth it. Its not only something that you do or get to earn more (although I'd be a hypocrite if I say that I don't need any more financial strategies to be stable). Its also a personal crusade for us, being passionate about our work, to be able to learn more to be academically effective.
     
  11. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jun 5, 2012

    I have a BS in ECE. The market seems saturated with ECE experts. I would go for something else.
     
  12. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Jun 5, 2012

    You're absolutely right. I definitely want to continue my education for the reasons you stated. I've always been one to want to learn more and more.

    I'm just torn right now. For me, it's less about earning more and more about earning a decent living wage. For example, my child qualifies for (and has) Medicaid, yet I work full time as a teacher. I don't want to be in that situation indefinitely.

    I will actually have an earnest talk with my director about staying with the company as well as research other opportunities inside and outside of the field.

    **I'm not saying anything bad about Medicaid. It's there for those that need it.**
     
  13. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Jun 5, 2012

    Really? What about people with MAs or M.Eds? I always hear people talking about how hard it is to get and keep qualified teachers for our youngest learners. They say its because most move on to teach elementary or out of the field altogether.
     
  14. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Ok, that makes sense. I'm originally from NYC (insanely high cost of living) and we have Pre-K in our public schools (not preschool). I believe the Pre-K public school teachers make the same as the K-5 teachers. So, what you are saying makes sense.
     
  15. emb382

    emb382 Rookie

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    Jun 16, 2012

    Adding SPED to your certificate would make you very marketable. There are a ton (at least one in every district around me) of ECSE jobs out there!
     
  16. originalkat

    originalkat New Member

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    I have my AA in Early Childhood. Right now I am working toward my BA...but it is only for my own personal goals. I won't make more money when I get it. But I earn fairly good money doing what I do. I make over 50k a year. I own a home based preschool/childcare. The tax write offs are wonderful and I work for myself doing what I love. I don't know if something like that is of I interest to you, but I LOVE it. Maybe something to look into. I would never go back to working for large childcare centers.
     
  17. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    I've done that (but it wasn't really all my own...was a partnership in a family business) for the majority of my time in this field. I did love the autonomy. When I get my own house, I may consider that again one day.
     
  18. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Jul 1, 2012

    It's true. I read a statistic awhile back that (in my state) there were 26,000 current EC certs out there and about 6,000 jobs/classrooms. Now, take into account the fact that anyone with an El Ed degree can be hired for those jobs and you've got way more than 26,000 competitors.

    If you're going to get a master's, you really need to set yourself apart. At the end of the day, having a Master's does not make you any more qualified than a Bachelor's, and it makes you more expensive.
     
  19. Vee

    Vee Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2012

    Special education. You can move into a school district and still teach younger students.
     

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