Bachelor v. Graduate Degrees

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by tiki7719, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Hello,

    I am not sure where to post this--feel free to move the post if necessary :)

    Basically, I am earning my bachelors in history and social studies. I am then pursuing a program called MUST (Masters in Urban Secondary Teaching). When I enter the teaching field, I will have my masters in urban secondary teaching instead of just a bachelors as most individuals have.

    Are there any pros/cons of entering the teaching field with your masters instead of just a bachelors then pursuing onto a masters?

    With the degree, it is not limited to teaching in an urban setting. The only reason it is considered "urban" is because I will be doing my practicum and student teaching in an urban area.

    Thank you for reading this and I look forward to any responses :)
     
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  3. Shinchan

    Shinchan Rookie

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    The biggest con will be you will cost the districts more than someone with just a bachelors with the same amount of experience. Could make it tougher...plus the history/social studies fields are very competitive.
     
  4. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Thats my biggest concern--not being able to find a job. But, from speaking with an advisor at a nearby university, she was saying that within the next few years (2+), Ohio will be having a large number of teachers retiring in all fields. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news, but this is what people have been saying for years. It doesn't seem to be actually happening. I think people at retirement age are realizing that they can't afford to be retired, so they're remaining in the workforce or "double dipping" if it's permitted by their district.

    Given just how saturated the field of social studies is, you might want to consider adding another endorsement to your license. Math, ELL, and special ed tend to be the subjects most in demand, at least in my experience.

    As for starting with a post-graduate degree and no classroom experience, it's hard to say how districts will look at that. I started my teaching career with a Masters degree in my field of study (in other words, not an MEd) and a full teaching license, without any experience in a real classroom. In my district, which is desperate for qualified teachers, it doesn't make one bit of difference. Some districts, on the other hand, only want to pay the bare minimum starting salary. If the job is between you and another candidate with only a Bachelor's degree, the difference in annual salary might be $3,000-8,000. And that might mean that they'd go with the other candidate.

    :2cents:
     
  6. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Thanks for the response Cassie.

    I was thinking of another endorsement, but, there are not any other endorsements that I am interested in that my university has to offer at the moment. I want to get my M.Ed first then look into other endorsements.

    I was checking around at other school districts and you are right; the salary difference in only $3000-8000. But, on the other hand, the program I will be in is only 14 months (includes practicum and student teaching) and will only cost me around $15,000.00 for the whole thing. Plus, there is a high placement rate for those who completed the program.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Are you planning to get an MEd and a MUST? Before you begin teaching?

    I recommended the additional endorsement/certification because it will make you more marketable. Without being able to teach something besides SS, you might not get a job. Period. Even if your district is willing to hire you even though you are highly educated but possess no regular classroom experience.

    You mention the high placement rate for people who've completed the program. Do you mean the MUST program? Are all those teachers getting licensed in Social Studies? How many of them already held full time teaching positions?

    I know that job options in the Midwest are limited. It seems like people (teachers) move there, land a job, and stick with it for 10, 20, or 30+ years. Populations in general seem to be pretty steady, without a huge influx of new residents--so there aren't tons of new schools being built. That means that there are fewer openings for new, inexperienced teachers. I recommend that you do a lot of research before committing to any program. It would be awful if you did all that work and spent all that money and then weren't able to get a good teaching position.

    Good luck to you!
     
  8. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I've found in two districts that I've applied to that they are mainly hiring people straight out of college with bachelor's degrees (yeah for an in with the D.O.!). We've had huge funding cuts; Ps are looking for people to keep the district spending down (yes, even a measly extra $1000 a year per person for a master's) and plus: no experience = they can mold you!

    Yet they keep advertising that they want people with higher degrees and experience. Hmm. Just feeding the public what they want to hear, then doing the opposite.

    How stuck are you on your area? Are you willing to move anywhere for a job? If you are, it'll make it a lot easier to get hired.
     
  9. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    To be very honest with you, people who only have certification to teach social studies not in demand in any part of the U.S. There are thousands of us looking for jobs in every single state. It is the most difficult subject to get a job in. This is my third school year trying to get a social studies job.

    You may not be interested any other endorsements from your university, but you should look into them anyway. Math and English language arts are always in demand because that's what NCLB tests on most. I'm also working on getting a science credential in my state.
     
  10. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    I apologize..I meant to say MUST and not M.Ed. Sorry for any confusion.

    In the State of Ohio and with the degree that I will be getting, I will be able to teach at the secondary level history, geography, psychology, sociology, government..basically anything that has to do with history and social sciences.

    Yes, the high placement rates are for those who completed the MUST program and it is for all secondary fields..language arts, social studies, science, math, physical education and I think I'm forgetting one or two.

    The program has only been around for I believe 8 years (that is what my advisor told me) and 40 graduate every summer with a MUST degree. The way the program is set up, you are only able to graduate in the summer. Out of 320 who graduated, 304 hold a full-time teaching job in their area. The others either work in a university or are pursuing a doctorates degree. The graduates do not only teach in urban areas either; many get suburban positions.

    I am doing a lot of research on this program. I will start the program summer of 2009 and will graduate summer of 2010. I e-mail my advisor about different questions at least once a week. A friend of mine has a sister who is in the program. I have not yet had a chance to speak to her about it. That is one thing I want to do before I enter.

    Thank you for all your help and insight.
     
  11. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    I am not stuck just yet. But, I am willing to re-locate. I am hoping to stay in the central Ohio area.

    Fortunately, it is building up down there. They are also in the process of building new high schools since the communities are growing.
     
  12. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    I think I will start to looking into endorsements. One thing I am going to do though is put in for a substitute position once I receive my B.A.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Pretty much everyone with a SS degree can teach those same exact things. I don't know if you're hearing everyone who says that it's almost impossible to get a SS job....I hope you are, because it is. And if you're counting on getting a job based solely on your SS certification, you might be in for a very rude awakening.

    Next time you meet with your adviser, ask specifically about placement for MUST SS graduates. Not math, science, etc.; just SS.

    Also find out how many MUST graduates held regular teaching positions prior to and/or during the program. I'm willing to bet that at least half of them had already been teachers at some point, and that experience going to influence their ability to get a job once they earn that advanced degree.
     
  14. Shinchan

    Shinchan Rookie

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    You'll also want to look into getting coaching certification/experience...for whatever reasons many ss teachers are also coaches.
     
  15. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    I do hear that it is almost impossible. That is what I am afraid of :/

    With the MUST program, nobody holds a teaching job prior to entering the field; the only type of teaching job would be a substitute or a teachers AIDE. The way MUST is set up, I will first get my BA in history/social studies. I will not take ANY undergraduate teaching courses. (I took two already, only because I did not know of this program.) While in the MUST program, I will be taking all my education classes at the graduate level. I will be doing my practicum and student teaching while in MUST. Those who enter MUST do not have a minor in education and did not do their practicum or student teaching either. If they have, then they are not accepted into the program. Thus, nobody is a licensed teacher.
     
  16. Badger41

    Badger41 Rookie

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    The bottom line is schools hire the best person for the job. It could be a MA+30 or a BA+0 or however your steps at your district are structured. I think people overrate the "Master's might price you out of a job" argument.

    School districts are not corporations where the bottom line reigns supreme. School boards are filled with community members and parents. Would they want their kids to attend a school where they simply hire the cheapest labor?
     

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