How feasible is it to work full time and earn a masters?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by waterfall, May 6, 2012.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    My friends mom has convinced her to apply for a part time teaching position in the district we attended. It is a very good district, but she has a full time position elsewhere in the state currently. Her mom wants her to apply to this position saying that she could live at home and make about the same that she makes now (with not having to pay for rent/utilities and such) and then she would also be able to work on her masters. My friend has really wanted a masters all along so I think this has her half convinced. I think she's absolutely nuts, but that's just me. I'm a very independent person. I would never go from having a full time job with my own apartment to living with mom and working part time. Now if it was all I had, I'd be grateful for the job experience- but she'd be giving up a full time position. Anyway, it's her life and if that's what she wants to do, I have to be supportive. It was always my understanding though that many (most?) teachers get their masters degrees while working full time? I know it would obviously take extra time, but it seemed pretty doable to me, especially for someone without kids. I had planned to start mine within the next year or so, now that I'll be living in the city with lots of actual campus programs around (rather than online). I'd like to do a lot of it in the summer when I'm not working as much, and I'm in no hurry to get the degree done asap. I would plan on doing a class or two during the year. Is that totally unreasonable to think it's going to work?
     
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  3. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I completed my Master's while I was working full time. It took me two years. I'm a little crazy though-one semester I took 15 credit hours (5 classes) while I was teaching. It saved me a lot of money that way because it was a flat rate tuition cost after 8 or 9 credits. I made it through that semester, but it was really tough.
     
  4. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    It's definitely manageable. If you do a two year program, it shouldn't be an issue if you're responsible with your time.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It depends on the program. Many programs are designed for working professionals, so people can totally do them while working full time.
     
  6. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Agree completely.

    My program strongly advised that we didn't work, and no one did. If anyone had, including myself, the results would have disastrous. Other than class and clinical I had no time to sleep, let alone work a job.

    I believe it really depends on the program.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    We both want to do some kind of TESOL (or whatever they're calling it these days- in my area it's now "education of the linguistically diverse") program.
     
  8. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Most master programs are pretty feasible to complete while working. But to be on the safe side, I would talk with someone from the school and take a good look at the curriculum.

    Are you aware of anyone else who has gone for that degree? Someone in the program can give you a better perspective.

    Nevertheless, if it's just a class or two at a time, I think you should be okay!
     
  9. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    I'm the one who chose to live with my parents and work part time so I could afford the time and money to pursue my masters. It was rough on my independence but I am really happy I did it and I'm lucky I had that option; not everyone has such generous parents who will take care of them while they work their tush off at school and a job! I did it in 3 semesters and then I was able to move on in life. Don't know about elsewhere but here in NY your teaching certification expires in 5 years if you don't earn your masters during that time (and satisfy some other requirements such as experience)

    Now that I'm out on my own I have no idea how I would do it. I know people who have but it's a real workload. I doubt they have any personal or social life, or even sleep, during those years.
     
  10. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I worked fulltime as an elementary teacher and got my masters, plus did an additional 3 classes to earn my principal's certificate. I even managed to buy my condo during that time. Was it stressful? Yes, but I wouldn't have done it any other way. I never would've given up my job for it though. However, my classes were at night and I didn't push myself harder than necessary...took me 3 years to complete my MEd program. :)
     
  11. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Only 3 extra classes to earn a principal's certificate?! I wonder if you can do that in NY!!!
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I got my master's degree in two years and did it my first two years of teaching, including my first year doing my state-required internship...so it's very doable. I wouldn't recommend your friend follow her mother's advice. One, I just could "revert" to that, and two, I would be frearful of giving up the full time position.
     
  13. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I did it. My program was geared to working teachers; we had two classes one evening a week for two years.
     
  14. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    She probably means a masters plus 3 classes can earn a principal certification. It's similar in Texas...
     
  15. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Yes, that sounds more realistic; I got a few extensions on my teaching cert with just one or two extra classes for each so I thought maybe there was something similar for that, but it sounded too good to be true and indeed I think it is, having just looked up the certification requirements online. Makes sense but oh well...
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Every teacher I know taught full time while getting a Master's. In NY you need a Master's.
     
  17. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I earned mine in a year and a half while working full time. I took 2 classes a quarter during the school year and 3 at a time during the summer sessions. It was really very doable and, while I was busy, it didn't stress me too much.

    However, I see nothing wrong with moving back home. The older I get, the more I value spending time with family, including parents.

    In this job market, I'm not sure I'd give up a full time job, though.
     
  18. bobby

    bobby Rookie

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    I worked full-time and got my Master's (night classes--2 years). And all this was during my 1st two years of teaching (right out of college), plus planning a wedding.
    I would think that it's doable for most people, and quite worth it.
     
  19. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I did it while working full time and raising 3 kids, one of whom was in ICU for 6 months. My husband abandoned us while I was pregnant with our youngest, so I didn't have much help. I look back on those days and wonder how I did it, but it's amazing what you can do if you want it bad enough.
     
  20. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    It has taken me three years to finish up my Master's! I only took one class each semester. It was tough sitting in class from 5-9 on Tuesday nights after working all day, but it was doable.
     
  21. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    I would say it depends on your family situation, specifically if you have kids or not. If you can teach all day, and then come home and not worry about anything but your schoolwork, then I'd say it's very doable.

    On the other hand, if you teach all day and then have to come home and cook supper and give baths and read stories and put kids to bed and THEN do graduate-level work... I wouldn't want to attempt it!:dizzy:
     
  22. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Most teachers in my district completed a masters while working full-time. It can be an intense 1.5-2.5 years, depending on the program.
     
  23. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I didn't have a teaching job while I got my masters, but I was the co-facilitator of an education program in the university where I got my masters.

    Many teachers work while they get their masters and it seems very doable.
     
  24. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I completed my masters in two years (started January 1995 and finished in December 1996) while working full time and completing my state-required internship program. I started my day at the high school teaching senior British literature, junior American literature, and freshman English. Then I drove across town to the middle school where I taught seventh grade reading and health. I met with my mentor teacher several hours a week and had to complete tasks for the internship. I drove 20 miles to the next town to take graduate classes at night (6:00-9:00) one or two nights a week. I also took summer classes.

    That was also my first year of teaching, too. The previous year I had a been a day-to-day sub.

    I wasn't in the education department, but the English department. I had a ton of reading and writing to do, but not the "projects" like my education department friends had to do.
     
  25. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    I completed my Master's while working full time. It was a two year program. Not easy, but definitely doable.
     
  26. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I taught 6 years and then went back to school for my masters.
    The Univ. of Fla (at that time) offered many graduate courses at night and I would take one each quarter. Then take three each summer. It took two years and three summers. This was before online classes.
     
  27. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Yeah, I think it's a bad idea...but I'm sure she (and her mother) thought I was pretty crazy when I picked up and moved across the country to find a job rather than staying at home for a year and hoping to get something closer. She came home for Christmas break and kept saying toward the end that she was excited to get back to her own place- I keep telling her this would be like a year long Christmas break! I think one problem is that the place where she lives has no colleges within a reasonable distance and she doesn't want to do online. I was in the same situation for the past two years- I have no interest in taking classes online but there are no actual colleges within 2 hours of here. So either way she'd eventually have to give up the job if she really wants to pursue the masters. I think it would be better to look for a FT job closer to a city though...her field is actually more open in our home state (FL teacher) and she knows she doesn't want to stay where she is forever anyway. At least then she could make sure she had a FT job elsewhere before giving up her current position. I am excited that my new job has several universities really close- so I actually have options and can really start looking into it now!
     

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