Should I go into Education? Thoughts please...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MT91, May 22, 2017.

  1. MT91

    MT91 New Member

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    May 22, 2017

    Hi everyone,

    As the forum topic shows, should I go into Education? Can you please share your thoughts?

    I'm graduating soon with a MBA in Nonprofit Management. I have a GPA of 4.00 and a couple of honor society membership. The common pathway would be joining some sort of corporate. I talked about this with my school career service department and eventually I shortlisted my career options to Education, Banking or Oil and Gas Industry.

    From my research, the salary between these industries are as such (This is for Houston TX):
    Banking: Analysts are in the 60s to 70s. Associates are easily 70s to 80s.
    Oil Industry (Shell): Interns starts at high 50s to low 60s. Analysts are in the 70s to 80s.
    Education: New teachers are on average 51k. An average of 195 work days a year. You get stipends in Special Education, ESL etc. Assistant Principal & Principals can make from 60s to 70s. Superintendent will go higher.

    At first, I thought that the higher pay means I could fund my doctorate. But when I think of it, I would only need a doctorate if I go into Education. That would be something like a EdD. I doubt I would need a DBA for the Banking or the Oil Industry.

    The thought of helping people, seeing children learn is very satisfying. I did some volunteer work with children and I definitely like the satisfaction I get in seeing them grow. Summer holiday where I could visit family is enticing as well. But the differences in salary is also something I should consider.

    Please share your experience.
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    May 22, 2017

    What if you try substitute teaching and see how you like it?
     
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  4. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    May 22, 2017

    Go into teaching if you are truly passionate about it. I think you may be looking at it too clinically. There are few, if any, of us who go into it for the money and stay for the money. We work for terrible pay because the passion is there and the small differences we make in students' lives makes up for the lack of money and the general crap we have to put up with. Teaching is the pleasurable part (mostly), unfortunately, the unpleasurable parts like the bureaucracy, paperwork, lack of support, school politics etc. comes with the package deal. That being said, all professions come with their unique difficulties, some more than others. You need to evaluate if the passion is there, if you love it enough for it to help you through the bad times (because there will be many), then go for it. I may sound bitter about my profession but I'm really not. I love my job, but I'm being realistic because only a fellow teacher can understand what it's like.
     
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  5. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    May 22, 2017

    I posted some thoughts on this topic in the thread "Future teacher" over on the Secondary education forum on this site that may be of use to you. As someone above mentioned. I would not make this primarily a financial decision but in your situation, there is one factor to consider that you might overlook: the transition process in case you want to switch careers down the road. It is much, much easier to get into education after having experience in the private sector than to get into the private sector from education. I got into teaching as a second career and my experience in the private sector has really been a difference maker in getting jobs in this field.
     
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  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    May 22, 2017

    I wouldn't bank on stipends adding to your salary. They are few and far between. Not sure where you got that info (actually would be slim to none at least in the areas I've worked).
     
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  7. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    May 22, 2017

    You must have the passion for teaching! If you go into any profession for money, it won't work out long term. I agree with subbing first to see whether this will work for you.
     
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  8. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    May 22, 2017

    Hell no.

    But try substituting to learn if you have a natural inclination, and study up on the health of the teaching profession in your state.

    But, quite frankly, in light of your expressed interests and achievements, I'd urge to to do something else.
     
  9. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    May 22, 2017

    I hesitate to ask this because it may be off topic, but is this response based on your experience at one school or at several? The reason I ask this is I have come to the conclusion (mostly from reading this site) that one's perspective is highly dependent on the environment (i.e school and administration) in which one works. If you have only taught at just one school, perhaps you may have a different perspective by switching schools or districts. Just curious.
     
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  10. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    May 22, 2017

    Pardon me for getting a little spiritual here, but teaching is a calling. Everyone who can last through those first few years when 50% leave can't explain their reasoning for doing it. The pay sucks, unrealistic expectations are set on you, parents can be awful, many students are worse, some administrators you wouldn't spit on if they spontaneously combusted.
    My best advice: really think about it. If you can't see yourself doing anything else, then by all means come be one of us. Heavens knows we need more passionate people. If you can for any reason picture yourself in a different field, don't do it.
     
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  11. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    May 23, 2017

    No problem. My reply is based upon our situation at a national level. I am thinking beyond a particular school or district. Nationally, the worst problems we are facing will be seen at the poorest districts and those serving minorities. It is true that teachers may escape many issues by avoiding or fleeing those districts, but the forces gathered against education will turn their attention elsewhere, eventually. Some dominoes fall early, but all fall in time. I have no doubt our legislators will come for those affluent white districts after destroying those less likely to garner attention.

    Just wait until your state legislators cap your pay, break your unions, and begin pushing charter schools in earnest. It will happen to us all in our lifetime.
     
  12. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    May 23, 2017

    Amy...your response has a global perspective that maybe I just don't understand or see (but certainly respect). At my school, all the issues that plague us seem to be curable...IF we had competent leadership at the school and district level. Which we don't. The people I see in these roles just could not survive nor advance in most private sector businesses. My biggest critique of the "education system" is incompetency and lack of true leadership at the local, district, state and federal level. All of which I believe to be fixable.

    To the OP, I apologize for getting off track to your post.
     
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  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 23, 2017

    I have a feeling that with banking and the oil and gas companies, you have a lot more upward mobility than you would have in education including much greater pay raises and benefits. You could eventually get into administration, but if you stay a teacher your salary essentially gets capped pretty quickly (for most districts I've seen, it gets capped around 80K). Even administrators don't have a lot of increase in pay after working there for a while. You salary stays stagnant for the most part. I would take that into consideration.

    Also the amount of pay that you'd receive to start at a different position can add up to be quite a lot over the course of a few years. It seems like the jobs you are interested in start at essentially 60K, while it might take a teacher 5-10 years to make that much. That's 50K-100K of income you could have had, invested, or used.

    There are a lot of avenues into helping kids other than becoming a teacher as well. You could volunteer at after-school programs, teach classes at your community center, or donate some of that extra money you'd make to make some teachers and students very happy on DonorsChoose or in person.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
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  14. MT91

    MT91 New Member

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    May 26, 2017

    Thank you for all the opinions! I really appreciate being a part of this forum where people will openly share their thoughts.

    My originally plan was to finish my MBA and apply to the United Nations. I did some volunteering work with the UNICEF in translating and editing children books. However, things changed when I say 'yes' to my fiance and decided to move to Houston where he is. The UN is no longer an option then.

    Honestly, I do prefer a job in education over banking or the oil and gas industry. I figured I could teach for a few years and move into administration when I'm in my 30s. The only drawback I have now is the pay. It is definitely not as lucrative as private sectors. This is something I should consider if we're planning to have a family and put a downpayment to a house etc.

    Any thoughts?
     
  15. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    May 26, 2017


    Here are a couple of mine: I get the sense from 'reading between the lines" (plus the fact that you have the MBA) that you are a driven and motivated, career- and goal-oriented person. You already thinking past the classroom to your next "step on the ladder" as an admin.A person who wants new challenges in terms of increasing responsibility and scope of job probably will not find that in this field. Please note that I am NOT saying that there isn't any challenges and opportunity in education. Rather, career-wise, there a just a few moves that you can make (without taking one of the dreaded central office, bureaucratic paper shuffling jobs that a person with your drive and credentials would not enjoy). There isn't the unlimited opportunity that exists in the private sector.

    I would tell a person in your shoes to "scratch the itch" first - seek a career in the private sector first. if you find that is not your cup of tea or you just decide to seek a new challenge like I did, it will be much, much easier to transition into education down the road (background info: I am one who has a background in business and manufacturing before becoming a teacher much later in life). At that point, you will not be wondering "what if". I could not be happier with the career choices I made, up to and including becoming a teacher. I feel like I have had the best of both worlds so to speak.

    I just don't think this field is very kind to young people, most especially those who enter into it without a calling or sense of purpose that they were born to be a teacher. it is not a field to dabble in as it takes energy, courage, passion and commitment. Hope this is of some use to you. Best wishes and good luck in whatever you choose to do.
     
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  16. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    May 26, 2017

    This is certainly an option, but I'd warn that if you're already contemplating how/when/why you'll get OUT of the classroom, this may not be the best career for you.
    Granted, all administrators were in the classroom at some point. Whether they went into education with administration in mind from the beginning and teaching as just a stepping stone, or they got into teaching for the sake of teaching but then felt a calling to leave the classroom (for positive or negative reasons) is hard to know.
    I will say that our AP was a classroom teacher for many years before getting into administration, and I think she wishes she was back in the classroom quite often. She even admits that the pay increase wasn't substantial enough to make that big of a difference.
    I've always felt that we need to keep good teachers in the classroom where they can do the most good.
    I love being a teacher. Even though I'm gnashing at the bit right now to get to summer break and I'm SO OVER IT for this school year. I still love the job. I focus on teaching and find that if you are a very good, ethical, high performing teacher, they kind of leave you alone and let you do your thing.
     

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