Would getting a Master's in Education hurt me?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teacheroflove, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Teacheroflove

    Teacheroflove Rookie

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    I have my bachelor's degree in Psychology and would love to become a teacher. It is my passion and am very certain of my career choice. However, I am reading A LOT of discouraging posts about elementary jobs. I currently work as a paraprofessional in a preschool and I absolutely love it. I love the kids and I really enjoy teaching.

    I need to get certified but most schools don't seem to have post back programs or they say they do and then I find out it's really a master's program. It's all so confusing. Some post bacc programs I have found are expensive and take as long, if not longer than master's would in other schools.

    I have found some good master's programs and I would like to go for my Master's. All in all, from the research I have done, it would cost me almost the same amount of money (give or take, depending on the schools) to do a post bacc as it would a master's program. Same goes with time. So, why not get a master's? I read on another post I wrote on here that they don't want to pay out more money, which makes sense, but in PA new hired teachers with a master's degree make $1000 more per year than teachers with bachelors. You can look at their website. Are they really going to look over me if I have good test scores, preschool experience and good grades just because I have a master's degree? Is it really that brutal out there? I also speak Spanish and intend to get certified to teach in Spanish as well. I have a minor in Spanish. Will that help when it comes time to look for a job?

    I apologize for the many questions. I just want to make sure I'm making the right decision. Thank you!
     
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  3. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    I know it's regional. I don't know about PA, but right across the border here in NJ, it's a non-issue. I was hired straight out of college with a Masters in Ed. and no experience recently, and so were my others in my cohort. I don't know if PA is different though---I imagine not by much.
     
  4. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    If the district you are looking at does not have any alternative certification methods (where you can teach while earning your certification/Master's), then get the Master's. I think the pay situation varies; most schools in my district are not turning people with Master's degrees away simply because they get paid more. Also, having experience often helps when looking for any job.

    If you are sure about the Master's program, I say go for it. But be sure since you are investing a lot of time and money into your degree and outside of classroom teaching, it is not guaranteed to open any more doors for you. I got my undergrad degree in secondary ed and then made the mistake of getting a Master's in Curriculum Development. My Master's degree does not get me out of classroom teaching and now I wish I had gone to grad school for something else.
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Perhaps look into a post-bacc cert instead of a masters?
     
  6. Teacheroflove

    Teacheroflove Rookie

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    Thank you both for your replies.

    I have looked at post bacc cert programs but I can't seem to find the right one. I found a really good master's program and I want to do it. Most post bacc programs I have found seem to require just as much credits (give or take a couple, depending on the school) as some master programs do. Everything about this masters program tells me I want to do it, the only thing holding me back is the advice on this forum that says "don't cuz most likely you wont get hired with a master's." So, I don't know. I just know I need to make a decision soon.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    If you lived here, I'd say to go with the masters because it is required here anyway. I got mine early in my career. I took one year off after my BA, then started my MA.

    The extra $3000 a year was well worth it since I got it so long ago that it wasn't that expensive.
     
  8. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    My only concern is that you live in PA. Isn't PA one of the hardest states to get a job? I think someone just posted an article about PA specifically on A to Z the other day. I'd go the alt cert route if you can first, then start you MA of you feel secure.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Alt route is less desirable in my area than a new teacher with a Masters. I'm in NJ...it's tough to get a job, as is PA...but not impossible. I had a business degree and went the Masters route. Started in private schools for two years and then switched to public. My grad program was awesome...I learned A LOT and I really was prepared to teach when I graduated and was hired.
     
  10. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Hmm...I would normally recommend a masters in something more specialized to make you more marketable, but since you don't have certification yet, I think your plan is fine.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I would go ahead and go for your Masters if the cost would be the same. It sounds like you have a lot plusses: experience, bilingual. Good luck in your decision!
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I completed my certification in PA without getting a graduate degree. The program was graduate level, but only for the certification. However, I promptly moved to Ohio and missed the PA hiring experience.
     
  13. kab164

    kab164 Companion

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    Where I live, it is very hard to get hired with a masters. I have 4 more classes to finish for a reading masters but I won't have it completed before I have tenure. Also, some states are no longer paying teachers more who have a masters. It will cost me about $12,000 to get mine, I'll be so upset if my state moves in that direction!
     
  14. Teacheroflove

    Teacheroflove Rookie

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    Thank you all.
    I have found a master's program that seems to fit me. Hoping I can get in it. I need to take the GRE's first AND I will be given a teacher intern certificate while being in school. I would technically be able to work as a teacher under this certificate. (Although I am aware of how tough that is, it is still nice to know that they offer it). The program has a lot of things I like so I most likely will go with it.

    I understand that getting a teaching job in PA or NJ is hard but with that in mind, I want to try my best to make myself as marketable as possible. So far I am thinking, do my best to do great in school, keep gaining experience, stick around this forum... What other recommendations and advice would you guys give me? Not just about the hiring process once I finish school but also during school...Anything that you have found helpful? :blush:

    Also, any advice on studying for the GRE's? I am feeling nervous just thinking about it. :blush:
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    If it works in your schedule, maybe you could sub with your intern certificate...the more classroom experiences you get, the better. Also, work on keeping up your GPA. In the NJ/NY/PA competitive markets., GPA DOES COUNT!
     
  16. Teacheroflove

    Teacheroflove Rookie

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    Thank you!
     
  17. MissMae

    MissMae Rookie

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    Try the Magoosh Prep program. I used it and it's awesome.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Alt route is used here, but the districts around here also want the teachers to get the Master's quickly after they start working. They pressure teachers that don't have Master degrees to get them. So, you end up with both. However, depending on how long ago you received your degree, the requirements for the Master's will vary. A friend that changed careers later in life found that in order to get the Masters, many classes from her original degree would have to be re-taken because it had been too many years since the classes were taken.
     
  19. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Most likely it won't hurt you. Your beginning salary even with a Masters will still be fairly low, and it is unlikely a P will pass you up on that. My experience is that it usually makes little effect on hiring.
     
  20. futureteach24

    futureteach24 Companion

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    I did a graduate post bacc program in which I earned 1/2 a masters while getting my cert. This is another option, so your time isn't totally wasted and you don't have to worry about being looked over for jobs because you have a masters. I will say your time as a para will probably help as well! I had some experience with internships and things but not much as because I was straight out of college.
     

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