Author Topic: Grad school?  (Read 2315 times)

MustardTiger

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Grad school?
« on: December 12, 2015, 07:40:20 AM »
I am currently a junior high teacher in TX and make about as good as salary as you can get for the area (~55k with supplemental pay).  I recently started my masters because my teachers certification classes counted and I was told I only needed 12 hours to get my degree (Masters in Ed.).

I estimated that these 4 classes would cost ~5k and give me a 2k yearly raise so it seemed like a no brainer.

I have now found out that some of those classes were leveling classes after I finished one class this semester, so now for this degree plan I have 15 hours left instead of the suspected 9.  Originally I thought of doing my masters in a subject area like history or political science as the added ability to teach adjunct classes at a CC or eventually get a Phd seemed interesting.  I decided against that path because of more classes needed (27 hours), and the fact that I would have to commute 2 hours to the college as some of these classes are not online.

Now that the gap is smaller I am thinking about switching majors or possibly just not getting the degree at all.  This path I am on now doesn't seem to offer any advancement opportunities as I am not interested in administration and I am doing it solely for the extra 2k a year.

Also I work fulltime and have a baby coming in May, so I have to factor that in.

Thoughts?

Britan

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Re: Grad school?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2015, 08:20:31 AM »
I can't tell you much about your situation. But from what I've seen and experienced, the difference between "worth it" and "not worth it" seem to hinge upon knowing what you want to do, realizing the degree is necessary, and getting it to do that thing.

I've seen people go to law school because they didn't know what they wanted to do with their life. I've seen people get masters degrees in sociology because "master degree = jobs, right?". Not worth.

On the other hand, I've seen folks say "I want this specific engineering job" or "this specific biotech job" or "this specific educational job", or even "this specific art job", get the necessary degree, and go on to be successful.

If you evaluate and have a direction you know you want to go in, then I'd say go for it. But if it's just because you've already started or because maybe it will pay off somehow, maybe evaluate further what you want your path to be.

Two other considerations:
1. A coworker of mine has a baby, works full time AND is getting his PhD. He always looks run down and tired. I don't mean to discourage because obviously it's possible, just be prepared for it to be awful for awhile.
2. From what I head from CC administrators, it can actually be really hard to get adjunct positions at community colleges, at least in the areas I know. There is a huge pool of candidates with their PhDs who wanted to be faculty at a big university, but are now realizing not enough of those positions exist for them, and they're fighting over adjunct classes.

MustardTiger

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Re: Grad school?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2015, 08:31:58 AM »
Teaching at a CC is not intended to be my full time goal.  I am quite happy in public school but do want to move up to high school from junior high.  I saw it more of a summer side hustle and the ability to teach a few classes part time after FIRE would move that timetable up some.

TheDude

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Re: Grad school?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2015, 09:59:32 AM »
I think it matters how long you want to stay in the public schools. If you stay long it seems like a matters would be worthwhile. It has been for my wife but she is now in admin.

Bearded Man

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Re: Grad school?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2015, 05:28:38 PM »
Can you complete school somewhere else that is online?

iris lily

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Re: Grad school?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2015, 06:19:05 PM »
 That's great that you plan to stay in Jr. High to HS teaching.

There are only about a billion--or is that ten billion? -- applications for adjunct position at Jr. Colleges in the disciplines you name. The old Chestnut "you can teach at the Jr. College level with a masters degree" wasn't realistic even back in the day. Double PhD's now line the walks for those jobs.

You are in a good place with a decent salary in a low COL place. With your spouse, assuming there is one, you are DINKS and in a good position to save.

I suspect you are underestimating the amount of time a new addition to your family will take.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 06:21:52 PM by iris lily »

MustardTiger

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Re: Grad school?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2015, 07:39:34 AM »
Can you complete school somewhere else that is online?

The M.Ed track that doesn't have a focus is mostly online.  I was assuming that with a masters in gov't/history I would be able to pick up a couple of classes over the summer at the local CC.  I had no idea these jobs were so competitive.