Masters program and career path indecision, advice?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by AdrianneIsabel, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    I have a BA in Fine Arts and I would like to go into teaching. My end goal would be teaching college level in art education. The problem is to teach at a university I need my PhD. So, I am going for my masters next. My initial plan was to go for MEd (masters of education) and start with elementary. While there I would slowly finish my schooling with a doctorate and apply for work at a university level. I would then be teaching education, not art, but I would be where I want to be an thus not heart broken.

    It was brought to my attention this week that if I go for my MFA done with a dual focus of art and english (far more reliable for jobs) I can in turn begin teaching at a CC immediately and work towards my PhD if I was not satisfied with working at a CC instead of a university.

    I'm torn, I'm looking at both options with caution but neither are less appealing in the short term. Long term I am not sure I would love elementary when I am 50 or 60. Short term it feels like a more reliable career path.

    Suggestions? Advice? Something I've missed along the way? Thus far I am on track with my MEd application but now I'm questioning my plan of action and I'm not positive who to speak to about this yet.
     
  2. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Personally, I'd choose the second option. Working at a CC, while different from a university, is not as vastly different as a university and an elementary school. Plus, it looks like that would give you better chance of teaching what you really want to teach. And for me, teaching a CC class sounds way, way better than teaching an elementary school class. And getting an MFA sounds way more enjoyable than getting an MEd.

    I guess it will come down to things like: Would you be happy teaching education instead of art? Would you be happy teaching in an elementary school? Even long term? Some of these things you aren't going to know the answer for until you try them.
     
  3. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    I would enjoy elementary, I did work for some time in a daycare/early start program as an aid and my first major in college was elementary eduction(then bio, nutrition, and art when I settled in so that may not say much lol).

    So... Yeah... Maybe I'll apply to both and see if one likes me better, if I don't get in to one maybe that's the easy answer.

    I do know I have strong feelings against middle and high school but I see pros and cons to both additional options.
     
  4. tzigane

    tzigane New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1.5
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    Home Page:
    If it means anything, I have a friend who's finishing up her first year teaching at a community college in the communications department, and she loves it. You typically get a lot of adult students, so, students who are there because they want to be rather than because Mommy and Daddy are making them.
     
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    It helps, can you ask her what path she took to get there? I'm curious if my MA is the right step.
     
  6. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I am more familiar with the hard sciences, where a teaching position at a large University can be less teaching-driven and more research and publication driven. I don't know if that kind of thing even applies to your chosen subject field, but if my goal was teaching I would probably choose a CC over a University any day of the week.
     
  7. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Thank you, that makes sense as well and helps me think on things.
     
  8. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    14,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    Home Page:
    CC was actually where I wanted to teach if I got my Masters in art education... but I changed my mind when I found out the local college didn't hire very many teachers without a PhD. It's gotten so competitive... so... I just changed my mind and didn't pursue it.

    Not that you should throw the idea out but I think it's definitely worth looking into the colleges where you are looking to teach and see if they are hiring teachers with MAs or if it's highly competitive there as well.
     
  9. joce

    joce Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    6
    Location:
    Ohio
    Here you need masters for everything. Some states teachers are not required to have masters. I didn't know about the phd thing.

    My step mom has been teaching at out community college (for accounting)just because she had her masters and was qualified and they offered it to her when she had nothing else to do. She has now found another job. My friend who does elementary was allowed so many years to get her masters.

    I keep thinking about teaching clinicals, only need bachelors and pay is good and can do it on the side. But .....

    I think if you want to do elementary do it now. It's different worlds. You need new classes then to be able to teach different grades to. I know I'd hate to test for that at that age. Kids are fun. Community college can be fun to if they want to do it.
     
  10. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Often when hard up for teachers they lessen the requirements such as accelerated licensure programs and MA incentive programs, et, but job security seems to come with a masters and in turn a license. Here you can't even sub without your MEd from what I understand.
     
  11. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Thanks, I will definitely look into this. One of my concerns is if I go El-ed & SPED I would have a probably safer job hunt, especially with the growing number of SPED and classroom assistants being required anymore. That said there is always a call for an English teacher at CCs but to what extent? Full time? It's a concern even if I would like to be there.
     
  12. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah it just depends on your area of the country. Where I grew up/where much of my family still lives, you basically need to have your masters AND years experience to get a job in elementary education...the competition is insane, partially because so many local kids want to grow up to teach at the school where they grew up and end up scrapping it out with each other for the limited spots.
     
  13. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    17,300
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    AL

    I just finished up 3 semesters at a CC, now I'm at a university. Yes, there are many more adult students in CC, however, you also get just as many (usually more) students who just don't care. More so than I've seen at my university. It's different than a university. The students are different. Generally classes are easier, too. Classes are smaller at CC.

    There are pros and cons. That beings said, I really liked my CC experience. I had a few phenomenal teachers who took the time to get to know you, wanted you to excel, and made class interesting even if it was just writing a paper or giving a speech.

    I would answer the question do you want to work with kids all day, every day? And I'd guess the pay is much better at a CC/university.
     
  14. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    I'm comfortable fighting for a full time teaching job, I have a nice résumé with plenty of teaching and classroom aid experience, plus I keep telling myself I also have training to fall back on even when I realize this isn't my life's ambition.

    I'm still struggling with which direction is best but part of me feels safest with the MEd and a SPED certification for job probability.
     
  15. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    From what I was told pay is better in college but the benefits aren't always there. Elementary tend to be paid less than mid and high but that is due to statistically elementary teachers are less likely to pursue supplementary education beyond requirements and teachers are always paid on their education level. My moms theory is elementary is so exhausting, lol, but she was a highschool teacher for 40 years and says that anyone who wants to teach small children is either crazy or brave. ;)
     
  16. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would probably go the CC route too. But that being said, for some reasons, here in Vancouver, even a lot of CCs want PhD candidates. My university (UBC) right now employs mostly only post doctorates... According to a brochure I read 2 or 3 years ago, as a university, 93% of our staff hold at least a PhD degree.

    I guess because PhDs are getting pretty common, that the standards have been raised and the PhDs that didn't end up getting a position in universities are settling for community colleges.

    Or maybe it's just my area (art history/English), a lot of smaller schools don't offer art history at all so that doesn't help.

    I say go the CC route because I know quite a lot of people that teach elementary and it is a lot of work! Plus at least the schools here, are not as good with letting people teach part time for elementary so it seems more difficult to keep going to school while teaching elementary school. Plus in terms of jobs relevancy when applying to bigger colleges or universities, CCs seem closer than elementary.
     
  17. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I would not go into elementary ed looking for job security...I also wouldn't go into it for any reason than you really want to be an elementary teacher. I teach 8th grade. It is exhausting. If I was here just because it was the "safe" path, I'd have left halfway into my first year!

    If you have any specific questions about a teaching degree, I can do my best to answer. I am a career switcher--my undergrad was in computer science/business, and I got a masters in secondary math education.
     
  18. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Just to clear up I positively know I want to teach, it's just a matter of where for the long term.
     
  19. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,984
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Southern California
    I can't really help too much, but I'm TAing a bio lab right now at a university, and I love it. It is exhausting, and it can be hard, but teaching so, so fun.

    Plus so many of my students are just really cool people.

    Sorry if that doesn't help much. I don't like kids much (like, I don't hate them, but I'm bad at interacting with them) so I would definitely choose the CC path.
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Okay this is helping a lot, along with talking to my mom and my coworker who initially suggested it (she's retired from teaching CC level).

    I think tomorrow I will explore the MA route to CC. I won't retract my application for my MEd but instead see what happens while I push on. It's not closed until May so I have time to explore but I think long term I would be happier at a CC, I just need to see why opportunities exist as far as benefits.

    Thank you all, it's definitely helpful talking it out.
     

Share This Page