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Graduate School: Should You or Shouldn't You?
Career in Education:
Any financial crisis encourages people to look for new careers that can weather the crisis, or ways to improve their skills and make them invaluable to an employer. Pundits, backed by historical trends, have often touted the education industry as a sector with recession proof careers. A look at the list “The 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs” published in Time Magazine on Time.com will reveal at least eighteen different jobs in the education field. And according to “The Occupational Outlook Handbook” (www.bls.gov/oco/) published by the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.4 million new jobs will be available in the education industry over the next eight years.
These statistics give hope to both aspiring teachers and current educators: Teachers-to-be see investing in an education as a wise choice, while working teachers can justify furthering their own education. This is especially true in the secondary education field in which a Master’s degree often leads to an increased salary. Incidentally, half of those eighteen education jobs on the recession-proof list are in secondary education.
Teaching Social Studies:
Okay, so a career in secondary education looks good but what subject area should a prospective teacher choose? That decision depends partly on personal preference and partly on employment potential. With that in mind, let’s examine a Social Studies specialty. A teacher of Social Studies can usually teach within the following content areas: History, Geography, Anthropology, Civics, Political Science, Current Events, Sociology, Economics, and Psychology. This variety in subjects will allow for flexibility in a job search. Check your local newspaper or a site like TeacherJobs.com to see what positions are available in your area.
If you’re a secondary teacher of Social Studies, furthering your education can only help you. A Master’s Degree can lead to a larger salary and expanded job options. Most administrative, supervisory, and curriculum development positions prefer candidates with a Master’s Degree. To find schools with great graduate education programs, refer to US News & World Report’s list of the Best Graduate Schools. Of the top five education programs, three have programs for a Master’s Degree in the Social Sciences.
Specifically, these programs are:
1. Stanford University: Master’s of Social Sciences in Education
2. UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies: Social Sciences and Comparative Education
3. Teacher’s College Columbia University: Teaching of Social Studies