I was fresh out of college when I decided to go into the field of education. I remember when I declared my major as an undergrad that I specifically told them I wanted to major in Humanities with English emphasis, not Education with English emphasis. I was not going to be a teacher. In my third year, though, I started thinking about career options. I submitted resumes to newspapers, applied for some writing positions, and didn’t have any luck. Upon graduation, I decided to go to graduate school, since finding a job was returning no results. I obtained my M.Ed. in Secondary Education and haven’t looked back since. I speak from both personal experience and research when I say going back to school to obtain a graduate degree in education is an excellent idea.
Reason #1: Pay
Did you know that people who have a master’s degree make an average of $14,000 more per year than those that have a bachelor’s degree? That difference is not a guarantee, especially when it comes to the educational field. But, you will likely get a larger paycheck. Those with graduate degrees in education are presented with a greater number of opportunities, many of which will generate a higher income. Depending, of course, upon where you live and work, you can make around $5,000 more with a M.Ed. or other graduate degree in education. A variety of job opportunities will be open to you as well. And, depending upon what you decide to do after getting your graduate degree that pay may increase by up to $10,000. Stay in school to get your Ph.D., and even more opportunities open up, enabling you to make as much as $30,000 more. Now, don’t misunderstand. That would be in optimal circumstances if you get a job as a superintendent or administrator. Let’s just say, additional education pays.
Reason #2: Opportunities
Many opportunities exist in the field of education. With a graduate degree, more of those will open up. For instance, to be a superintendent, you will likely be expected to have a Ph.D. in an education-related field and appropriate certification. If you choose to be a school counselor, you will probably need a master’s degree and appropriate certification. To get a job as an administrator, you will need a master’s degree and certification, and many schools will want you to have or be working on a Ph.D. Diagnosticians need a master’s degree and appropriate certification. Teachers that obtain a master’s or Ph.D. will make additional income and likely have other positions opened to them. College professors need at least a master’s degree and will likely need a doctorate. Specialists in certain areas, such as reading and math, will need a master’s degree. With each new opportunity, a new salary will probably come into play.
Reason #3: Become an Expert
Isn’t it nice when someone gives you the recognition you deserve? Obtaining a graduate degree helps you to get that recognition. Experts in education or in a subject are highly valued. Master’s degrees literally mean that you have mastered that area. You have become an expert. Ph.D. means Doctor of Philosophy, meaning that you have knowledge of your field and have reached a sort of philosophic viewpoint about that field. Hard work pays off, too, because a whole new set of doors will be opened to you, and inside those doors is an even nicer paycheck.
Reason #4: Financial Aid
Graduate work can prove very expensive, as some programs will end up costing you $50 Gs or more. But, due to new legislation, it is becoming easier to afford this type of degree. Grants and scholarships are available, if you know where to look. Fill out the FAFSA and see what you get. Talk to your school’s financial aid office about possible grants and scholarships. These exist for minorities, women, mothers, academics, and more. People who make less than a certain amount can qualify for grants and scholarships, too. In this day and age, there are opportunities to reduce the financial stresses of attending school for nearly anyone.