All teachers want to invest in their professional development. They either enroll in advanced degrees or get specific certifications to boost their career. An advanced teaching degree polishes your skills and enables you to engage with students at a higher study level. Advanced degrees not only increase your knowledge but also enhance your critical thinking skills, which can ultimately lead to better student performance.
Advanced teaching degrees can also help you transition to administrative positions. If you want to change the education system from a managerial perspective, pursuing a master’s degree in education administration might just be the choice for you. However, if you want to excel at your teaching skills and want to be directly involved with your students, go for a teaching degree online or on-campus. No matter what degree you choose to pursue, it will have various benefits like increased earning potential, greater mobility, and more influence on the system, for your career.
This article will advise you about the questions that you must ask yourself before enrolling in an advanced teaching degree.
1. What is the mode of study?
Before enrolling in an advanced degree, check the various modes of study offered by the school. You can choose your mode of study based on your unique circumstances. Full-time, part-time, and online study options have their pros and cons. Select the study option most suitable for your schedule.
If you work full time, then an online or part-time study option may be appropriate for you. However, if you don’t have any other work or life commitments, then enrolling in a full-time program is a better option as you will complete your degree in a relatively shorter time.
2. What are the career options available after graduation?
Several schools across the US offer various advanced teaching degrees. It is crucial to consider the scope of each degree before enrolling in it. Every degree offers a different career pathway. A master’s in education can help you become an education counselor, special education teacher, English language teacher, and more. A master of science in teaching enhances your teaching skills with practical training. A doctorate is more professional and sought-after in the industry. Carefully consider all the possible career paths you can pursue after graduating with a certain degree and then choose the one that allows you to do what you want to do.
3. What is the job outlook for the degree?
It is essential to consider the job growth or outlook for the degree as well. Some degrees become obsolete over time and are not required as much for career advancement. Therefore, study the trends in the job industry and opt for a degree with maximum job growth predictions in the coming decades. The US Bureau Of Labor Statistics estimates job outlooks for various teaching jobs at different levels. Take a look at these numbers before enrolling in a degree.
4. How much is the tuition fee? Or are there any financial aid options available?
Calculate the total cost of your degree, including tuition fees, books, commute costs, and any other charges. Compare the total expense with your available finances. Analyze if you would be able to fund your education or would you require financial assistance from the school? If you need financial aid, look into the various options like merit scholarships, need-based assistance, or any other funding options. See if you qualify for any of the assistance programs. Remember that an advanced degree is essentially an investment in your future, so you may have to make tough decisions when picking a choice.
5. What are the prerequisites?
Every degree program requires a different set of prerequisites that you should fulfill to get admission. Some advanced degrees require specific previous degrees and work experience. Some schools may require an admission test at a minimal fee of around $50. So, make sure to fulfill the requirements before applying for advanced degrees. Being prepared in advance will save you a lot of time and make the process stress-free later on.
6. What is the time length to complete the degree?
Along with other questions, it is also crucial to question how much time it can take to complete the degree. As there are several modes of study for a single degree, the time length for a similar degree program can differ from person to person. Most full-time master’s degrees take almost around two years to complete. However, if you opt for a part-time mode of study, it can take 2-3 years to complete. The online degree program timeframe can also differ. Some schools may also customize the program to meet your needs. Moreover, hybrid (online/on-campus) degree programs are also available. All in all, knowing the time length of your degree is essential so that you can plan your finances and other life commitments accordingly.
7. Is the school accredited?
It is crucial to check the school’s accreditation you are considering for higher education. Accreditation ensures that the school meets the set standard of excellence and offers quality education. It also ensures the trustworthiness of your school. Avoid attending an unaccredited school as you would have to verify the integrity and quality of your education after graduation, which can mean that you potentially wasted time and money pursuing that degree.
The Bottom Line
An advanced teaching degree can make you more marketable and help advance your career. It can increase your earning potential, enhance your teaching skills, and help you transition to a managerial/ administrative role.
There are various benefits of an advanced degree but, do not forget to ask yourself the questions discussed in this article before enrolling in a degree program. Also, make sure that you go to an accredited school and explore various financial aid options to help reduce the financial burden. It is crucial to question the career pathways you can pursue, the program’s total cost, the prerequisites, the mode of study, and the job outlook after graduation. Answering these questions can help you pick the right choice and make an informed decision.