Should You Go to Graduate School?
If you are considering earning your master’s degree in education, you may wonder if the benefits to your career will outweigh the time and financial commitment. Many teachers work happily in the classroom for years with an undergraduate degree, but the lure of earning your master’s is always out there. You probably work alongside others who have a graduate degree and may feel the need to earn one for personal satisfaction. You may feel a subtle, or even not so subtle, pressure from the administration to continue your education.
When you are weighing the pros and cons, keep in mind that you can take out student loans for your graduate studies. The option of borrowing money to pay for your degree does not stop with your undergraduate work. Knowing that you can take out a loan to pay for classes may make it easier to take the first step in entering a graduate program in education. There are many benefits to earning your master’s, and even if you are not sure it is the right choice for you right now, it never hurts to be prepared.
Open Up More Career Options
Each state has different requirements for teachers. While some may be fine with you working for an indefinite period with your undergraduate degree, others expect you to be making progress toward your master’s, particularly if you are seeking highly qualified teacher status. Of course, not everyone wants to stay in the classroom for their entire career. If you hope to transition into administration or would like to branch into a related field, such as curriculum development, you will find that a graduate degree opens valuable doors for you.
Strengthen Your Teaching Skills
One basic reason many wish to continue their education is to strengthen existing skills. If you feel a real passion for teaching, and love working with your students, it is normal to want to do everything possible to provide them with the tools they need to succeed. One way you can do this is by continuing your education. A graduate degree will allow you to immerse yourself more deeply in educational theory and sharpen and refine the skills you are using every day. You may pursue a specialization that allows you to help students with particular learning challenges, or study the best way to structure lessons so they logically build on each other.
Boost Your Salary
It is important to include the issue that many people hesitate to talk about, but nearly everyone considers it. Earning a graduate degree in education will increase your salary. Whether it is by moving into administrative work and getting a raise to go along with your new job title, or by qualifying for a higher pay grade by increasing your level of education, earning a graduate degree will likely provide a significant boost to your salary. Of course, money is not the only thing that matters, and certainly, no one entered the teaching field with salary as their main concern. It is nice, however, to know that your dedication to your career, and your students, will be rewarded.