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Is a Masters degree worth it?

 
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Bigdreamer



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:38 am    Post subject: Is a Masters degree worth it? Reply with quote

Hi there,

I am debating the merits of getting the masters I just started (in TESOL), verses heading over in September to teach with just a bachelors in Geography, a TEFL certificate, and some non-related teaching experience.
Considering the time and expense of a masters (about 20,000 USD & another 1.5+ years) is it going to open that many more doors or make a big difference in pay, short and/or long term?
Also, would a masters in TESOL be more advantageous than a masters in teaching of another subject, Geography for example?

(BTW, I have dual citizenship with England, so can work legally in the EU)

Thanks.
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Jessiemiles



Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Location: Home

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is not about Spain specifically, but you still might find it useful

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=99067&highlight=
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The MA is more likely to pay off in the long-term, rather than the short term.

With the 'better' jobs (university, international school, direct corporate, etc) where a related MA is valued, there are very few job openings. Most people I know have started out at basically entry-level and have worked their way into the better jobs through developing local contacts and reputation, along with the advanced degree (I am speaking of MA holders here; without the MA your opps for university and the other few 'good' jobs around are really few).

I would guess that if you want to stay in Spain long-term and earn a reasonable living, you'll need the MA - plus some dues paid at lower-level jobs while you work your way into one of those few better gigs going.

Without the MA, you're looking at stuff like DOS positions at best (and a DELTA would help with those); unlikely you'd ever get into a proper university or international school.

Regarding the subject of your MA; with a non-TEFL related MA, you are looking primarily at international schools (again, very few openings); I think the TEFL MA gives you opps both in int'l schools and at universities, so probably more chances to find something.

Also, keep in mind that international schools hire certified teachers with two years experience in their home countries already, so more time delay.

Have you compared your US MA program (I'm assuming based on the fact that you quoted the cost in USD) to a British one? Birmingham (England, obviously), Leicester, and Surrey all offer solid programs, which can be done partly by distance or fully on campus; I think the costs even for a foreign student may be less than what you're quoting above (mine was) and this could be worth investigating. They can also be done within 12 months, if you are full time on campus and ready to really put your nose to the grindstone on the final diss.
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Bigdreamer



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both for the information, it is very helpful!

I have decided to go the MA in TESOL route. Spiral, that is a very good point about getting my degree in Europe. I was looking at going to school in England as a possibility, but now that you mention it, getting a degree in Spain though an English university, while getting local experience could work well too. Do bachelors degrees (with some graduate credits) transfer pretty well to European universities? Ive heard that US degrees are considered somewhat "sub-par". My undergrad degrees are also in different subjects. That is not a big issue here, is it the same in Europe?

In the meantime, I am in the process of applying for grad school in the US, as well as Spain's cultural ambassador program. I will see if I am accepted into one or the other, and if I get both, I will have the pleasant task of choosing between two good prospects.

Thanks again for all the info.
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wylieneill



Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 21
Location: Mallorca

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys

I earned my MA TESOL via distance learning while working initially in Korea and then in Spain where I am now based.

I did it through the University of Sunderland and had an excellent experience all round. There was a heavy focus on linguistics throughout including Corpus Linguistics which is very relevant in today's ESL world. It's about 6,000 STG for EU students and a little more fo Non EU students. The university has been short-listed for the Times University of the Year award so it has a decent reputation.

Hope you get sorted!
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