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Master's degree worth the money?
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M1K1



Joined: 17 Oct 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:12 pm    Post subject: Master's degree worth the money? Reply with quote

quick question:

would getting a master's degree really be worth it? Does it make a huge increase in pay and/or job opportunities? It's a lot of time/money to invest.

Thank you,

Mike
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smithrn1983



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 320
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also like to know the answer to this question, as I've been contemplating the benefits of doing an MA for quite some time now.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3805
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're referring to a TEFL-related MA, it depends on your goals and needs. For example, an MA is a good investment if you plan to teach EFL longterm, especially at the university level. Also, if the Middle East is your target region---for top salaries and bennies---you'll pretty much need that MA for the better jobs. At the same time, an MA is likely to serve you well if/when you return to your home country; you'll be in a better position to compete for jobs that prefer or require a grad degree. (Generally, MA holders in whatever fields tend to earn more than their BA-degreed counterparts.) But the biggie is that a BA just doesn't possess the same oomph it had years ago and is basically now equal to a high school diploma. (Check out www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/2012/0617/Bachelor-s-degree-Has-it-lost-its-edge-and-its-value )
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9373
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine has paid off, but I had definite goals which I knew for certain it would help me reach.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are the type who doesn't have a clue yet about being in TEFL/TESL for a certain no. of years, then no, it's not "worth it". Once you decide to be a permanent fixture in the game, get it. Most people around the world seem to feel it offers better opportunities and/or pay.

There will be exceptions, of course. How do you feel at this moment about getting into TEFL/TESL, and what can you say about your background?
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thatsforsure



Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you like Hong Kong, Korea, or, best of all, the blistering heat of the Middle East, then by all means get it. If you like adjunct community college positions in your home country that do not pay a living wage and offer no benefits, then go for it. If you have other ideas for your life -- any at all -- I'd highly suggest you pursue them.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MATESOL or MA.Ed/M.Ed?

It really does depend on what you want to do and where you want to go in terms of career development.

If you want to teach EFL at the tertiary level then it is a step in the right direction.

If you want to work further in academic research then an MA in linguistics is probably more along the path you want to take.

If your goal is money then B.Ed/PGCE, M.Ed and look at working your way into the better international schools might be more along your desired path.

If you want to work in the private sector then a DELTA is probably a better choice as you move into management and director of studies type of positions.

.
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denise



Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 3419
Location: finally home-ish

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thatsforsure wrote:
If you like adjunct community college positions in your home country that do not pay a living wage and offer no benefits, then go for it.


Or if you'd like a full-time job with benefits and a livable wage--not terribly high, but we're teachers and teaching is not a high-paying profession--in an American university (yes, such jobs DO exist), then get it.

But I agree with Glenski--it's not worth it unless and until you decide that teaching English is what you want do do with your life.

d
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ncaraway



Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 96
Location: Tainan, Taiwan

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree mostly with what others have posted. I considered getting one myself and will share my thought processes. Maybe that will help:

* I'm in Taiwan and having a master's would probably help me to get a job in a public school system here. In other words, a little more job stability. Without a master's I'm mainly limited to teaching in buxibans.

* I'm in my late 40s. I crunched the numbers and while having a master's would probably increase my earnings, I don't plan to be in the job market long enough to get a return on my investment. The increase would be offset by the loans I'd need to repay. You're probably much younger than me. Regardless, I'd still recommend crunching the numbers.

Finally, you didn't say where you plan to teach/work. Having a masters's will definitely help you get a better teaching job in the States. Elsewhere, it probably depends on local circumstances.
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LH123



Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a word: yes.

It's not like after graduating with your masters good jobs and huge salaries will instantly start landing on your lap, but - as others have said - you have a lot more opportunities.

One caveat, though - I'm assuming you're talking about doing a distance/part-time masters while you work. If you were referring to doing a full-time masters somewhere while not working, well that might set you back some serious bucks...
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M1K1



Joined: 17 Oct 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand that a lot of posters here are annoyed when a newbie doesn't follow up. I just wanted to say that, since my original post, I have decided to quit my job and enter a Master's degree program full-time next month.
I will continue to keep you guys updated, and will prolly keep asking newbie questions Smile
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO a no brainer. Go for the masters. That is go for your MA in whatever.
If you do well and enjoy it then go for a PHD. This is the route to a career in education and study. Don't pigeon hole yourself into an EFL abroad career. Last I heard Uni profs (or any old teaching position in Canada for that matter) in home country make far more money and benefits then EFL teachers abroad. Hmmmm. $20 a contact hour or 45 to #150,000 a year with a serious pension and all the other benefits and protections? Tough choice.

You can always slum it for a year or so in EFL after the hard work is done.
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Jessiemiles



Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Location: Home

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LH123 wrote:
In a word: yes.

It's not like after graduating with your masters good jobs and huge salaries will instantly start landing on your lap, but - as others have said - you have a lot more opportunities.


Both points made here are true. It's important for anyone considering a program of study in terms of return on investment of money and time to recognize that MA holders have more opportunities, but absolutely no guarantees.

VietCanada wrote:
IMHO a no brainer. Go for the masters. That is go for your MA in whatever.
If you do well and enjoy it then go for a PHD. This is the route to a career in education and study. Don't pigeon hole yourself into an EFL abroad career. Last I heard Uni profs (or any old teaching position in Canada for that matter) in home country make far more money and benefits then EFL teachers abroad.


I agree that a PHD is the way to go if you enjoy studying, publishing, and presenting at conferences as much as you enjoy teaching. If not, an MA could be enough to advance a career in K-12 or start one as an instructor or lecturer position at a uni or college.
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Ixchel



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 155
Location: The 7th level of hell

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thatsforsure wrote:
If you like Hong Kong, Korea, or, best of all, the blistering heat of the Middle East, then by all means get it. If you like adjunct community college positions in your home country that do not pay a living wage and offer no benefits, then go for it. If you have other ideas for your life -- any at all -- I'd highly suggest you pursue them.


Community colleges in my area pay $45 to$62. per hour for a four hour/5 day a week job. Many community college instructors work at one school in the am and another in the pm or have other jobs/work in addition. Since a lot of jobs no longer offer benefits the pay is not too shabby.
Edit: while the money may be slightly less than overseas, one huge benefit that is rarely mentioned is that you are paying into a pension system and teachers' pensions are usually excellent. It's the only stereotype in the media about teachers that is actually true. Getting $3,000 a month (about the average amount after 25 years) for the rest of my life in addition to my private retirement investments and my savings is quite a weight lifted.
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thatsforsure



Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What area? Coastal? Seems to me that in most of middle America, you couldn't get near that at a community college. Just my guess.
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