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Masters degree or straight into a job?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by 16022782, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. 16022782

    16022782 New commenter

    Hello everyone,

    My question is pretty much what it says in the title: should I just go straight into a job (if i can) or should I give serious consideration to a masters degree?

    I am currently on a Maths Education course at university and I am a little way off a masters, but I just want to weigh up my options as early as possible. I have considered a part time masters, but I just don't know if I'd be able to cope with the workload of being an NQT and a masters. Does anyone have any experience with this?

    Also, if I was to take on a masters, am I better off taking on a Mathematics Education masters, a Education Leadership masters or just a generalised Education masters? What are the pros and cons of each?

    Thanks in advance for any help! :)
  2. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    First question to answer is -what are your reasons for taking a postgraduate qualification and will it help you secure an initial post.?
    For teaching it is QTS that is the main requirement for serving an induction. Many "leadership" and education postgraduate programmes are best undertaken after a significant period of classroom experience has been gained which you can then reflect upon to study further.
  3. 16022782

    16022782 New commenter

    Hi Welshwizard,

    The main reason for why I want to do a masters is genuinely because I love learning, and I'd like to further my knowledge. I've been told that about the Education Leadership by somebody else as well actually, so i'm thinking maybe to pursue the Mathematics Education masters course instead?

    I know that in most cases, a masters won't help me secure a better job or any form of pay increase, but that's not really the reason for why I want to do the masters. I also want to do a masters because I want to be the best I can be, and I think a masters can only help right?
  4. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    It depends what it is you want to be best at. A masters in maths won't help you be the best maths teacher you can be. Teaching will help you be the best teacher you can be. It depends what you want to do with your life.
    Pomz likes this.
  5. 16022782

    16022782 New commenter

    Hi blueskydreaming,

    I'm not considering a masters in Mathematics, I'm considering a masters in Mathematical Education. I do appreciate that a masters in education (or indeed maths) might not necessarily make me the best teacher, but I just think it would help me increase my knowledge and skills, etc.

    I do agree, that hands-on teaching is the best way to increase my teaching ability, which is why I'm also considering a part time masters. That way I'd be able to teach and gain experience, whilst also pursuing a masters - which I am keen to do.

    My worry isn't really the necessity of a masters, more the work load of a masters and teaching simultaneously. I'm worried about whether I'll be able to cope with the commitment that will be required for both of them. Am I best doing a masters straight after my degree, then going into teaching, or do you think doing the part time masters will be a wiser option?
  6. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    If the Maths Education masters is about securing a higher level understanding of Maths education then I would say you need to base this on classroom experience. The other consideration is whether a research degree (PHD) offers more in the way of deeper research and it then opens more options for Higher Education.
    Ultimately where do you see yourself heading- school teaching or university?
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    If you want to teach then teach now. A Masters in education will be better done when you have a couple of years of actual teaching under your belt - you need practical experience to properly engage with and criticise the theory.
    blueskydreaming and Pomz like this.
  8. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    You will be pretty busy during your NQT year and you will want to do the best job possible. I would not advise attempting an MA at the same time.

    However, once you start work and real life starts happening to you, you may find there is never really a 'right time' to recommence your studies. So, if gaining an MA is important to you, you may be best served to accomplish this before starting teaching...

    Also - Please don't fall for any university sates pitches. If teaching is what you want to do, be prepared for no school (in this country) to care at all whether or not you have a masters degree...
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  9. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    classroom experience would be more beneficial for me
  10. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Training to be a teacher, and actually doing it in the real world, are two different things. At the moment, you are full of the flush of youth and eternal optimism. Not wishing to detract from that in any way, but what if, like many others on these forums, you decide after some real world experience that teaching is not what you thought it would be?

    If you then decide to do "something else", you need to consider what prospective employers in whatever field you wish to move into, are looking for in candidates. Possession of a Masters in Maths Education
    may not figure very high on their list ?

    Always a good idea to have a 'Plan B' up your sleeve. Just in case.

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