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Worth getting my masters?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by KMKM, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. KMKM

    KMKM New commenter


    I am a secondary international school maths teacher, teaching outside the UK. I am considering studying for my 'Masters in International Education' with a speciality in leadership whilst working full time through an Australian university who offer online classes.

    I feel that when I look at senior leadership level job adverts they're all saying that a high level degree is necessary. I presume they mean higher than a masters? But is a masters a good step to the higher level like getting a PHD or Doctorate?

    I'm getting positive reactions and offered promotions and extra responsibilities quickly once in a job. However, I don't want to limit myself to only getting promoted on the job. I'd like my CV to reflect more of my skills and for me to get interviews eventually for higher level positions like head of departments outside my own school perhaps.

    I'm thinking long term, I'm only 3 years into teaching. But I do want my CV to look better qualifications wise and long term to be in senior leadership so I thought maybe get a start now? Am I more likely to get a head of department role with such qualifications? Or what are people really looking for on a CV for you to jump up the ladder?

    All opinions, and experience on this will be much appreciated as I'll have to give up a lot of time studying.
  2. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    My view having done one is your learn little of true significance and the degree is mainly a waste of energy BUT there is no doubt it will assist your prospects (especially with new jobs) greatly.

    We have become a world that seems to value paper over substance and while I am very much opposed to this cannot deny it is the way now. The school I am at now bins all applications that fail the 'qualification' list...meaning someone with a Masters and a TESOL will be chosen/shortlisted over he or she with a Masters only. I have argued until blue in the face about this but to no avail.

    So yes, I would say do it but be prepared to feel a bit taken for a ride and a tad fake....oh, and seriously out of pocket unless your company pay or help.

    And apologies if all that sounds harsh. Some people love studying and get comfort from it. I do not when I feel it was all about dragging it out and squeezing cash from something of little substance.
  3. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I think it depends on why you are doing a Masters....is it just for job promotion or are you genuinely interested in the subject? For me, doing an M.Phil and a PhD were natural extensions of my love for my subject (Classics), but the reality is that if you are doing something just to tick a box, you may well resent the time (and money) it takes.
  4. racbre

    racbre New commenter

    Just a couple of thoughts...

    I would have assumed that a high level degree meant a 2:1 or a First in your undergrad degree, not a Masters or PhD (but I could be wrong).

    3 years in to teaching I went on a CPD course at a local university, and one of the people delivering it said that a Masters degree was to be expected if one wanted to move in to Senior Management, so I did a part-time Masters in Education with a focus on leadership in order to improve my chances of promotion &, like you, mainly to get a HoD post & climb the ladder.

    I was interested in the topics, and luckily my school gave me a portion of the fees as part of CPD & the government gave a small bursary as the uni was an 'approved CDP provider' (otherwise I couldn't have done it), but apart from 'looking good on my CV', I really don't know how much practical use it has been. Perhaps it gave me an edge and got me a few interviews, but that's impossible to say for sure; I certainly wasn't asked directly about it in any of my subsequent interviews. (Incidentally I have come 'a very close second' on a number of occasions, but that was probably more to do with other elements of the interview process, than whether or not I had a Masters).

    So ultimately I totally agree with Sabrinakat; do it if you are genuinely interested in those sort of topics & can afford it, then why not, but it is an arduous & time-consuming process (I didn't have any family at the time which was one reason why I could give up the time required for the essays, tutorials & general prep / research), so do think carefully & consider other CPD options which could be more beneficial than an academic qualification.

    Good luck :)
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    An MA would not show extra skills, except the skill of juggling a ft job with pt study.

    The general view of HT that I know is that an additional qualification does not single you out as more suitable for a leadership post, at HoD or higher.

    Best wishes

    Middlemarch likes this.

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