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  1. #1
    emissary is offline Registered User
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    Well, now what do I do?

    As I reach the end of my Bachelor journey, I am faced with another dilemma. Due to budget issues, the teaching market in Texas is abysmal. I can get a job, but it would mean a massive pay cut from what I am currently earning; such a cut would render it difficult (though possible) to live. I dislike my current occupation, but as I descend deeper into the rabbit hole (philosophically speaking) of moral relativity, I get more and more ok with it. So, what do I do now?

    What utility can anyone here find in a BMS (concentrations in Biology, Composite Science, and Liberal Arts) beyond education ? Should I push for a Masters that complements it in hopes of someday breaking into academia or some other as-of-yet unexplored field? I have no interest in investing another 2-5 years and $$ for a crapshoot at an adjunct position. Is there a logical next step that would lead me to a different career?

    OR, should I just keep my head low, be happy that I have a job that (for now) pays pretty well, and retest the educational waters next fall? The thing that troubles me with this approach is the loss of momentum. Perhaps that's a silly thing to worry about. What I do know is that I am not prepared to enter a full-scale masters program in education or teaching with the current uncertainty in that market, unless I first secured a reasonable salary in the field.

    Sorry for the disjointed nature of the post. I don't have time to proofread right now.
    BMS - University of Texas at El Paso - May '11

  2. #2
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    First, congratulations for getting that Bachelors (I guess you're not actually 100% done but we know you'll get there so...)



    Second, if I was going to do it over again (knowing what I know now) I'd probably give some very hard consideration to the biological sciences. I think there's massive growth potential in that general area.

    Third, if you're able to relocate (even a little bit) I'd ask you to think about moving to a place that's within striking distance of a major research university (preferably one with a medical school attached). There are huge research programs going on all over the country connected to these places and they all need lab techs, research assistants, etc. They pay pretty well but they also tend to have good benefits including education benefits. You can aim at the hardcore lab sciences, bioinfomatics, biostats or even research management. That's my $.02.
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  3. #3
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
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    You mention the term "teaching" which implies K-12. You then mention "break into academia" which implies university instructor or professor. Does that mean you are considering both occupations?

    Here's my two cents. If you want to eventually break into academia, go to a regular B&M, in-person program at a traditional school for your master's. Degrees earned online are not widely accepted in academia. Moreover, most academic jobs are going to the many doctorate holders out there. An individual with only a master's would have to possess considerable experience in the field he/she would be teaching to beat out a doctorate holder.

    If you want to go into K-12 teaching, don't get your master's yet. It makes you too expensive for school districts. They will often pass you up in favor of someone who only has a bachelor's degree. Get your master's after you find a teaching job. A brand new teacher is one of the few people that are not more marketable with a master's degree.
    Last edited by SurfDoctor; 04-06-2011 at 10:34 PM.
    "If ignorance is bliss, why are the ignorant so angry?" Shannon Wheeler

  4. #4
    OutsideTheBox is offline Registered User
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    Might I suggest something else since you have a job now, there is creative educational options among these assisting home schooling parents and working with unschoolers to provide valuable educational options. You hold the best degree general science with likely mathematics and liberal arts your good as gold and would be able to do this on the side for now. Then there are private schools a certified teacher at most religious schools K-12 is not unwanted you might and will take a bigger benefit and pay hit but in return have students whose parents will back you up since they are paying and be involved that is not a small thing over a public school.

  5. #5
    emissary is offline Registered User
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    First, congratulations
    Thanks! You're right, not complete, but I graduate in May.
    As far as biological sciences go, that's where most of my science credits come from, and it is an area of interest for me. I have a fair amount of upper division biology under my belt. Working in research would be a dream-come-true for me; unfortunately, I am not able to relocate for a minimum of 4 more years. Something like this may be on the horizon, but I also need to make more immediate plans.

    Surfdoctor, I apologize for the inclarity. My approach for the last year or so has been to prepare myself to teach 8-12 sciences. That market is currently unattractive; it is highly volatile, and the positions that are open are offering salaries under what I am willing to accept at this point. In reassessing my goals, I do see myself later in life teaching at some sleepy community college somewhere in rural Texas. However, b&m is simply not an option for me at all right now.

    If you want to go into K-12 teaching, don't get your master's yet. It makes you too expensive for school districts. They will often pass you up in favor of someone who only has a bachelor's degree. Get your master's after you find a teaching job. A brand new teacher is one of the few people that are not more marketable with a master's degree.
    I have heard this from several sources; this is one of the things that makes me wary of even looking at masters programs right now. Well, that and money.

    Quote Originally Posted by OutsideTheBox
    Might I suggest something else since you have a job now, there is creative educational options among these assisting home schooling parents and working with unschoolers to provide valuable educational options. You hold the best degree general science with likely mathematics and liberal arts your good as gold and would be able to do this on the side for now. Then there are private schools a certified teacher at most religious schools K-12 is not unwanted you might and will take a bigger benefit and pay hit but in return have students whose parents will back you up since they are paying and be involved that is not a small thing over a public school
    Great ideas! I am well-versed in homeschool issues and curriculum, and actually homeschool my son. The "on-the-side" work will fit very nicely into my lifestyle right now as well. I will check into opportunities in that area. Private schools are not currently attractive to me, both because of the pay and the religious affiliations of all of those near me. I'm not prepared to walk the tightrope of trying to teach true science while not stepping on any religious toes.

    I'm thinking I might, just for kicks, see what options there will be for a quick, cheap, 2nd bachelors, just as something to keep me going while the job market evolves. Maybe something a little more specialized, or something in mathematics.

    NEWS FLASH: As I was typing this post, I received a job offer from an old coworker. Still in retail, but may be attractive. Hmmmm......
    BMS - University of Texas at El Paso - May '11

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