Advice Needed: Ed.S. vs. MScEd

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by CliffK, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. CliffK

    CliffK New Member

    Hey All,

    I’m hoping to get some sage advice from the many learners on this website. I would like to get another degree at some point in the future to further my career prospects and am wondering about the best path to take. A brief background: I currently have an M.A. in professional development and a B.A. in psychology. I’m from the US but currently in my second year of teaching English as a second language in South Korea. Right now I’m taking a few courses through Coursera to continue my education.

    I’ve thought about the future a lot, and I think I’d like to eventually work at the college or university level. I love education, and I think that working at a university with the educational benefits as well as other benefits and the nature of the work would be fulfilling. I could see myself working in educational administration, either as a coordinator or study-abroad advisor or something similar. I think I would also enjoy teaching at the college level, although I realize that is a much more difficult objective to achieve. My eventual goal is to get a doctoral level degree, for my own achievement goals and for employment’s sake as well.

    Considering all of this, I’m trying to decide my best step forward. I found a Master of Science in Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Fort Hays State University. It’s a good price and looks worthwhile (Higher Education Student Affairs Overview - Fort Hays State University).

    I’ve also been looking at American College of Education’s (ACE) programs. I see that they offer an Ed.S. in Leadership which would obviously be a higher level degree than a master’s (Online Ed.D. & Ed.S. Programs | American College of Education) However, I wonder if this kind of degree is more geared toward a K-12 educator, whereas the Fort Hays program is specifically geared towards higher ed. The obvious advantage of the Ed.S. is that the Ed.S. courses (besides the capstone) would apply directly towards the Ed.D. if I chose to pursue that option in the future.

    One consideration of doing the Fort Hays State program is that if I did do the second Master’s, I could apply 18 of those credits towards a PhD program like the one at University of the Cumberlands. Therefore, a second master’s would not only help me now but would give me an advantage in the future. Of course the same could be said for the Ed.S program at ACE.

    Finally, I’m not sure how long I will be in Korea. I might head back to the US at some point, or I might be here for a while. I wonder if an Ed.S. would even be known here in Korea, and if it would provide any tangible benefit. While I love learning for learning’s sake, my funds are limited and I realize that I need to choose marketable areas of study. The MScEd would definitely be a known degree over here. Sometimes I think that maybe I should just put aside another degree for a while, and just continue on with these Coursera courses, since I am learning a lot with those.

    Such tough decisions… Any advice or guidance is most appreciated. I think I just need some new perspectives on the matter. Thanks!
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If you're ultimately interested in doctoral study, I would just do that. Even you choose a program like Cumberlands that will allow significant transfer credit for a second Master's, you'll still be taking more courses overall than you would if you simply took a straighter path. Everyone knows I'm the resident shill for Cumberlands, so obviously I'd encourage you to consider them, but ACE is also reasonably priced and they have an EdD in Leadership - Higher Education, so there's that to consider also if they feel like a better fit overall.

    That's doubly so in that it doesn't sound like a Specialist degree would really help you reach your professional goals. They're unknown outside the U.S., and even in the U.S. are much more common in K-12, where "Master's + 30 credits" is sometimes a distinct salary/promotion tier.
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Why not just shoot for the doctoral level now?
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Go for the doc.
  5. CliffK

    CliffK New Member

    Thanks for taking the time to read my lengthy post and for offering the replies- much appreciated! I'm seeing the general consensus is to just go for the doctoral degree and I agree. I'm seeing more and more that the Ed.S. doesn't really suit my needs, and another master's is somewhat redundant when there are clearly doctoral programs that would achieve my goals and much more.

    SteveFoerster, I've read many of your useful posts on University of the Cumberlands, and I even contacted Dr. Vann in the past with a few questions. The Cumberlands PhD would be my top choice if not for the weekly synchronous sessions. Could you tell me a little more about how those work? My issue is that I am living in South Korea, so a Monday evening synchronous Skype session Central Standard Time means a Tuesday morning here in Korea during which time I am teaching students. Are all of the synchronous sessions on a Monday evening, or could they possibly take place on a weekend?

    I do think that ACE's Ed.D. program looks excellent too so I certainly would be happy with them. The university seems very professional, and I like the fact they use online journal articles rather than textbooks in their course, as it is can be quite difficult to secure textbooks here in Korea. I don't think I could go wrong with either the University of the Cumberlands or ACE.

    Thanks again for the replies, I feel like I have much greater clarity now going forward. Hopefully I can spend these next few months saving money, finishing up these Coursera courses, and then hopefully start a doctoral program early in the new year.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    None of the synchronous sessions are on weekends, but neither are they all on Monday. Throughout my time, I've taken courses that met just about every weeknight. Is that at all helpful?
  7. CliffK

    CliffK New Member

    Thanks for the quick reply, and yes that is very helpful. I could do the Friday evening synchronous sessions (since that would be Saturday Korea time). However, a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evening/night session would all take place the next morning, Korea time, during which time I unfortunately always have teaching responsibilities. Thank you though, I think that helps to clarify pursuing the Ed.D at ACE.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Alas, probably. I've never taken a course there that took place on Friday's, I'm not even sure they have them. It would certainly be too limiting to try to do the program that way.
  9. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    If you're looking for an EdD, check out the sticky thread "PhD in Education - Cheapest RA."

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