Which degree will be more impressive for teaching jobs?

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by Pelican, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Pelican

    Pelican Member

    I want to get a job teaching History/Social Studies. I already have a teaching license, but need something on my resume to improve my chances in an interview. I found two very affordable routes:

    • BA in History from TESU
    • BA in Liberal Arts from NAU

    TESU will mostly be by taking exams and transferring in existing credit. NAU is via the personalized learning program, where some steps can be tested out.

    • The costs will be about the same.
    • The time to complete might be similar.
    • NAU is only 200 miles away.

    Which of the two will be more impressive to prospective employers?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2017
  2. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    In my personal opinion, because of the location/proximity to you, the NAU degree may be more impressive. Other's may disagree.

    RANSOMSOUL New Member

    Your location to the school + the bonus of NAU being a local non-profit school should serve you well. My sister-in-law has her BS & MA from Grand Canyon University (for profit) and she continues to have strong success with a local degree in the Tuscon market.

    Interesting that you share the prices are about the same because when looking at NAU a few years back the cost was more than TESU. However, with a max transfer at NAU and speed + the value of their location, I would put the greater return on investment with NAU then and now.

    It should be mentioned that if you change your BA from history to Liberal Arts at TESU, there is a significant saving when you factor the amount of inexpensive for credit transfer options that are available.
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Which degree do you already have? I don't see how a liberal arts degree can make you more marketable if you already have a degree. Liberal arts, liberal studies, general studies, etc. don't demonstrate an area of expertise.
  5. suelaine

    suelaine Member

    If you already have the teaching license in the subject you want to teach, I have my doubts that an additional BA or BS would improve your chances. I could be wrong and could be basing my thoughts all on my own individual experiences, but when job seeking in the K-12 field, I think the main concern is that you have the "license" which means you already have an accredited Bachelor's Degree, at least in my locality, that would be the case. I have not experienced employers really caring that much where my degrees were from as long as they were accredited.

    So I think employers would be looking more at your experiences and other qualifications. I would think if you really want an additional degree you would go for a Master's Degree since many areas would require you to get that eventually anyway if hired as a teacher. If you have no experience at all to put on your resume, maybe you could try some substitute teaching, or volunteering in schools. You could find a way to include anything related to working or volunteering in schools on the resume. And then if you do get an Interview, you just have to sell yourself. Again, I could be wrong but I feel the trend is that employers are becoming a little more practical, not just looking at the "degrees" and where they are earned, but looking at the person.

    What have you been doing with your life besides going to school? What could you personally give to the district that another candidate might not be able to offer? Are you a potential sports coach? Do you have some other special talent that might make you stand out?

    Good luck in whatever you choose to do.
  6. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    What do you teach now, and would this degree be to add an additional teaching endorsement or for something else?

    I hope Matt Brent sees this thread, this is really his lane.
  7. Pelican

    Pelican Member

    I currently teach Language Arts. I already have a Social Studies endorsement. However, when I went to apply for a job last year, I was overlooked and others got the position. I want people to see a History credential on my resume, so they know that I am passionate and knowledgeable about History. When they see my resume, they just see a Language Arts teacher.

    I already have History credits that can apply to a TESU degree. I would only have to complete the upper-level credit requirements.
  8. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Just a thought:
    Online Master's Degree in History | American Military University
  9. eriehiker

    eriehiker Active Member

    Maybe you could apply for a National Endowment for the Humanities summer scholar program in history:


    You could also start taking graduate courses in history or another social studies topic so that you could teach a dual enrollment or college class. I have an English major and a social sciences minor. I teach in both areas, but I am now building up inexpensive economics graduate credits. I currently have 12 and will reach 18 next year.
  10. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    Sorry I'm late to the party. If you already have a teaching license, I'm assuming you're already endorsed in a subject. I'm speaking in generalities because each state sets their own licensure requirements, but after NCLB was passed, many states jumped on the "Highly Qualified" bandwagon by putting into place a structure to expand endorsements by taking content exams. Many of these are the Praxis Subject Exams which used to be called Praxis II. If you're endorsed in English, for example, you can take the History Praxis and if you get a passing score, you can get endorsed in that field.

    If I were you, I'd go beyond that. History teachers are a dime a dozen. If you already have a BA, you might consider going for an MA that would not only help you get noticed, but expand your credentials. If you get a Masters in a subject, you could potentially teach that as a dual enrollment course. Western New Mexico University has a great graduate program that would allow you to get two 18-hour concentrations so you can teach. Full disclosure, I'm a graduate of that program, but it certainly helped propel me into my current place of employment and position as dean. I did History & Political Science. You might want to check that out.

  11. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    Sorry, I missed some of your comments. If you're endorsed in Social Studies/Sciences, that should include history. I can't speak for other states, but I know in Virginia a Social Sciences endorsement is far more marketable than a plain history endorsement. With a Social Sciences endorsement you can do geography, political science, history, economics, etc.

  12. Diesel13

    Diesel13 Member

    I'd like to add, that your chances of landing a History teaching job would be higher (especially here in CA) if you can and are willing to coach one or two sports. I was a high school teacher for 14 years and the majority of history teachers I worked with were sports coaches too. The ones I knew coached football, track and field, and cross country. Also, like Matt mentioned taking the subject matter exams like the Praxis or CSET (CA test) will be enough to meet minimum qualifications.

    You can also substitute teach at a district you really like. Make some genuine connections with the history teachers and administration. While being a substitute, try and land a coaching position too, and that will definitely help get your foot in the door.

    Hope this helps.
  13. tamil

    tamil New Member

    Thank you for sharing the informative post.
  14. raji96

    raji96 New Member

    Master degree in History is the best option for you to make your teaching profession more impressive.
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Since you want to be a history teacher, I'd go for the BA in History.

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