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Is it better to get a master's of education online or in person?
I want to become a middle school teacher. I need to get certified, and I work full time so it's tough fitting in all the classes. I was thinking of getting a master's while I'm at it since it only takes a few more credit hours. My questions are:

1. would schools rather see an online or in-person degree?

2. does it really help to have a master's degree in education or does it hurt? I have a friend with a master's in education who says it's hurt her chances to get hired because the school district has to pay her a higher wage.

Thanks!

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Asked by Linda Tuesday Dec 4th 2007 in Uncategorized
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Hi Linda,

In general, getting an online teaching certification shouldn't hurt your chances of getting hired. Many teachers get certified online, and school districts are generally aware that a lot of their candidates are working adults who are switching careers. Many school districts need teachers--particularly in math and science--and won't care whether your certificate is from an online or traditional school, as long as you have one from an accredited school.

Some school districts are in such need that they actually allow teachers to teach while they're getting certification--they can have a grace period of several years. In these instances, I've known teachers whose principals have encouraged them to go online for their certification since it's easier to fit in with a full-time job.

As for when to get your Master's, that can be a tricky situation. I'd say it depends on your district and your subject. Some subjects are more in demand; math and science teachers usually don't have trouble getting hired, while English teachers may face this problem more often.

Surprisingly, I've heard of experienced candidates with Master's degrees being turned down in favor of less experienced teachers with only a certificate, particularly in high-demand districts. As for whether they were turned down because of their Master's or for some other reason, I can't say for sure. If you're worried, you could wait until you have a job before you go for your Master's degree.

For more info, check out the article on this site about teacher certification:

http://www.distance-education.org/Articles/A-Guide-To-Becoming-A-Teacher--Online-Certifications-To-Get-A-Teaching-Degree-6.html

Best of luck!

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