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3 Bumps

Should I change my major?

I was majoring in Elementary Education. I finished my junior year but due to some family issues, I have not been able to complete my senior year yet. I have been on a 2 year hiatus and have done a lot of thinking.

I really didn't enjoy the elementary level. I have substitute taught in middle and high school and loved it. I am thinking about changing my major to Secondary Biology. The problem is I would have to go back and take a lot more science classes plus do my education classes for secondary teaching. It will take me about 3-4 years going 1/2-3/4 time because of my work schedule. I have a scholarship that will pay for the classes. I would have to come up with the money for books, but I think I can save enough from my paychecks to rent or buy used.

My husband on the other hand wants me to finish my elementary education degree. While I could have that done in two semesters and have extra money left over on my scholarship to pay for student loans, the biggest problem is that there are over 80 students graduating with elementary education degrees each year and there might only be 10 job openings each year for elementary.

Any advice?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:35 PM on Jul. 16, 2012 in Money & Work

Answers (10)
  • An education degree in an area where you're not happy and prospects aren't good isn't worth it.

    Answer by SWasson at 12:37 PM on Jul. 16, 2012

  • I don't know where you live, but in my state, they are hiring teachers like crazy. I am agreement with your husband, you could finish, get a job then complete what courses you need for the secondary level. It would really depend on your finaces for me. If you don't need to get a job and can take the extra expense of continuing (without student loans) then go for it. But, if you are this close it would be hard not to finish it really quick.

    Answer by kimigogo at 12:40 PM on Jul. 16, 2012

  • If you finished the elementary degree, would you make more money working as a teacher than you would in your current job? If so, I'd finish it, then continue on to get the other one that would allow you to work where you really want to be. With the added income, you'd be better able to buy the books you need, and with summers off, you could maybe load up on your coursework so that it wouldn't take you quite so long.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 12:43 PM on Jul. 16, 2012

  • Our state has been suffering from budgets cuts like crazy. Two years ago, they laid off nearly 100 teachers in our district. The only reason they are hiring about 10 a year is because of retirements. Same thing for the surrounding counties/school districts. I wouldn't mind teaching elementary if it was 3rd grade and up but you don't have a choice sometimes. I would be a horrible Kindergarten-2nd grade teacher. I have looked into the programs for after I finish my degree but it would take just as much time/cost as changing majors. My biggest fear is changing majors and then not having a flexible job where I can take classes when I need too.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:48 PM on Jul. 16, 2012

  • Wendy, the thing is though that there are not many teaching jobs in my area. I have friends that I went to school with 2 years ago and they have graduated and have been looking for two years now. Some are making less than I make now. If I went and finished my degree in elementary education, I would have to quit this job and I am not sure if I would want to take that chance of quitting to have a degree and then not being able to get a job when I am finished.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:52 PM on Jul. 16, 2012

  • Where I live (NC) if you have a degree in anything, you can do lateral entry teaching. Meaning you could get your degree in elementary, and then do lateral entry into the high schools. Does your state have a similar program?
    Have you looked into exactly what you need for your secondary degree? I have my BA in History with my 9-12 teaching certification. I had to take very few actual teaching courses and many of them (child psych, education psych) overlapped with the requirements for elementary ed.

    Answer by missanc at 12:58 PM on Jul. 16, 2012

  • I have looked into the program but because of the abundance of elementary school graduates, those programs are hard to get into. I will have a few classes that will overlap, but the majority of my classes that I will have to take are science related classes. I will have to do my internships over again at the middle/high school level.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:07 PM on Jul. 16, 2012

  • You can't put a price on your happiness. I 'm w/ you on this one. The demand for Science Teachers is pretty high. If I were you, I'd do what you need to do to get your degree in 7-12 Science. (Math, Science & Special Educ. are almost guaranteed to get jobs) He needs to understand & be supportive. Its not your fault that most universities don't give you a taste of all grade levels to see what you'd like to do until you are too far into your studies. I swear they do it on purpose, so that people who change their minds will have to go longer. More $ in their pockets!


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 3:50 PM on Jul. 16, 2012

  • Boy, that's a tough one. But I can relate, I've changed course SOOO many times during the pursuit of my degree. Follow your instincts.

    Answer by tasches at 6:12 PM on Jul. 17, 2012

  • Go with what you want.

    Answer by booklover545 at 7:21 PM on Jul. 17, 2012

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