Two Master's Degrees... What are my options?
November 11, 2008 10:57 AM Subscribe
This spring I will be finished with my second Master's degree. I've been at my current job for almost three years and while I enjoy it immensely, I am wondering about other opportunities that having two graduate degrees might open up for me. Am hoping to obtain answers especially from individuals who have multiple degrees and have gone into somewhat different career paths.
posted by msposner to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My first graduate degree is a M.S. in Secondary School Education. I am qualified to teach in public school (context area: Social Studies). I also am certified to teach at schools for the deaf but that is not something I want to focus on because of how such institutions are being shut down at an alarming rate.
My second graduate degree is going to be a M.S. in Professional/Rehabilitation Counseling, which I'll be obtaining in May of 2009. I'm not going to be pursuing my Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certificate because I was recently on their advisory panel and signed a waiver stating that I promise not to take the CRC test for at least five years due to first-hand exposure to potential test questions. This is perfectly fine with me because I'm not planning on having my own independent counseling practice and I have no desire to work for any of the major insurance companies around here.
I currently work at a state agency as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and while I do enjoy this job very, very much, lately it seems as if I'm often hearing from people (respected professionals) that I should be doing something "better" and so forth.
For me, "better", would be to obtain employment as a researcher (researcher scientist?) or a professor at a college/university, which is actually my ultimate goal but I'm also open to acquiring other, relevant experience that might enhance myself as an educator. I'm a voracious reader and I'm always conducting research- I'd really like to go into education/rehabilitation policy if the opportunity ever presents itself.
For now, my intention is clearly to "stay put" because as I mentioned, I love my job and I enjoy working with my colleagues, however, I have my goals outside of this field and have oftentimes thought about returning to the classroom as a high school teacher.
In a nutshell, my inquiries are defined as follows:
(I) I've been told that having Master degrees in both education and counseling will make me very attractive to school systems. True?
(II) Will the fact that I do not have terminal degrees in either fields (education and counseling) hurt my chances in obtaining research-based positions and/or work as a college instructor?
(III) For someone with two Master's degrees, what are the other fields I could go into when I have specialization in both education and counseling?
(IV) Has anyone experienced negative pitfalls of having multiple graduate degrees such as frequent rejections on the basis of being overqualified?
Caveat #1: I am profoundly deaf. This, unfortunately, creates a lot of barriers for me in the workplace. Many schools have refused to hire me because in order for me to instruct in public schools, they would have to also pay for a full-time sign language interpreter since I communicate primarily in American Sign Language. In their eyes, I'm not cost effective- I'm a budget burden. As I mentioned earlier, I do not want to work at schools for the deaf because of the lack of job security and their notoriously low salaries.
Caveat #2: I've mentioned that I love my current job. However, I am also trying to plan ahead (1-3 years) and have always been open to other opportunities.
Caveat #3: Not really looking to relocate anytime in the near/distant future. Wife loves her job and is pregnant with our first child. We also put a lot of work in our present home.
Caveat #4: I'm 27 years old.
Caveat #5: My current job is paying fully for my second graduate degree, which is really the only reason why I went back to school after I completed my first Master's.
Thanks in advance for all of your suggestions/insights.