Can I get a job in the States with an MA from an online UK program?
August 19, 2008 6:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking at online degrees (needed for work), and I'd like to know if a Masters in education from British universities are considered valid (or equal to) for employment in America.

I'm currently teaching English at a university in Japan. I do not have an MA, and I have been told that if I want to stay longer than the three years (I am in year two) offered in my contract, I will need to at least be pursuing an MA. While I'm not sure if I want to stay at this university or not, I do realize that having an MA will help my career here in Japan.

The thing is, if I'm getting an MA, I'd like to be able to use it back home, if I decide to leave Japan, preferably to go into teaching high school in the States. Previously, I had considered returning home to enroll in an MED program in Chicago, but I can't realistically put my life here on hold for two years. That's why I'm looking at online degrees. Co-workers have introduced me to some very nice online programs in the UK (particularly at the University of Bath). These programs are less than half of the price of many US MA online programs, and if possible, I would like to avoid spending up to $20,000 US on this degree.

On the other hand, if getting a UK MA will be largely useless for teaching in America, I'll start concentrating my search on schools in the States. So, people in education, is a UK MA valid in the States?
posted by Ghidorah to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As an expat American TEFL teacher myself (off to Poland in a few weeks after years in Latvia and Indonesia), I can tell you that the cost of Masters' degrees in the US is so totally out of whack with what it costs to receive the same thing in Europe that I'm actually trying to position myself as an EU resident to take advantage of what they call "home fees" - the price EU residents pay - instead of "overseas" fees, which are far higher.

For the program you link to, did you notice this at the bottom of the page:

FT H £3800 O £9650

That means a full-time EU ("home") student pays about $8000, while a full time overseas student - that's you - pays right around $20, no great savings, and I didn't see an online program.

I can't answer the rest of the question, but keep that home/overseas student distinction in mind.
posted by mdonley at 7:20 PM on August 19, 2008

I did an MA in the UK. It was 10,000 pounds for a 1-year MA. At the time, it wasn't too bad. Now, with the crummy dollar, it is worse. But, I got it done in a year.

But I've found that generally it is respected in the U.S. just fine.
posted by k8t at 7:36 PM on August 19, 2008

I am currently enrolled in an MSEd program through UNE - it is $1200ish per class but I started in May and expect to be finished in Nov 2009 (and I get $4,000/year reimbursement through my job).
posted by sisflit at 8:09 PM on August 19, 2008

Please note - I'm not a teacher or in any sort of Education program, but I do have many friends who are.

Have you looked into the requirements for teaching in a few "test" locations in the US where you might be returning to?

I ask because even if you get a Masters in Education, I'm pretty sure you still have to get certified in the state where you want to teach. So even if you this degree from a UK institution (which are in general very comparable to US degrees and accepted by employers), you may still have to go through the certification process wherever you end up.

I hope the cost issue works out; from the comments above it and the general sorry state of the dollar it sounds like it might not be that much cheaper.
posted by polexa at 10:12 PM on August 19, 2008

University of London also offers external programmes, which are quite highly regarded for distance education.

Unfortunately, they do not seem to have MA in Education.
posted by joewandy at 10:25 PM on August 19, 2008

I'm a student at IU-Bloomington's distance program in education (concentration instructional systems technology). The cost is about $900 per course (same as in-state tuition).

There are some US schools that have reasonable prices (SDSU educational technology, which I also considered, was about the same), largely state universities or community colleges.
posted by ejaned8 at 9:08 AM on August 20, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers. If there's no difference in price (which I had thought was the case), I guess I might be better off with an American school, since there would be fewer instances of cultural (writing and so on) differences. Back to the research board.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:16 PM on August 20, 2008

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