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Accepting job offer after getting Masters vs looking for PhD

  1. Mar 12, 2012 #1


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    I'm initially doing PhD programs in Science Education, but because of funding problems, the department decided to let go a couple of students. I was unfortunate as the department has decided to stop funding my PhD. :cry:

    Not all was lost, though. I'm now doing Master in Physics, and almost done with the thesis. And the department has calculated that I'm also qualified for another Master in Science Ed, if I take a couple more courses. I also already got a job offer to teach in a university (but outside the States) once I earn my double Masters.

    Now, I'm a bit confused. My plan is actually to get my PhD and find a job as professor, but now it seems like Masters degree are the highest I could get for now. I'm thinking that I could try applying for new grad schools once I got my Masters, but my experiences with all this funding situation has made me a bit uneasy, as I'm afraid that even at the new places they could easily take away my funding. The last time I check, this country is still having financial crisis, and it surely has affected academia as well. I am lucky that I've got a job offer as physics lecturer (outside the States) already while still doing my thesis, but this is actually not what I'm planning to do....

    If you're in my situation, what will you do? Will you take the job offer and leave the States once you earn you Master? Or will you start applying for new grad school after you got your Masters? :confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2012 #2
    Something that you should know is that a Ph.D. in science education is not designed to train you to be a teacher. It's designed to teach you to be either a researcher or an administrator. I know of many Ph.D.'s in education that make lousy teachers, but they are great at either doing research on science education or in doing administration or public policy.

    A lot depends on the country you are going to. Different countries have widely different educational systems and different supply/demand characteristics. I should point out that you are not going to be able to get a faculty position in the United States in a university with only a masters.

    In the US, it's quite common to get an degree in education part time. The typical situation is that you have a teacher that wants to go into policy and administration, and only pure physics, the education departments are geared toward part time students. The flip side is that because people are doing things part time, it takes a long time to get a Ph.D. (typically eight to ten years).
  4. Mar 12, 2012 #3


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    My situation is a bit the opposite. I enjoy teaching a lot, but I'm rather a lousy researcher. I'm a bit slow on doing research myself. I wonder whether they take this into account when they decide about the funding?

    Actually, I don't mind to -say- end up as professor at community college, as I love hands-on approach and to see the direct progress of my students. I also want to form my research group someday, though, that's why I want PhD.
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