Teacher, Prof, Instructor - Is It Worth Pursuing Higher Education to Become One?
Filed under: Budgeting & Planning
As the daughter of an elementary school teacher, I knew the long hours my Dad worked, the ongoing extra-curricular activities that weren't part of his job and the numerous out-of-pocket things he did for his students.
His path to becoming a teacher was very different from the students who pursue it now.
The commitment to an undergraduate degree is a minimum, as the student must also consider volunteer hours, additional skills and even additional degrees to get a chance to be in the classroom.
With the average cost of a university education now at $78,000, most graduates leaving school have a debt of $28,000, and starting salaries for public school teachers are between $35,000-$37,000.
if your dream is to teach, is it still a profession that you can afford to pursue?
My Dad always arrived early, spending at least a half hour getting his classroom ready before his students showed up. And although school ended at 2:30pm, my Dad never got home before 5:30pm, and his commute was less than 15 minutes.His hours reflected the reality of being a teacher - working additional hours and including extracurricular activities in his schedule. But this profession isn't the only one - we all know many professions demand overtime - but there's no overtime pay as a teacher.
So when the reality of college costs sinks in, its hard to justify pursuing higher education when the salary is not even half of the investment and the average single Canadian earns $39,900 according to Statistics Canada (2010), more than a newbie teacher.
For those who decide to teach at the college and university level, the pursuit of a master's and or Ph.D is a definite bonus to get on the tenure track. The average cost of a post-secondary degree is $5000 per year, dependent on speciality, but the payout is much better, with the average university professor salary $115,513.
Like any career choice, its passion that plays a role in a choice, but for many budding teachers, the passion may be trumped by endless bills to pursue being an elementary or highschool teacher.