A Bachelor's degree in Biology or Physics may satisfy licensing requirements so that you can become a science educator, but it is a Master's in Science Education that will take you further in your career.
If you have already entered the workforce with your undergraduate degree and you are teaching in a middle school or a high school, taking the leap to return to school can be a difficult decision. The most effective way to decide if you should move forward in continuing your education is for you to learn where a Master's degree will take you.
Augmenting Your Expertise
When you take a 4-year undergraduate degree program you are focusing on introductory coursework in the subject that you are majoring in and some introductory theory in your education minor. This may prepare you to earn your teaching credential, but the program is not going to teach you about the theories and the instructional practices that are best used to teach a specific subject. To learn this and effective teaching methods, you will need to take a Master's degree program majoring in Science Education. By studying for a graduate degree you can use your passion for science to drive you to augment your expertise.
The Shortage Between Supply and Demand
There is a shortage of teaching professionals all across the country in public institutions. While the shortage exists in education as a whole, the shortage of teachers who hold their Master's degree or higher is extremely large. There is a huge focus being placed on science education because it will only help spark economic growth nationwide.
If you have both a Master's degree and you are majoring in Science, you will benefit from two different angles. You will be able to not just benefit from landing a position because you have a Master's and you are viewed as an expert, you will also benefit because a Master's in Science Education carries a lot of weight in a country focusing on advancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.
How Well Are Teachers With a Graduate Degree Compensated?
Since there are so many initiatives being put in place to produce technologically savvy and talented scientists, you will be at an advantage when you earn your graduate degree. One of the advantages is that you will be able to increase your lifetime earning potential by becoming an expert science educator.
The difference between a Bachelor's salary and a Master's salary varies by state. On average, educators who earn their Master's degree can expect to earn $3100 more per year during their first year. This number grows as you gain experience and as your students achieve high test scores on standardized tests.
If you want to network with like-minded educators and learn the teaching methods that are successful in science education, it is time to consider applying for a graduate program. You should take the time to compare schools and programs before submitting any applications. Once you have done a thorough comparison and you have a list of accredited schools, you can look at cost. There is financial aid available to students who qualify. In fact, if you land a position as a science educator in a specific region with your Master's in Science Education, you may even have some of your loans forgiven.