My oldest son recieved B. S. degrees (two bachelor degrees so he could take more Physics courses to be a better candidate for graduate school) in four years going continuously (plus a year of full time college during High School). That education was not much more expensive than any other degree, but he would not have had time to also take teaching courses, an essential for a career in K-12 teaching simply to relate to modes of learning, maintaining fairness and classroom discipline, etc. He would have been an excellent teacher with another year of just teaching courses worked into his education.
My son then went on to get his Masters Degree and a Ph.D. from UCLA before going to a Max Planck Institute program in Germany for two years of Post Doc work. After the Masters Degree he could have taught in a community college (and did to earn some extra money one year) or he could have taken a better paying $70,000 a year job in industry and commerce.
He wanted to do experimental research and continued on to get his Ph. D. in Physics, which is the minimum credential for teaching in a four year college or university.
To teach in a University or get a position of consequence in a National Laboratory or equivalent he needed to go on past his Ph.D. and do some Post Doc work, which he is now doing at the Max Planck Institute for at least two years.
In graduate school one of the Post Doc's gave up Physics for Wall Street and a $250,000 a year salary. My son's collective earnings over the last six years as a teaching assistant, research assistant and now Post Doc are less than that one science drop out makes in a year. The reason is that the U. S. govenrment sets a low pay scale for graduate student and Post Doc researchers. (He is making more in Germany.)
It is easy to ask for more and better science education but delivering the same is not easy or quick. My son would have to work in an Eastern U. S. high school to earn the minimum kind of pay teaching high school science that would meet his and my earnings expectations. (Those controversial, temporarily laid off high school teachers in Ohio were earning twice as much as high school teachers earn in the State of Washington.)
My son had the chance to get a $70,000 a year job easily after his Masters Degree in a business closely related to his first research assistant job. He is not going to be available for a staring pay of $30,000 a year, a typical entry level teacher pay in the Western U. S.
One of the Post Doc's during his graduate studies gave up a career as a scientist for a Wall Street job with a starting salary of $250,000.
posted 2 years, 5 months ago
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