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TheLEG37 TheLEG37 is offline
 
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Switch from IT to Teaching? Large pay cut...
Old 06-29-2019, 08:12 PM
 
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Hello! Sorry this post is a bit lengthy...

First, a little bit about me. I am 27 years old. I have a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree. Since graduating from my undergrad in 2013, I started off working in higher education in various administrative support roles. Now I work in IT making around $70K. When I started my bachelor's degree my plan was to be a high school math teacher, but my plans obviously changed.

I grew up with teachers in my family. Growing up I saw the ups and downs of teaching through my mom. I saw a lot of frustration, time consuming grading and lesson planning, and a lot of unappreciative students, parents, and general support from the community/government towards teachers. I have no doubt that my mom will discourage a career change to teaching.

Right now I hate going to work, and find no joy in what I do. Yes, it pays well, but money isn't everything, right? Looking at districts in my area, it looks like I would start off at about $40K since I have my master's degree ($30K pay cut). Plus, if I switch to teaching I could get a lot of my student loan debt forgiven (they were Teach Grants converted to loans, I keep getting emails saying it's not too late to get them converted back). Also, I still need to do some checking, but I believe the benefits would be better as a teacher (retirement, medical, etc.). The idea of being "off" during the summers is appealing, too, especially since I'm hoping to start a family in the near future. I also wouldn't mind coaching softball at the high school level to earn a little extra income. I've always wanted to start my own Etsy store, too, so perhaps I could do that on the side (especially during the summer months).

I'm considering a switch to secondary math (maybe science/biology, too). I'm hoping to receive advice or personal experiences from others in the profession - especially middle school and high school teachers. Do you think this is a wise move? Any words of wisdom from those who have been there?

Thank you!



Last edited by TheLEG37; 06-30-2019 at 03:53 PM..
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dee dee is offline
 
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Only you can really decide
Old 06-30-2019, 04:33 AM
 
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But....
Money isn't everything until you're struggling to buy something you need. Or like me, looking towards retirement.

On the flip side, having the same schedule as my kids when they were younger was great!

Math is a hot license, as is Physics, Chemistry, Special Ed, and ELL.
Most in demand in my area are Math teachers 5-12.
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Talk to your mom
Old 06-30-2019, 06:53 AM
 
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She knows you best. Make your list of pros and cons. Youíre only 27, so you could work the number of years required for a pension and retire at a fairly young age.

If you think you would enjoy going to work most days (all jobs have their ups and downs) then look into it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Money isn't everything until you're struggling to buy something you need.
Wise words here. Money isn't everything if the pay cut you're talking about just means buying less expensive things, having a smaller house and not taking lavish vacations, etc. If the pay cut means you're going to struggle to pay for basic necessities and not be able to build any savings, then it's a big deal. $40K in some parts of the country is plenty. Here, that would be a significant struggle and I honestly don't know how our new teachers are doing it, especially with student loans.

My understanding is that the Teach grant was a big scam and that like .1 percent of teachers or something like that actually got their loans paid off. I would do some digging there and not let that factor into your decision. I was fortunate to not have loans but I remember it being a big deal in the news awhile back. A quick google search reveals a ton of complaints.
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MrsPhysics MrsPhysics is offline
 
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Depends on the market
Old 07-06-2019, 07:05 AM
 
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Sorry this reply is so late.

I went into teaching as a second career after going back to school at 32. Iím not clear from your post...would you need to go back to get a teaching license, or do you already have it? If you would need more schooling, I would advise against it.

The truth is that everything depends on the job market. I met with some department head types before going back to school to make sure I would be able to get a job. They assured me that math teachers were in very high demand and that as long as I wasnít super picky I would find a job with no problem. Before I graduated (it took 1.5 years), our governor cut something like a billion dollars from public ed, which resulted in massive layoffs.

Long story short, even though I added two other certifications (physics and business/computers) and I have a great resume, it took me 7 years to find a contracted public school job. I was fortunate enough to be employed the entire time, either as a LTS for the year or at a private school, but I had started training for another career and the position that I did get was the first ever where I actually had a connection, being that I had worked for their new super before.

The never ending application process and rounds after rounds of interviews killed my spirit. I was never in the right place or knew the right person (until my current position) and despite being a great teacher and always rated highly by my principals, I lost confidence and started feeling like I was only good enough to be a sub.

Many people from outside of teaching donít realize that this is the way that interviews go... school has one HS math position and posts it for a week on their schoolís website. Two hundred candidates each spend 2 hours submitting the stupid electronic app even though the school already has access to everything on a state site. School picks 50 people to come in for a test for half a day. Then 35 for first round of interviews, then 10 for second round, then 5 to teach a demo lesson (candidates spend a day preparing), then 2 for a final round. Final step: school picks the person they knew they were going to pick before even starting the whole stupid process.

That being said, I do love teaching, and I am so happy that it all worked out for me. You are still young, so youíre unlikely to experience the ageism, and depending on the job market you may have a much easier time getting hired. My colleagues who started 5 years before me have had none of these troubles (they had multiple job offers right out of school) but some of them are looking to move and the market is killing them too. We keep hearing it should get better but it is not.

Iím so sorry to be such a bummer. My experience is local to me and you could have quite different circumstances.


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Old 07-14-2019, 09:37 AM
 
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If it helps any, I taught for over 9 years and for most of that time I hated what I did AND I didn't get paid enough. I was at one large urban district that gave nobody raises in over 5.5yrs. After paying for full-time childcare for 2, I was literally only netting $220/wk after taxes but before paying ANY bills. The work-life balance got increasingly more awful too, as did student behavior and my good-intended-but-feeble attempts at classroom management. When I finally obtained a teaching job that paid a few thousand per year more and was in a much lower tax area, the job itself was a worse fit than ever. 3 years after I swore I hated teaching, I finally got a full-time job outside teaching and was able to leave.
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:49 AM
 
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Only if your loans will be forgiven with no major strings attached. Get it writing.

Also consider what you will need to do in terms of getting certified to teach. Will it require any more courses? Do you have to take exams?

Lastly, how is the job market? Unfortunately the best job markets for teaching are in the areas with the worst pay and conditions because no one stays long term. Desirable schools/districts tend to have a glut of candidates for all subjects and grade levels.
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Old 07-28-2019, 02:36 PM
 
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You need to look into why you hate going into work - is it company itself? co-workers? the job? You can look into other companies to work for and do a small pivot in your job to do something you would enjoy more. I went into teaching as a second career and am out of it after 10 years - 10 years of getting little to no raises or step increases (8 out of the 10 years) while insurance and cost of living increased steadily. Working with co-workers and administrators who do not have your back, increased responsibilities, no extra pay. Parents who are either over demanding or not involved at all in their child's life. Children that do not respect adults, especially teachers. Coaching takes a lot of a person with some extra income - but you mentioned you wanted to start a family if you are coaching there is your time off - pre-season, season and post-season coaching not just showing up to coach a game.

I saw on your profile you are in Arizona - Arizona has a need for teachers and you need to look into the reason why - not the PR reason that you see but really dig why there is a need for teachers. Just like another poster said, there is a reason for the demand for teachers in specific areas of the country and subject areas.

If you have to go back to get more courses to be certified, then there's more debt for little return.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:22 PM
 
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If I was in IT Iíd stay, Iím older than you- Iím 47, but I started teaching when I was 24, taught for a little and got burnt out after 4 years, I did other jobs, then recently got back in. My primary reason was for the health benefits- so far I havenít found any jobs near me that offer as good of a benefit package. So until I find a job that either pays more or has amazing benefits , I have to stay. Thankful I am married and my husband makes a good income . I could not support myself and our two( older kids) on a teacher salary. Iíd suggest taking a day or two off from your current job and go substitute to get some experience and see if itís something youíd like, or use any vacation time from your current job to take off and go sub. In my area Iíd never hit your mentioned salary until after 15+years in. I make about 45k /year before taxes . Good luck with whatever you choose!
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:09 AM
 
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Tech can burn you out for sure!!! I honestly get more frustrated than being on a computer for hours every day, then being in a room full of kids. Add in the sexism and the fact you need to keep your skills up 24/7 to keep your job - I have a ton of contacts in IT/Software Design - it is a tough gig.

What I suggest is finding a public school system that needs someone in IT, and you might be able to then get more joy in your career? Granted they can work you to death. It depends on the district.


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Old 09-08-2019, 07:05 PM
 
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Oh that is a great idea! Find a IT job with a school, our school system has a whole team of them.
Good luck whatever you decide!
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