Signup date: 07 Jun 2014 at 9:28am
Last login: 20 Jul 2022 at 9:24pm
Post count: 84
Thanks for the reply, I didn't expect anything half so quickly. Yes, I do try telling myself that, about the awful jobs market in the sector right now. It doesn't stop me from feeling envious of those who have beaten the odds, sadly, but I know what you say is very true.
That is a benefit of the EdD. That maybe I might get to the end of it and have to say 'well, that's as close as I'm going to get' and use it in a different way - either to climb the ladder in my current sector, or move into something new. I'd kind of like to be a sort of freelance workshop leader / teacher / consultant type of thing as a plan B, but that might be just as hard to earn a living from, I don't know.
Regarding funding, as long as I can stay in teaching then I'm fine for month-to-month outgoings. And I've been disciplined enough to save pretty much all money I've earned from exam marking over the last ten years to cover the fees. So I've nothing to lose in that sense, except a bit of pride and the knowledge I could have bought a bloomin' nice motor instead, but things like that don't really matter to me anymore really.
Ok, here goes..
Years ago, did an English degree. Mid-ranking uni. Should have gone somewhere better, but other than surprisingly good grades at the end, school was a bit crap; no-one in my family had ever studied etc etc. No career ideas, just wanted to 'escape' really. Early on, I looked at one of my lecturers, thought ‘I could do that...’ so I asked, and he put me in the picture: lack of funding, sacrifices, few jobs...
I thought ‘sod that’, did what I had to essay-wise to get a 2.1 but mainly focussed on extra curricular and part-time work and ended up working in marketing. But it just didn’t ‘do it’ for me. Maybe I should have stuck with the academic thing, I thought. Hatched a plan. No money for more study so what’s the ‘nearest thing’ I can do? The college up the road, work there. Jacked job in > PGCE > school teaching > job came up at said college > got it. Then I enrolled on a part-time Master’s in Education; finished that and now I’ve applied for an EdD at my local uni, where I’ll be looking at creative approaches to teaching literature at post-16 so I can still work full-time and get the qualification.
So I'm 'one step closer', and still hanging in there because I want to be proud of myself and do something good with my life. But is it a dream? I’ve looked at staff profiles in different uni departments and they’re ‘straight arrow’ types whereas I got a bit way-laid. But then I think ‘I’ll find a way in, by hook or by crook’. It has to happen for someone, or is it a closed door?
I don’t know. Has anyone else taken this sort-of work-based route and succeeded in getting an academic job? Or got similar qualifications and experience and turned it into a rewarding career?
Any tips / advice? Anyone?
Hi Jellybean. Yes, that sounds much like some of the EdD programme's I've been looking at. It's basically the same thing.
Great, thanks Tester. You're not too late at all, I'm very much still following this and trying to suss out my best option. And everything in your post is very encouraging. It is ultimately a more a vocational route I'm going down, I think. I've enjoyed the dynamism of practice-based research a lot more than I enjoyed the more abstract thought of my undergraduate degree, and I think that could be a deciding factor. Of the two, a more structured route certainly has it's appeals, although maybe that's just being overly-cautious on my part. Certainly heartening to hear that that's another person who's managed to balance work with a PhD. Just knowing it's do-able and not some distant dream is brilliant.
Wow, more to consider. I can see both points of view here, Piju and Niseach. Thanks to both of you for your very considered and informed replies.
On the one hand there's the fact they're both doctorates and it's doing the research that matters, as Piju says. But then Niseach, your point ties in with what I'd kind of feared, that a PhD would provide better research training which equals greater employability.
The common ground in both though is that ultimately the research will dictate / decide it, and I therefore probably need to get a clearer focus on exactly what my focus will be beyond literature / multimedia. I need to look more closely at the whole peer review thing too, start getting my head around it as it's evident that's the real make or break.
Still lots to mull over, I think. To say nothing of doing my dissertation to a good standard. Who knows, that might either put me off completely or give me a sharper focus.
Thanks again to everyone. I've got a meeting with my course leader in a few weeks, will try and have a discussion with her then. And by happy chance I'm involved with a work-related research project with a really respected academic, think I'll try and bend his ear too, if I get the chance.
Thank you for your input also, bleebies.
Defo keeping my options also. Whole FE / sixth form sector is indeed a bit dodgy at the moment. That's the main reason I started retraining in the first place, because there's been so many cuts there's a permanent cloud over jobs where I work currently. Two people made redundant in my department alone this year. Guess that the whole picture isn't good really. Oh well, gotta keep plugging away at it.
Firstly, I think it's terrible that PGCE funding has been cut so savagely. I've been teaching for nine years, there's no way in the world I could have paid to train.
Have you considered teaching at post-16? That way you could work and do a DTLLS part-time. I teach in a sixth-form college and they're always keen to recruit people with higher degrees like yours.
Thank you so much for your reply.
Encouraging that your friend found it was respected professionally. So it wouldn't be wasted if I couldn't get into HE. That's a very good point, about ITT jobs being at risk though. It's impossible to know which way it's going to go. Maybe I've just got to hedge my bets, go ahead and do it then see about using the skills / experience in a different way if it's a non starter.
I did speak with one of my tutors and he was optimistic that once I've completed my MSc I'd be in a good position to look for teacher trainer positions. He suggested maybe switching to an FE college that delivers HE, get some experience, then look for a uni post. In fact he took the same route, taught sixth form, did the exact same Masters' as I'm doing, ended up teaching it and then did an EdD part-time. However - the big 'but...' - he made that leap ten+ years ago, I have a feeling it isn't so easy now. He also said that you 'can do everything with an EdD that you can with a PhD'. But other things I have read contradict that, including your friend's experience. Like you say, maybe there's variation between courses and that's something I'll have to look at more closely.
On the positive side though, I'm quite open minded about what the future holds. In some ways I'd be happy to stay in college teaching and use that context to conduct classroom based research. Then at least I'd be ready if the ITT situation did improve again. I'm also prepared to look at other roles within HE, like learning technologist jobs or course designer jobs. Seems like a lot of people get doctorates that don't necessarily translate to academic jobs in the traditional sense, I think I'd still have an itch to do it even if no guarantees.
Food for thought anyway. Thanks!
Was wondering if anyone out there can advise on what it's like doing an EdD / professional doctorate in education (UK)? Or chances of getting PhD funding in education.
Currently doing a part-time MSc in Multimedia and e-Learning, based around my full-time work as an English teacher in a sixth-form college. Started off doing it just to increase my employability. But as the course has progressed, I've really enjoyed it. My grade average is over 70% with just the dissertation module to go, which is better than I'd even dared hope for. So I'm starting to seriously consider going to the next stage, maybe having a tilt at a full blown academic career - although reading these forums is a bit scary on that front! But anyway...basically I have a number of options if I want to continue on to further study:
1. Do a Doctorate in Education part-time at any one of my local-ish unis. The downside to this is it's a five year non-stop commitment - which is a long time.
2. Look for PhD funding - But I'm aware that competition is keen, and there are people with better academic track records out there than me. The other significant downside would be living on a stipend - I'd manage, but it would be about half my current salary and I've got a mortgage. For the same reason I'd be restricted to looking locally, which limits things even further. Would seem foolish too to leave a job I basically like very much (most of the time).
3. A third possibility is to look at doing a short course (60 Masters credits) in educational research methods part-time. This would maybe increase my chances of PhD funding, but would also mean I could do the EdD at the OU, which is only three and a half years. Just seems more manageable than five!
Does anyone have any advice / experience of the route I'm taking?
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