Post Bac Cert or Masters in Ed?

I am contemplating a career change and wanted some advice. I am currently a corporate technical trainer for one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. (The money is pretty good.)I have an undergrad in Communication, but I am considering going to teaching Special Ed. (I know I am not going to make as much as I am now, but it is a much more stable job and much more rewarding.) I have been trying to decide weather I should just do the Post Bac teacher certification in Special Ed or the Master's in Special Education with certification emphasis.

Some of my considerations are:
The post bac is pretty cheap and I could pay for it out of pocket and not accrue any more student loan debt. I could then go on to get my Master's in anything I wanted to be more marketable. (My ideal goal is to be a teacher and write on the side.)

If I get the Master's with cert, I am guaranteed more money when I enter the field, but I will have to take out loans to finish the degree.

The post bac cert only takes about 14 to 18 months, and the Masters will take me approx 2 years. Any teachers or specifically Special Ed teachers with any advice?

No one?

I say don't go for the masters until you get a teaching job. Most places want you to go for continuing education and will pick up most if not all of the tab if you do it while you're working there. No use going into all of that dept if they'll pay.

What luchador writes is true. Plus, its best to stay out of debt. Also, you can get your certification quicker and get into your new field sooner.

I signed up for my first two Education classes today and I start next week. I am going for the Cert first, then think about Grad school. Thanks.


As a note, if you go ahead and apply for the grad school, you might be able to take some of your certification classes at the grad level so that you can apply them toward your masters later on.

There is a high demand for special education teachers, particularly on the East Coast. There are several universities that will give you a free ride if you get your masters in special ed. Where I go to school (George Washington Univ. in DC) is one of them. I would seriously look into it. If you get tired of teaching Special Ed, there are plenty of positions in the government that would gladly use your expertise to run their programs for a lot more money than you would make teaching special ed, for example OSERS (Office of Special Educatiion Rehabilitative Services).

Whoa, this thread's old. Shoulda said something earlier. It's really jurisdiction-specific. Where I come from, the B.Ed is required for certification. Unions are extremely powerful here, too. So the B.Ed is the way to go if you don't already have one.

However, it's different in other places. You've gotta talk to people in your jurisdiction or you won't get the right answer.