Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What do I want to be when I grow up?

One of the considerations when you take a new job is the benefits that job comes with. When I took my new position at JHU there were a number of benefits that were really attractive to me. One was the retirement benefit. Although I am not old enough, nor have I been there long enough, to take advantage of this benefit when I turn 35 it will be a really nice nest egg that I start building. The other benefit that caught my eye was the tuition remission that all employees at JHU enjoy. Although it is not near enough to cover any sort of program, especially a doctoral program, I don't want to leave that kind of money on the table. And, it was a clear goal of mine to start a doctoral program in the next few years. Although before I had to leave the public school system I had no intention of starting something so soon, especially with Pudge being born, I think starting sooner rather than later is a sound idea. And, I would really like to have my Ed.D. before I turn 40.

So, I had a conversation with some administrative folks in the Education dept. today to feel out the process of starting a program at JHU. It was a fruitful conversation because I learned a number of things. First, the difference between a Ph.D. and an Ed.D. There are many considerations but I know at this point that my emphasis should be on the application of instructional technology, not the development of future research. I want to tackle the problems in curriculum, find ways to change the culture of curriculum design. And, I DO NOT want to take any statistics courses. :) God I hated stats as an undergrad. I know it will be different now that I am an adult with the advanced age and wisdom that I enjoy (huh?) but I still don't have to look forward to it.

I also learned that the JHU program is a ton more expensive than I could ever hope to afford. That all by itself would be a deal breaker. I'm a firm believer that any potential benefit has to outweigh the cost of the program. Why would I spend $50,000+ on a program if I can't expect to get that money back in potential income? It seems silly that they would charge that much.

Lastly, the program at JHU turned out to be cohort based with a very prescribed set of classes that are heavy on data-analysis and like I said, stats. There is no room for individuality in their program so it is everyone does what they say you do. Your dissertation is yours, of course, but apart from that, the first three years would have been hellish to me.

So, no to JHU. I've got to start looking at some other programs. I saw one at Wayne State University tonight that looked promising. I wonder if wifey would mind moving to the most depressed and depressing place in the country - beautiful downtown Detroit.

1 comment:

Trillian42 said...

Wait... you're planning to grow up? Where's the fun in that? ;)

You could always look at PSU - then you'd fit in with the whole crowd of Festers. Because you are NOT allowed to move away.