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Old 04-30-2017, 10:31 AM
 
45 posts, read 44,305 times
Reputation: 29

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Look, I know there are probably going to be a million spelling errors, but never mind that, I'm typing from a phone and I'm just trying to get some advice.


I'm a young 20 something about to graduate from college in the winter, and I need help deciding what my next step should be in life.

My dream has always been to move from my Midwestern state since I was a a kid. I love the Midwest and would choose to remain in the area, but my dreams are much bigger for my state to contain.

I will be graduating with a B.A in Writing and Literature. I know it wasn't the smartest degree choice, but it plays into my dreams of being an online news editor. My school has some off the best writing and journalism programs in the country and I feel like I've learned alot there. I don't have anything that's ever been published, but I have lots of experience with writing on complex topics.

Since beginning the degree, my plan has always been to go to Washington DC after I was done. I'm a huge news junkie and I'm absolutely fascinated with everything surrounding politics. If I could find a job as an online news editor for any website like Huff Post or Breitbart, I would be so happy with my life and my dreams would become a reality.

My dilemma though is that I know that the job market is very poor for college graduates. I know a few people with only bachelor's degrees who cannot even find a "real job". People with business degrees , STEM, and liberal arts, all of them, can not find a decent paying job.

I'm very worried about finding a job, which is why I have a plan B. This plan consists of going into an Alternative Teacher certification program and getting certified as a teacher. These programs usually last for a couple months to a year, and they help people who didn't major in education become teachers. Even though I love working with kids and I have 3 years experience in tutoring and child care, I would prefer not to go into education right away.

If I did an ATC program, I would probably move to Texas.
The program in Texas is very cost efficient and usually lasts a few months. Of course, it is in Texas which I'm not really sure about. It's really hot and it's a very culturally conservative place. I've heard good things about Austin but still I'm not sure. Although the pay is very good in Texas, starting teacher salaries in Texas start anywhere from 45k to 50k.

Maryland which is close to DC, has an ATC program too but, it's costs alot more, takes longer to complete and the pay wouldn't be as good. Although through completing the program, with a little more school I could get a masters degree.

What do I do ?
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:15 AM
 
Location: OC
7,698 posts, read 4,371,410 times
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I lived in Texas for over 35 years. Live in DC now. Lot of things to consider but I prefer DC.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
1,766 posts, read 2,636,813 times
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This one is a toughie... I say start in Texas and then relocate to DC.... The grind in DC is brutal (worse than New York I have heard from close friends), that combined with the expensive cost of living and competition of some of the brightest minds in the country may not be a battle you want right out of the gate. I say try Texas get more experience save up and then hit DC. Or consider another area that may match your criteria.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Addison, TX
26 posts, read 18,980 times
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I can't speak to DC. I can speak to Texas and Alternative Certification!

I've been in Dallas most of my almost 37 years on planet earth and I know a whole lot about Texas. I was a teacher for a year, as I have a BA in English and I did an alt cert program in the recession to find a job.

Texas is culturally diverse. The cities are becoming much more liberal although there is a general conservative/religious undercurrent. The country areas are more conservative as a whole, however, and you can still find some unpleasantries in small towns if you're black (my husband is, and I am white). But I don't think the racism here is anything like the deep south.

We do have some crazy politicians. Texas is also a top producer of greenhouse gases because of coal plants but also because you have to have a car here to live, so you have to worry about "ozone action days" and the like, where the air is too polluted to be outside safely. This is always in summertime.

It's also getting extremely crowded in all of the major cities, especially in Dallas, Austin and Houston. So be prepared for that.

Alt cert programs can be an efficient way to get a job but it really depends on what you are teaching. Most of the good districts do not want to hire people who get their credentials through alternative certification unless it's a shortage area (bilingual, special ed). So unless you are planning to teach in one of those, you may have trouble. I actually taught bilingual so I was able to get a job.

Other things to realize about Texas is it gets hot here. You will not want to be outside during the day for several months between May and October most years, although for a lot of that time you can still go out in the evenings depending on where you live (this is more feasible in Dallas, as the humidity is lower, than it is in Houston). From late June to September you can't really be out much at all. The rest of the year is very nice, however.

Also, realize that almost all major cities here are among the fastest growing in the country. The influx of people has been dramatic in the last 6-7 years, and with that we have gotten increased traffic congestion, double digit increases on home values every year, construction everywhere, a California-like real estate market, etc. We don't have income tax here but we do have sales tax and extremely high property taxes. The educational system is also very poor. We rank 43rd in the nation. As a teacher, I can tell you it was not a pleasant experience.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Addison, TX
26 posts, read 18,980 times
Reputation: 35
I should add, Atlanta is a really big communications/media hub these days. I work as a communications consultant and the job market in Dallas is good. But if you want to be involved in news and real media, Dallas won't provide a lot of good opportunities. My main client is actually in Atlanta.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:21 PM
 
45 posts, read 44,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteoceanElizabeth View Post
I can't speak to DC. I can speak to Texas and Alternative Certification!

I've been in Dallas most of my almost 37 years on planet earth and I know a whole lot about Texas. I was a teacher for a year, as I have a BA in English and I did an alt cert program in the recession to find a job.

Texas is culturally diverse. The cities are becoming much more liberal although there is a general conservative/religious undercurrent. The country areas are more conservative as a whole, however, and you can still find some unpleasantries in small towns if you're black (my husband is, and I am white). But I don't think the racism here is anything like the deep south.

We do have some crazy politicians. Texas is also a top producer of greenhouse gases because of coal plants but also because you have to have a car here to live, so you have to worry about "ozone action days" and the like, where the air is too polluted to be outside safely. This is always in summertime.

It's also getting extremely crowded in all of the major cities, especially in Dallas, Austin and Houston. So be prepared for that.

Alt cert programs can be an efficient way to get a job but it really depends on what you are teaching. Most of the good districts do not want to hire people who get their credentials through alternative certification unless it's a shortage area (bilingual, special ed). So unless you are planning to teach in one of those, you may have trouble. I actually taught bilingual so I was able to get a job.

Other things to realize about Texas is it gets hot here. You will not want to be outside during the day for several months between May and October most years, although for a lot of that time you can still go out in the evenings depending on where you live (this is more feasible in Dallas, as the humidity is lower, than it is in Houston). From late June to September you can't really be out much at all. The rest of the year is very nice, however.

Also, realize that almost all major cities here are among the fastest growing in the country. The influx of people has been dramatic in the last 6-7 years, and with that we have gotten increased traffic congestion, double digit increases on home values every year, construction everywhere, a California-like real estate market, etc. We don't have income tax here but we do have sales tax and extremely high property taxes. The educational system is also very poor. We rank 43rd in the nation. As a teacher, I can tell you it was not a pleasant experience.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for your input ! Can you tell me more about shortage areas? Do you have to know a different language to do bilingual education? Would science or math count as shortage area? I could never teach Math or a foreign language, but I could probably do science . Also, why did you only teach for one year ?

Their are probably going to be things I don't like about Texas, but I'm willing to cast my preferences aside for a job. I'm not really a hot weather type of person and I've honestly never really liked the south (never been to Texas though). Buts it's OK cause I will be happy with a job of merit.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:31 PM
 
45 posts, read 44,305 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteoceanElizabeth View Post
I should add, Atlanta is a really big communications/media hub these days. I work as a communications consultant and the job market in Dallas is good. But if you want to be involved in news and real media, Dallas won't provide a lot of good opportunities. My main client is actually in Atlanta.
Just curious, what other cities have big media and communications companies? I couldn't see myself in Atlanta. If you don't think D.C would be a good option, what about Chicago? Boston ?
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:39 PM
 
21,499 posts, read 5,544,915 times
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I would choose Texas,OP.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Addison, TX
26 posts, read 18,980 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfdog17 View Post
Thanks for your input ! Can you tell me more about shortage areas? Do you have to know a different language to do bilingual education? Would science or math count as shortage area? I could never teach Math or a foreign language, but I could probably do science . Also, why did you only teach for one year ?

Their are probably going to be things I don't like about Texas, but I'm willing to cast my preferences aside for a job. I'm not really a hot weather type of person and I've honestly never really liked the south (never been to Texas though). Buts it's OK cause I will be happy with a job of merit.
Shortage areas are EC-6 bilingual (Spanish - and you must be fluent) and EC-6 special education. Secondary (9-12) STEM teachers are shortage too, but the certification process is a little more tricky. And you have to have a degree in the field you are trying to teach in for secondary certification (i.e. math - so you would need a BS in Math to be certified in secondary math, the same for science).

Teaching at the elementary level in math or science is not a shortage area because an EC-6 certification allows teachers to teach any subject at that level. So your traditionally educated teachers will get the jobs first, even if you get an EC-6 certification through an alternative certification program. The good districts are not going to look at you unless they have a shortage of traditionally trained teachers. It doesn't really make sense, but that's how it's been. Maybe things are changing now that shortages are becoming more problematic.

I was laid off in a massive statewide layoff of all 1st year teachers, so that is why I quit after a year. However, I would have quit anyway. It is BY FAR the most stressful job I have ever had. I have never been so exhausted or felt so unappreciated. I have been treated like a child by administration and also by parents.

As a teacher you are asked to perform impossible tasks and you have no freedom to actually teach. You drown in paperwork and the testing focus is like a pressure cooker. Parents are no fun either, and kids are often troubled and badly behaved. Teaching is definitely a calling - you really need to want to do it. You are underpaid and overworked. I had no life when I was a teacher because my workload was so high, and the job so hard, that I spent all of my free time either sleeping or grading papers. I loved the kids but that is where it stopped.

I would think carefully about your move, especially if you hate hot weather. There is more to life than working and the climate/city you live in can significantly impact your quality of life.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Addison, TX
26 posts, read 18,980 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfdog17 View Post
Just curious, what other cities have big media and communications companies? I couldn't see myself in Atlanta. If you don't think D.C would be a good option, what about Chicago? Boston ?
I don't know much about DC but there is a lot going on there, so there is a lot of journalism I'm sure. Chicago and NYC are always big hubs, historically.
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