A phrase heard in schools across the country is “college-ready.” The goal is to set students up for success as they pursue post-secondary education. According to a recent survey, there are some majors that college graduates regret earning. A ZipRecruiter survey , of 5,000 participants, revealed the top ten regretted majors. Rounding out the top three were: English/foreign language, sciences, and education. Hearing education was on the list was disheartening.
This morning, I was enjoying a bowl of oatmeal with honey-crusted pecans while watching WTHR news. Julia Moffit shared that education majors reported low pay as a reason they regretted obtaining a degree in education. What I found interesting was the least regretted major was computer science.
My husband and I met at Purdue University. I was an English education major, and he was a computer science major. He graduated a year before I did and did not find a job in his major for a year. The ZipRecruiter survey did report there are limited jobs in this major. When I graduated, I found a teaching job right before the next school year, and my husband found a job in his major. My husband’s salary was $8,000 higher than my salary. Over time his salary increased at a faster pace. At one point, his salary was almost double my salary.
Now that I’m a school administrator, I have a better salary, but that salary came with more responsibilities. It is also not competitive. I have administrator friends, in similar roles, who are making $10,000-$20,000 more than me. Educators should not have to climb the ladder and take on more work to earn more pay.
Like many educators, I have additional jobs. If you add up all my paychecks, I still make a lot less than my husband. I fully understand why an educator would regret choosing this major.
Changes must happen so education is not a regretted major. The educators that are getting the job done should be paid significantly more. This is another reason why I did not support the Red for Ed action day. I believe our salaries should not be the same across the board. My husband’s salary increases are based on the results he gets, not on an arbitrary scale, but that’s only one solution.
In addition to pay, educators should be appreciated. We help students become productive citizens, and teachers should feel like valued citizens. Teachers need more prep time, fewer responsibilities during the day, and more support in the classroom. Until meaningful and sustainable changes are made, education will probably shoot up to the top of the list and be the most regretted major.