The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why Should You Pursue a Career in Educational Research?

This month, Christine Meyer reflects on her time at UNCG and why she chose to pursue a degree through the Educational Research Methodology department in the School of Education.

I’d like to reflect on my time at UNCG in the Educational Research Methodology (ERM) department. I stumbled in to the department, not really knowing what I was getting myself into, and I am so glad I did. Not everyone who wants to be in education wants to be a classroom teacher, and I think that’s okay. My experience teaching for several years was invaluable and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, but educational research is the right field for me. Why? Well I’m glad you asked!

Top Five Reasons to go into Educational Research Methodology: 

  1. Many of the people who go into education understand that learning never stops and they enjoy learning. With educational research, you are constantly reading new literature and learning new things every day! 
  2. It’s frustrating as a teacher to constantly implement new programs as the old ones get cancelled after just a year or two. Program evaluation allows evaluators to help improve programs in the schools rather than just saying, “It’s not perfect so let’s get rid of it and try something else.” This is the primary reason why I love what I do!
  3. There are some very exciting things going on in the measurement and assessment world, and you can be a part of it! With a degree in Educational Research Methodology, you can work for any number of big testing companies, including those that make the SAT, ACT, MCAT, LSAT, and numerous licensure exams, such as for CPAs. You can help create better End-of-Course and End-of-Grade tests for students.
  4. You can still teach! Some of the people from my department go on to teach at other colleges and universities. Some go into other education departments, some teach statistics, some teach research methodology courses.
  5. The people are wonderful! You will work extremely hard, but you will meet wonderful people along the way and work with a great team. Not only do fun things as a department, including bowling tournaments and going to see minor league baseball games, but we also have fun with outside social activities, too!

Of course, beginning graduate school should be a careful decision that is not taken lightly, but it is a huge and exciting step. It’s funny because there are three, count ‘em, three, of us from ERM who are currently working in the Research and Evaluation Department at WS/FCS. One finished his coursework before I started and just finished his doctorate (congrats!!) so he’ll be graduating in about a month. The other started the ERM program at the same time as me; we both finished our Master’s this past December, but he’s going on to get his PhD as well. Additionally, I had received my job offer here before I had officially graduated in December. Others in our department have received job offers before they’ve had their diploma in hand as well. It says a lot about our program that our people are in such high demand!

To wrap it up, if you are even considering heading off to graduate school, I really do recommend that you check ERM out. I’m glad I did!

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