What are your thoughts about getting an MSc in education while being an assistant professor? my UK university requires assistant professors to go through a number of courses, and upon completing them staff members are offerred to enrol for free in an MSc in education where they would continue to take follow up courses.

The schedule is relaxed (around 40 hours a year), but although I am not very concerned about the time impact, I wonder if a better use of time is to write another paper or a grant application. My position and institution are research focused, and while I still need to teach a bit, the weight of research achievements is the heaviest in our promotion criteria.

Most people find these courses boring, but I usually learn a thing or two in each course that do reinforce my teaching skills. Apart from learning a few things that would help me with teaching, I am not sure about whether it helps my academic profile; it is usually assumed that PhD holders are able to teach and I am not sure how an academic's CV with an MSc in Education + BSc/MSc/PhD in computer science is perceived like.

  • You have a permanent job, right? You're highly unlikely to lose it, right? You trust your own judgement, right? In that case, I'd suggest you do what you think is best at helping you do your job (whatever you think that is), and not worry much about what other people think. Commented May 22, 2020 at 19:50
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    @AlexanderWoo while it's very unlikely to lose this permanent position, there's still a chance I move somewhere else for a better position, more resources or better opportunities. So, it's still important how the academic community perceives this. I don't want to end up with a hiring committee that thinks I was wasting time or have misplaced priorities. You don't always get the chance to explain things to people and have to rely on their first impression when reading your CV or website. Commented May 23, 2020 at 12:21

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More important that what we think is what your university thinks and how it will impact your career. It sounds like that value it pretty highly. There is nothing magic in a PhD that makes you an adequate teacher of your subject.

If you intend to stay at your current place and build your career there then it might be worth any effort. Likewise if you want teaching to be an important part of your academic life it has value.

And your current place seems to require at least part of it, so, ...

  • I agree with all you said. While I don't plan to move to another university, I might have to at some point to get a better opportunity or due to the economic situation in the UK. So, if I decide to move to another university at some point, I'm likely impacted by the first impressions the hiring committee will have when reading this in my CV or website. Commented May 23, 2020 at 12:26
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    It is hard to imagine anyone thinking of it as a negative, especially when your current U seems to value it.
    – Buffy
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 12:27

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