Hi everyone, I need some help figuring out which degree I should pursue. I'm an entry-level coordinator of undergraduate student programs. My career is going to be focused on College Access, Equity, and Success. I want to explore this in a variety of professional opportunities such as college counseling in high schools and education nonprofits, student affairs, education policy, and eventually teaching. I know that I wouldn't dive into policy and teaching until way later in my career when I've built up an extensive amount of professional experience in the field. Which means as of now I'll be focusing my professional opportunities on coordinating programs and providing services to students at various stages in their educational journeys from pre to post-college.
Knowing this... which degree should I pursue? I love how broad the MPA is, the applicability of the skills learned to higher education administration, and the possibility for diving into government and policy later on. But I also recognize how specific the MEd is thus the much more sense it makes to pursue that especially in the early and middle stages of my career. These were some options I came up for myself and wanted your feedback on:
MEd in Student Affairs or Education, Culture, Society or Sociology of Education and get a certificate in some skills on public and nonprofit performance management
MEd in Higher Education Administration and get a certificate in College Access and Diversity and/or Student Affairs
MPA and get one or both of the same certificates in College Access and Diversity and/or Student Affairs
These programs are a combination of different schools that offer both on-campus and online formats. I'm not sure if I'd complete the certificates at the same time as the degrees but do them right after. But what do you think of these options? As you see there's a multitude of MEd programs to choose from but I feel each misses a something from the other. Some either focus on education broadly and not enough on higher education, some are more theoretical and research heavy and don't have enough practical skills in management, finances, organization, etc. some dive into the politics, history, philosophy and sociology of education which I love because it eventually focuses on College Access and Equity but again offer not many practical skills. I'm basically trying to find the perfect program combination that will combine all of this relevant content and the practical skills needed to succeed in this field. Other suggestions aside from I listed are welcomed such as pursuing one program for my master's and the other for a doctorate or second master's if necessary.