By Jane Slater, CBS 11 News

DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Students at Texas Woman’s University in Denton say they are watching budget talks in Austin closely.

There is concern Texas could lose as many as 100,000 teacher jobs as the state looks to make up a shortfall of at least $15 Billion in funds.

Teachers employed by state-funded school districts are worried, but education majors are even more concerned.  Now, they are turning concern into action, in an attempt to be more marketable.

Professor Jane Pemberton said her students are tacking on certifications and taking additional state courses to give them an edge.  “Students are very aware of the reality of seeking a job,” says Pemberton.

Sarah Hayes is set to graduate in the fall, and already has two certifications and is considering a third.  “I have an early childhood to 6th grade certification and I will also have a special education certification. Anytime you can add any additional certifications you are going to be more likely than someone who has just that general certification (to get a job),” says Hayes.

Senior Brandon Kelly has a similar attitude. He said he left his job as a graphic design artist to pursue his passion, teaching children.

When he enrolled at Texas Woman’s University he said teachers were being lured to the profession with signing bonuses.  Those are slowly disappearing though.

“I didn’t come here for the money. My whole goal is to help children and give back to the world,” says Kelly.

At the end of the day, Pemberton says her students are exactly what the country needs.  She says the nation will ultimately benefit from the best and the brightest teachers who will come out on top.

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