Is getting a Masters Degree in Creative Writing a waste of time?
Topic: Is getting a Masters Degree in Creative Writing a waste of time?
July 19, 2019 / By Ariana Question:
I have a degree in psychology, which I have found to be useless. And I am planning on going back to school and getting a Masters in Creative Writing, because I enjoy writing and would love to learn more techniques to make myself a better writer. I am worried, however, that this degree will not open up many doors in terms of the job market (just as my psychology degree has failed to do). Any thoughts? Thank you.
Best Answers: Is getting a Masters Degree in Creative Writing a waste of time?
Zander | 5 days ago
The question is, what do you really want to do in life? Why did you choose psychology to get your undergraduate degree? You said you found your degree to be useless, but what type of job were you planning on getting wth just a B.A. in psych? Most people who choose this major plan on at least getting an M.A. or M.S.W and /or Ph.D. in psychology. Obviously this is not what you wanted to do. What are you hoping to gain from getting your M.A. in creative writing?
If you want to become the great american novelist, well you don't really need school for that. You can just start writing. If you want to learn how to write better, then sure, get that degree in creative writing, but a degree will not make you a novelist. So going to school is still a good thing to do because it will test your mettle and stretch your mind and those are always healthy things, in my opinion. If you think it will bring you scads of money in the workplace, yo may need to think again.
A creative writing degree can be applied towards just about any discipline. Some things are simply universal. Every job requires that you have some basic writing skills, so creative writing can help you in that respect.
No matter where you work, unless your parents own the company, you will most likely be starting at the bottom, no matter what degree you have. You don't normally come out of college and get a job paying 50k, not usually anyway.
If you are a good writer, chances are that you are a good speller and editor. You could get a job working at a publishing company. I spent 20 years in publishing, and there was not a stitch of creative writing going on there. We published business directories and it was just about the dry facts of companies & their products so I was always weary about hiring someone who wanted to use their creative writing skills. Be careful about how you plan on marketing yourself to future employers.
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Originally Answered: Is going to college for Journalism and Creative Writing really been a waste of time and will lead me to no opportunities?
I studied journalism and creative writing when I got my bachelors degree. It was hard to find a job. But DO Internships!!!!!!
If you don't so internships it won't workout. Internships are a key. After doing journalism for a while I ended up not liking it, mainly because of the low starting pay and the station owner was a d*ck who didn't give me journalistic freedom. I was a radio news reporter.
I ended up going to get my master's degree in Public Relations. And I am now happy. I still use my journalism skills in my PR job
I understand that a bachelors in psychology doesnt open a lot of doors but I don't know that adding a masters in creative writing will open a lot of doors either.
That being said, a person with good writing skills is an asset in a lot of jobs and depending on what kind of job you want it might be a plus. How's that for back peddling?
What I mean is that a creative writing degree might be beneficial if you were say an educator, but it won't necessarily get you a writing job. I do see it as complimentary to a psychology degree if you were working in counseling but you would probably need a masters in psychology to get your counselor's license. If you got some training in technical writing I could see you doing something like grant writing which might use both your degrees. Does any of this make sense or am I just rambling?
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Getting a masters like this can be a hard decision. On the one hand, knowledge is always a good thing, and I feel strongly that one should almost never refrain from getting more education if one can afford it. Plus, you could likely learn a great deal of useful writing skills by taking classes in a formal program like this. Finally, having a masters degree puts you in a special class of educated. It distinguishes you from those losers who stopped after a single university degree. You'll be a grad student, which makes you better than other people (kidding, other people!).
On the minus side, it is as you say. Nobody looking for a writer will care whether you have a masters in creative writing. It might as well be a masters in basket weaving. It could very well be a complete waste of money as far as its accreditation value goes.
However, you're not doing it for the value, are you? You're doing it to get better as a writer. If there's another, cheaper way to improve as a writer, do that. But if it's the best way to be a better writer, certainly pursue the masters degree. After all, they won't hire you because you have a masters -- they'll hire you because you're a good writer.
So what you have to ask yourself is just how much better of a writer this will make you and whether there are any better options out there to improve your writing skill.
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A phychology degree has limited uses unless you intend on furthering your education in order to become a therapist or phycologist for instance. Creative writing can be a bit different but it has far more value if you intend to be a writer. There are many careers that involve writing but keep in mind that just having the degree does not magically open doors for you. Experience is VERY important and landing that first job or contract can be difficult (with or without the degree). These days, lots of people have degrees and so it will still take a bit of effort on your part to demonstrate why you are the better choice.
I will say that in my experience, my education at the Masters level was a far more enjoyable experience. As an undergraduate, classes seemed to be designed in such a way that the professors would spew forth their knowledge and it was my job to memorize and regurgitate it back at test time. As a grad student, professors encouraged me to develop my own ideas and back them up. Your own opinions not only matter but become an essential part of the process as you work towards developing a thesis.
Ultimately, the answer to your question depends on what you will do with the degree once you have it. My degrees are both in Fine Art which some would argue was a "waste of time" but they allow me to provide quite well for my family because I have applied what I learned.
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Originally Answered: What kind of job can i get with a Masters in Creative Writing?
You can teach college with a master's degree in the subject or with a master's degree in any subject and 18 hours in the subject you're teaching. This is in fact the minimum requirement to teach in college (no matter how many people tell you that all college instructors have a PhD) and as the minimum you'll be assigned mostly lower level courses. It's usually adjunct (part-time) and not the best classes. Community Colleges are easier to get the job in with a master's.
EXCEPT: if that master's in creative writing is a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing then that is the qualification for full-time tenure track faculty appointment. It's considered equal to the PhD for that subject.
You CAN NOT teach in HS with that degree. You will need additional study in a teacher certification program before you can teach in a HS.
You can teach community level continuing education classes (how to be a writer) with that degree and make a pretty decent amount of money.
See the Chronicle of Higher Education job listings for what is truly required to be a college teacher. That's where the facts are. http://chronicle.com/search/jobs/
These are highly competitive jobs - there are a lot of people out there with an MA or higher in English that want those jobs.