Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Should you get your masters if you have a degree in English?

The question many potential and current English Majors face today is whether or not to get their masters or not. Well in short, it depends on a variety of things including what you want to do with your life.

The most appealing aspect of an English degree is it's versatility. Many people believe an English degree is a dead end career path unless you're becoming a teacher. However, this is far from the truth. It's not just limited to one specific field such as teaching so very little doors are being closed. Although there are not a plethora of jobs available once coming out of University with a BA in English, It's career diversity includes many positions including journalism, editing, screen writing, local and national newspaper writing, reception, secretary's, etc. English majors strengths lie in being able to clearly and effectively express idea's and arguments through the written word, including research on a subject as well.

If you plan on getting into education and teach at all you will require a Masters degree. The common theme most English majors run today is to become a teacher after receiving their BA. Teaching offers fantastic benefits, great hours and holidays including summers off as well as room for advancement and pay increases every few years. If you enjoy teaching the material and don't mind kids then this is a great career path!

Other options besides getting a Masters include heading to law or med school. Recently there's been an increase in students from humanities degrees such as English applying and graduating these schools. Reason being, is that as an English major you're already prepared for extreme writing and reading especially arguing points as far as lawyers go, additionally for med school you'll be well prepared for deep analysis of material such as when writing the many research papers within an English degree. In medical school, you'll learn all you need to know there. My personal doctor graduated with a degree in physical education and instead of becoming a professor, he went to medical school and became a doctor. He learned everything he needed to know there. So there's always these options open after finishing your degree.

If you decide not to continue with further education after getting your English degree there won't be too many jobs lined up for you. However, this could be just the freedom you need to become a professional writer, start your own book or novel, screen writing, write for a publishing company or freelance writing. Even full time blogging online is a viable option. Granted, Rome wasn't built in a day, it's going to take some time to establish yourself and earn a self supporting income.

Attaining your Masters all depends on what you want to do with your life. If you love kids, and love the material you teach, you'll love the job and a Masters would get you there. On the other hand, if you want to have a little more freedom and work your own hours, etc. professional writing or freelancing or editing would be the best bet there. Regardless, a Masters is always nice to have as a backup in case you're writing career doesn't work out as well as you thought!

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