RE: Seeking advice on English MA

Subject: RE: Seeking advice on English MA
From: Christine -dot- Anameier -at- seagate -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 11:38:58 -0500

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies. I've received so many
responses on- and off-list that I'm having trouble replying to them all.
Since many replies have been off-list (which is fine), I thought I would
post a summary of sorts. The response has been split almost down the middle
between "get the degree" and "don't bother":

* Finishing the degree would give me a sense of personal achievement.
* Leaving the degree unfinished suggests that I don't finish what I start.
* People respect advanced degrees.
* I would be qualified to apply for teaching jobs if I wanted to.
* I might have a better shot at management jobs.
* Surveys have shown that people with advanced degrees get higher
* I've done all the work, it's silly to let some red tape get in the way of
getting the degree I've already earned.

* English lit is irrelevant to my work now; my TW experience/samples are
what matter.
* I could price myself out of certain jobs.
* Strengthening my credentials as an English major may not be a good move
in a field where many people regard English majors as irritating
nitpickers, flighty artistes, spoiled rich kids with tuition money to burn,
or frustrated novelists who secretly loathe doing tech writing.

Just to clarify: I have been working in tech writing for three and a half
years as a contractor, and my technical skills are pretty well established.
I could drop the graduate work off my resume and do just fine. But since I
completed everything but the final paperwork, I'm considering finishing the
degree *if* it will improve my job prospects or earning potential. Opinion
seems evenly divided on whether an English lit MA would be an asset, a
liability, or merely irrelevant. I don't know yet what I'm going to do, but
you've all helped clarify some issues for me, and I really appreciate your



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