RE: Seeking advice on English MA

Subject: RE: Seeking advice on English MA
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 13:03:19 -0700 (PDT)

My MA probably helped me a lot, but not in getting a TW job. My relevant
background includes over four years working as a programmer/analyst in the
military, followed by three more years working in the private sector in a
totally unrelated field from my military experience (Smart Bombs vs. Process
Control). Then I got both a BA and an MA in English Literature. THEN I got a
job as a Technical Writer, and I?ve been working in this field for 12 years

How did my MA help me? While getting it, I learned to think like a writer. I
own my work. I approach every writing task with a need to understand what the
audience knows, and what I need to tell them.

Does my MA help me get a job? I don?t think so. Certainly, I would never
display my thesis as an example of my technical writing; totally different
audience and totally different needs for that audience. But I learned that
audience ?stuff? while earning my MA, so I think there is a connection. I think
I get hired because of my total package of knowledge and experience, and I
think that is generally?-but not exclusively-?true of others.

One of my coworkers recently asked me if he should start work on his Masters in
Computer Science. My advice to him was to do it if he wanted to deepen and
strengthen his knowledge in his field, but not if his sole motivation was to
get promoted or hired into a better paying job. I?ve seen that not work out
more often than I?ve seen it work out.

Knowledge doesn?t hurt, but learning doesn?t always help where you expect it

Tom Murrell
Lead Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com
Personal Web Page -

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RE: RE: Seeking advice on English MA: From: Rich, Charles

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