Re: Education Question

Subject: Re: Education Question
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 13:55:01 -0700

Sara Pauley wrote:
> I'm an incoming graduate student in a Technical
> Writing program. In thinking about costs and other
> details I became aware of an associate's degree
> program in Technical Communication. While both
> prgrams take the same amount of time; the associate
> program costs significantly less. There is a chance,
> however, that I will qualify for a graduate
> assistantship after my first semester.
> When all is said and done, will I be better off to
> spend/borrow more money and have a master's degree or
> to spend less money and have (in addition to my BA) an
> associate's degree? I apologize for the length and
> would appreciate your insight.

On the one hand, an MA might be useful if you think that you might like
to teach someday or be on faculty somewhere. And, if you like academic
work, it might be satisfying for its own sake. In fact, unless you do
like academic work, I suggest that you don't even consider an MA. Two to
three years is far too long a time to focus on a project unless you
enjoy what you are doing.

On the other hand, by not doing an MA, you could start getting hands-on
experience and making money. If you've been a student for a while, you
might be eager to start paying off your education.

None of these motivations are trivial, but, in the end, your choice
depends on what you consider "better off." If you think that research
and academic work make you a well-rounded person or lay the groundwork
for the career you want, do the MA. If you want to start your career
now, don't.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com

"Maybe there were two sides to that affair of Cain,
And Judas was a tolerable chap."
-G. K. Chesterton


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