Re: Grad school vs. the world

Subject: Re: Grad school vs. the world
From: nancy ott <ott -at- ANSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1993 10:44:09 EDT

> From: Randy Allen Harris <raha -at- WATARTS -dot- UWATERLOO -dot- CA>
> Subject: Grad school vs. the world

> A (n undergraduate) student of mine is interested in exploring the relative
> merits of grad school and work experience "students of literature,
> technical writing and education". She's mostly interested in sources she
> might consult, but I think a collection of individual opinions would also
> be extremely useful. I hearby solicit both on her behalf. Thanks very
> much.

I began my career as a mechanical engineer - yep, I'm a living
"engineer vs. writer" horror story - and learned technical writing
mostly through experience. My experience and portfolio have proved to
be the key to finding work, not an advanced writing degree or lack
thereof. Curiously, the engineering degree proved to be more helpful
for finding tech writing jobs than it did for finding engineering

So far, not having a master's degree hasn't seemed to be a problem
salary-wise or career-wise. Comparing notes with some master's
students, I've learned much of their in-class knowledge while working.
Having said that, I wish I'd had the opportunity to learn some of the
things that these students have - especially in graphic design,
information design, and so forth. There's definately a benefit to
advanced study.

I'm not sure which course of action I'd recommend - working first, or
getting a master's first. A master's degree combined with some good
work experience while in school - such as a part-time writing job,
internship or co-op - would be a decent compromise.

- nancy

nancy ott | 1. You can't get something for nothing.
Ansoft Corp. | 2. You can't win.
Pittsburgh, PA | 3. You can't even break even.
ott -at- ansoft -dot- com |

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