Friday, May 19, 2006

The Curse of the MA

I have a Master's in English with a concentration in writing. Which is fine and good. Except that, when looking for a job, it messes with my mind.

I got my MA because I wanted it. I knew that, without going on to get a Ph.D. in English, an MA is pretty worthless. Which was fine. It wasn't really about getting ahead. (That would be an MBA.) I like reading and literature and school, and it was free since I was working on campus, so I did it. And I felt a sense of accomplishment when I finished that had nothing to do with my job or career. It was just something I wanted to do, and I did it.

But now I'm looking for jobs. And I've turned into a snob. I'm not sure if it's my voice in my head or that of career counselors and well-meaning acquaintances, telling me that surely having a master's should be worth something.

Honestly, it's not. It's not good for anything except preventing me from applying for good jobs with decent pay because I feel like I should get something better. Like people should be knocking down my door because I have a master's. But they don't. And I get frustrated and feel under appreciated and severely underpaid.

I'm glad that I got my Master's because I wanted it and I like to bring it up in conversations when I would like to seem smart. But I think I need to consider it as completely irrelevant to the job search. Everyone else seems to.

No comments: