Friday, January 31, 2014

Should I go to grad school?

The UC Irvine campus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Continuing the thought in the previous post, one of the things I could do with my life now is earn a master’s degree.

As of 2012, 30.94% of Americans 25 and over have achieved at least a bachelor’s degree. That means I am still in a privileged minority – but I still feel shame that I’m not one of the 8.05% that has earned a master’s degree or above.


I think a master’s degree is something I should have. It would help me become more employable. And it is a tangible achievement. It’s like a mountain...I want to climb it because I want to be able to say I did.

If I were to earn a master’s degree, though, it would need to be in a subject that a. I genuinely care about and thus would have motivation, and b. is realistic for me given my background. That subject would be creative writing.

It would be good for me personally to have an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in creative writing.


Unlike a teaching credential or a medical school degree, I don’t need that piece of paper to write. Many successful authors do not have that MFA, and some don’t even have a bachelor’s degree. Why wait two years to earn that degree when I can start writing now?


It will cost thousands of dollars. Over $60,000, if I attend the well-regarded program at UC Irvine. That is money we don’t have right now.

Going to grad school would mean going into debt. Again.

I have been in five-figure debt. It is not a pleasant place to be. At all. It takes over nearly everything in your life, eating you alive with worry and fear and shame. Debt gets in the way of life.

Needless to say, I really like the feeling of being totally debt-free. Perhaps more than having a master’s degree.

Perhaps it is better to just write a book, and bring in $60,000 (or more), than go $60,000 in the red before the book is even finished.


No comments:

Post a Comment