Friday, February 25, 2011

Should Freelancers Get Advanced Degrees?

As I've said before, I'm in the home stretch of my Master's in English (I should be wrapped up in December! Clearly the longest home stretch of my life...!)

I seem to be an anomaly in the freelance writing world. I know several highly successful freelancers who haven't gone beyond a Bachelor's; others haven't gone on to higher education at all. You certainly don't need an advanced degree to build a successful writing career, but it can certainly add another level of credibility to your portfolio. I'm a bit of a nerd and like learning for learning's sake (for the most part), but I find myself anxiously looking forward to wrapping up this program!

So why did I pursue a Master's degree? Well, mainly, it stemmed from a deep dislike for my job (that's gotten stronger since...), and the realization that I needed to figure something out fast if I didn't want to stay where I was forever. Of course, this was post-recession, and the job market isn't looking much more promising now. Unless something really amazing happens, it probably won't be much better in December, either. But I'm trying to stay positive--recession or not, I'll still have my degree and that should be impressive to someone. The main game plan is to use it to land part-time teaching jobs to supplement my freelancing gigs.

Much like freelancing, I've pursued topics and classes that I normally wouldn't have otherwise, so I think it's definitely helped to broaden my scope of knowledge. It has also helped me become more disciplined and sophisticated in my thinking, which I hope will help me with client projects.

What about you? Have you pursued an advanced degree? Why did you decide to do so? How has it helped your career?

1 comment:

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