F – Fine Arts

FWhen I was considering Master’s Degrees, one of them I was strongly considering was a Master of Fine Arts. One of those interesting degrees where you see a number of people who do the work that is associated without having the degree. And there’s a difference, then, between those who have and have not gotten the degree – right? Maybe? Who knows!

Like with just having a blog, just having a degree in Fine Arts will not automatically make you a writer, because it does not automatically make you write. Writing still involves having the time, and more importantly, taking the time, to write.

So am I happy about my decision, to instead get my Master of Science in Library and Information Science? Bit of a mouthful, anyway. But this gives me options. Jobs I am qualified for. And the hope is, with stability and time comes the opportunity to write. Not perfect, just like other thoughts, but a hope. And it’s a nicely related field, as I get to be surrounded by books and help people work with them every day.

Whereas, with a Master of Fine Arts, with a degree just in writing, the thing you have to do is write. You better hope you’re good. You better hope you’re quick. Well connected. Get a good agent. Self publish. Something. Because otherwise, just like me, you’d find yourself doing other work.

But will I write as well as if I had the degree? In some ways, hopefully not. Otherwise, where is the value in the degree? It might take me longer, or more edits. I may not learn all the tricks of the trade in advance, but will have to do so as I go. But that’s something to accept.

How about you? What do you think about a degree in Fine Arts? Good idea? Bad idea? Any personal stories? Let me know in the comments below!


About CompGeeksDavid
Co-founder, editor, podcaster, web comicer, forum moderator, and writer for Comparative Geeks. Father, husband, geek, nerd, gamer, librarian, Christian, Libertarian, Science Fiction philosopher, and probably a number of other descriptors.

9 Responses to F – Fine Arts

  1. kebirch says:

    I have a degree in fine art with an emphasis in painting and drawing. When I was going to school I always used to tease that it felt unfair because I just got to go play with paints all day. It was a delight and I’m so glad I did it!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Carrie-Anne says:

    I know at least one person with an MFA, though I think I have to agree that it’s a bit like a vanity degree, something you can really only afford to pursue if you have disposable money to burn and/or you know for sure you’re going to have a career in the writing or fine arts world. I also am pursuing a master’s degree in library science, though I’ve had to take this semester off due to being maxed out on non-degree credits and having to take the GRE before going further.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good luck with your LIS! I did mine part-time while working, and found lots of applications for it in my other information field – which was banking!

      The job market has not been the easiest though, with a lot of the seemingly entry-level librarian jobs wanting years of experience nonetheless. Which is the catch-22 of: where do you get those years of experience? If your program has an internship component, I suggest making the most of that, as this should be invaluable work experience for your job search!


  3. Diana says:

    You know, I think that one of the sad things is that a writing degree can and should prepare you to do almost anything. Something in me sees that we don’t spend enough time giving students skills outside of the idea of being a professor and writer, and if we did—for instance if we spent time teaching those in MFA and MA programs to write code and to use Drupal and manage social media–there’d be a far different job market for people who have writing degrees.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I did a TON of writing, editing, researching, etc. in my history degree. So after my undergraduate, I was looking for writing jobs. Thinking, I would have what it took for these jobs. However, I never heard back from a single one of the writing jobs I applied for – and I ended up in customer service instead, which has spiraled me over to Library Science. Kind of lacking my writing there, thus the blogs!

      I learned a lot of really useful and modern skills in my masters – social media, management, budgets, and all sorts of library science specifics. It would be good for other programs to similarly prepare people!

      I did take one creative writing class in college by a professor who was visiting from an MFA program. Part of what originally got me thinking about it! He talked a lot about how they taught towards the idea of the business of writing – but he made it sound like doing so really stood out, instead of being the norm. One thing I will definitely remember is that it’s a good idea to have an agent!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Gene'O says:

      Yes. I left my own comment about how to get the most out of graduate-school, but yes. Yes to the teaching of code, and yes to the writing degree preparing you to do almost anything.

      I should add that anyone who teaches writing should also be teaching reading and thinking. The three are so interdependent, you can’t just teach one.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gene'O says:

    I never considered an MFA. I failed at English the first time around, straight out of college. Not failed academically, just walked away one day and went to work. I thought for years about a masters, and considered both History, and LIS. I finally settled on Political Science, and it actually improved my writing, because I had to do a LOT of writing to get through it.

    I think a degree in Fine Arts is as good as any other if you have a plan for it, and if you go in with specific goals. You need to have a pretty specific list of the knowledge and skills you hope to gain from the program, and an honest understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses for a graduate degree of any type to be worth the money.

    Unless you’re already set up and just need the credential for a raise, you need to think about graduate school as a way to gain a level or two, or to create opportunities for yourself. And it’s very important to develop lasting relationships with your professors – if you don’t do that, you’re not getting the full benefit.


    • That is something tough with my distance program – I didn’t really form any relationships with my professors. However, I’ve worked with a lot of the librarians here in town, and formed some good relationships there.

      For writing, it is here in the blogosphere and social media realm where I am finding people. Writers are so heavily involved in social media that yes, any writing program really needs to include some training in this.


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