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Bumblebea last won the day on September 13

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  1. Huh, I did not know that ASU's English department hired seven TT professors--I was under the impression that they hired three on the tenure track and two visiting/contingent. (And three is actually a lot, considering the massive cuts to higher ed last year.) I was also basing my assessment on an article I read in the Chronicle this summer: https://www.chronicle.com/article/arizona-states-success-story-model-or-mirage Then there’s the fact that three-quarters of ASU’s online instructors are off the tenure track. If they are like other non-tenure-track instructors at ASU, they teach many mo
  2. @nocapheremakes excellent points. If your goal is to go to graduate school to go to graduate school (a perfectly valid choice, btw!), then find a funded program and go. If your goal is to become a professor ... well, it's true that you may have a better chance coming from an elite school, but that "better chance" is largely meaningless when there are only two jobs in your field. I think that English graduate studies is suffering a bit from "boy who cried wolf" syndrome. I mean, everyone has been saying for years--no, decades--that there are no jobs. It's true that the academic job market
  3. Who gets into prestigious PhD programs? Well, I don't meant to sound flip here, but if I'm going to be completely frank ... those who get into prestigious PhD programs are, most of the time, people who went to prestigious undergrad institutions. Yes, there's a pipeline. There is nepotism. There is an attitude of "these people have what it takes to make it because they already made it--they were able to get into a prestigious school in the first place." Branding is powerful. Familiarity is powerful. The "benefit of the doubt" is powerful. Confirmation bias is EXTREMELY powerful. A person
  4. Well, a few small quibbles with your quibbles. I don't think this is really necessary, unless you have your heart set on a very specialized field. It's very difficult to predict what the nonacademic world is going to value in ten years, and I would argue that work experience for the sake of work experience is valuable enough. Full disclosure: between getting my Ph.D., doing a postdoc, and teaching for five years, I was away from the nonacademic workforce for a whopping twelve years. The job I worked after graduating college? No longer exists. But it gave me some transferrable skills a
  5. So, I have debated whether to weigh in here. I see a lot of merit to both sides of the debate here ... but my own perspective is very much colored by my own experience. In terms of these debates, I can never come down on one side or the other. Tl;dr: People need to just do what's best for them. Long version: I am one of the few people who made it through a lower-ranked program, spent a gazillion horrible years on the job market while a VAP, secured a tenure-track job ... only to lose that TT job when the pandemic began and my university had to make "significant cuts." Last hired, fir
  6. As long as it's fully funded through your workplace and the university itself, I say go for it. You have little to lose here, as someone who already has a job and doesn't have to give up that job in order to go to grad school. You'll want to make sure, though, that you won't be "on the hook" for tuition and funding if you're unable to finish. To be honest, I think it would be very, very difficult to get through a PhD program while working full-time. It's definitely possible, though. But you just want to carefully hash out the details: will your workplace fund you only if you complete the
  7. I was actually going to recommend the same thing. For one thing: statistics may not seem useful for an English PhD, but I've seen some innovative dissertations in the past few years that make use of quantitative analysis and data mining. (If you're doing a project on, say, how a periodical changed across time, then statistical analysis may indeed be helpful. English people do tend to be math phobic, so a lot us are "blown away" by someone who can combine math with literary analysis.) And for another thing--yes, quantitative analysis is a hugely desirable skill in the nonacademic workforce
  8. It depends on where you want to apply. Not going to lie, but if you want to go to one of the field's prestige programs, then a BA from an unknown undergrad will make things an uphill climb. (Yes, there are people from obscure places who get into Harvard and Yale every year, but they're usually not the norm.) But there are a lot of other programs out there that won't make it a huge factor in their decision. I went to two universities, both public, and people came from undergrads that ranged from large public to small "never heard of it" public/private/wherever. I knew one person who was a GED-h
  9. No. As others have said, you absolutely do not need an MA in English (let alone a PhD) to get an editing job. If you're interested in the technical side of editing, you might look at taking online courses in technical writing--Oregon State has a really reputable course for under $500. You might also look at joining the Society for Technical Communication, which also has seminars and certifications. But if you're looking to get into journalism, your best bet is to try to publish some pieces so that you have a portfolio, and keep a lookout for internships.
  10. I don't think attending this MFA program will impact your PhD chances in any tangible way. IME PhD programs don't really consider the prestige of one's MFA as a factor in making decisions. If you are going for a literature PhD (and not a creative writing PhD), they don't really care that much about any creative publications or your creative writing life in general. They view it as almost a completely different discipline. Having said that ... If this is how you feel about this program, I don't think you should go there. And I'm coming from a place of experience here. I did a cre
  11. Ah, okay, I get what you're saying, and I'm sorry for overreacting. No, I completely agree with this. For a long time I have been critical of the "top 10 or bust" mentality of some of these internet "getting into grad school" communities. I have been beaten out for jobs by people who graduated from programs much, much "lower ranked" than mine (in quotation marks because who really knows about the value of certain programs). I think when people peddle this narrative of "it's not worth going to grad school if you don't get into a top-10 (or top-12 or top-20) school," we not only ignore diverse c
  12. I did not think you were aiming this at me. After all, I do indeed have a job. But I spent a large chunk of my life trying to get one, so I'm eye-rolling at some of the statements people make that imply that the market is self-sorting and that those who didn't get a job didn't deserve one in the first place because they made some "gaffe" along the way that ensured their unhireability, just as those who got hired somehow did everything "right" and deserve their success. Such as: I mean, really? Yes, of course there are hundreds of people who enter the job market every year who are publ
  13. So here's the thing. If you feel that Columbia (or Harvard) are great fits for you, then I wouldn't worry about the job placement record right now as much. First of all, NO ONE is placing these days. It's just really bad everywhere. Second of all, you don't know what things are going to look like in 5-7 years. If you pick a program you're not as wild about and decide to go there because they seem to have a stronger placement rate ... their stronger placement rate might not hold up over the course of six years. That actually happened to me--I attended a program that, though not a top-ranke
  14. I was not speaking literally. My point was that, no, there aren't EVEN 20 "safe" programs you can graduate from that will give you a better shot at tenure-track works because oftentimes these days there aren't even 20 TT jobs in any given cycle! So of course there's no safe program, nor is there a magic bullet that will get you a job. This last couple years have been, hands down, the worst on record, and according to some experts we haven't hit bottom yet. Yes, there are anecdotal cases of people graduated from X program and getting hired at elite Y school. There are always anecdo
  15. So, I don't necessarily agree with "B"--obviously some people get jobs, and those who go to the best programs are more likely to get jobs--but it is accurate to say that we have no idea what the profession will be like in six years. Six years ago we thought the market was just in a slump. Six years later, people are like, "Wow, the 2013-14 cycle was great! Those were the good old days!" Lol. Yeah, it's bad out there. So I'm going to add something to what "B" said: consider where in the country you would like to be if the professor thing doesn't work out. If push comes to shove and y
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