Jump to content
Bodhicaryavatara

Grads with stereotypically "fluff" terminal MA's (classics, art history, women's studies, religion, anthro, film, etc.): Where are you now?

Recommended Posts

Where are you employed?  How much are you earning? Do you have any regrets? Are you in a lot of educational debt?

ETA: I think these are really cool disciplines.  Just saying that society in general views them as "fluff", nonlucrative, etc.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MFA degree in design so somewhat fluffy, as it turns out.  In answer to your questions:

Where are you employed? 

Not employed - I was laid off (graduated less than a year ago) and suspect grad school has only marginally made a difference in employability.

How much are you earning?

I got a bit of a bump in salary and could get more seniority in job titles in my field, but I don't know if the 2 years was worth it - certainly not if you're an older student. I had experience before I went so that may have been responsible for a better title.

Do you have any regrets?

Yes.  I should have done grad school earlier earlier; while I liked the school, I should have picked another program.  It was wildly overpromised (scholarships? yea right) and a poor alumni network, and by the time I wanted to leave it was too late.  It was an interesting two years, and I learned a LOT but I'm not sure I can recommend grad school to people outside of clear situations (i.e. you need a MLS to be a librarian, PhD to be a teacher).  For the arts, considering the debt, oh hell no.  I feel somewhat ripped off by my experience.  Nobody has said, 'we must hire you because you went to school!'.  They treat my dedication and sweat in what I did as a 'eh, so what'.

Are you in a lot of educational debt?

Ridiculous sum of over 100K that will take me 15 years to pay of. It's a financial noose - I'll never have kids or a house or a vacation, basically, never be able to pay down interest. I thought it would be worth it, but now? I'm not so sure.  Disappointing, to say the least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/14/2018 at 8:00 PM, justanotherlostgrrl said:

MFA degree in design so somewhat fluffy, as it turns out.  In answer to your questions:

Where are you employed? 

Not employed - I was laid off (graduated less than a year ago) and suspect grad school has only marginally made a difference in employability.

How much are you earning?

I got a bit of a bump in salary and could get more seniority in job titles in my field, but I don't know if the 2 years was worth it - certainly not if you're an older student. I had experience before I went so that may have been responsible for a better title.

Do you have any regrets?

Yes.  I should have done grad school earlier earlier; while I liked the school, I should have picked another program.  It was wildly overpromised (scholarships? yea right) and a poor alumni network, and by the time I wanted to leave it was too late.  It was an interesting two years, and I learned a LOT but I'm not sure I can recommend grad school to people outside of clear situations (i.e. you need a MLS to be a librarian, PhD to be a teacher).  For the arts, considering the debt, oh hell no.  I feel somewhat ripped off by my experience.  Nobody has said, 'we must hire you because you went to school!'.  They treat my dedication and sweat in what I did as a 'eh, so what'.

Are you in a lot of educational debt?

Ridiculous sum of over 100K that will take me 15 years to pay of. It's a financial noose - I'll never have kids or a house or a vacation, basically, never be able to pay down interest. I thought it would be worth it, but now? I'm not so sure.  Disappointing, to say the least.

Thank you for an honest and sobering response.  Hope you get back on your feet.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: your last point, did you sign up for IBR (Income Based Repayment) plan?  I only have to pay $188 a month for my loans, and they'll (hopefully) be forgiven after 10 years of public service. 

Edited by Bodhicaryavatara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/22/2018 at 9:40 AM, Bodhicaryavatara said:

Re: your last point, did you sign up for IBR (Income Based Repayment) plan?  I only have to pay $188 a month for my loans, and they'll (hopefully) be forgiven after 10 years of public service. 

I signed up for the one that pays off a lot every month, with the hopes I can find something sooner rather than later - I hope to find a job in the government or non-profit to get into the 10 years of forgiveness, but with non-profits the rates of pay are rarely up to for profit, and I've given up trying to get into local government.  I've applied, but can't seem to get in - it's who you know.  I'm going to look into if I can renegotiate how much to pay.  I'm terrified of looking at my bank account, to be honest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/26/2018 at 3:12 PM, justanotherlostgrrl said:

I signed up for the one that pays off a lot every month, with the hopes I can find something sooner rather than later - I hope to find a job in the government or non-profit to get into the 10 years of forgiveness, but with non-profits the rates of pay are rarely up to for profit, and I've given up trying to get into local government.  I've applied, but can't seem to get in - it's who you know.  I'm going to look into if I can renegotiate how much to pay.  I'm terrified of looking at my bank account, to be honest.

Since you're unemployed, can you apply for the Economic Hardship Forbearance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/31/2018 at 9:39 PM, Bodhicaryavatara said:

Since you're unemployed, can you apply for the Economic Hardship Forbearance?

That's on my list of things to do; that's the thing that nobody talks about when you're unemployed, that you're so terrified of poverty you let everything slide as you're busy emailing and meeting and applying.  I need to see multiple doctors but have no insurance; am also looking into back up plans (skills bootcamps, possibly relocating to a cheaper part of the country) if financial ruin is on the road ahead.

Today's soul crushing moment: Finds job, applies to job, recruiter calls back half hour later, finds out that not a real job because they don't have funding, finds same job ad on company Web site, company is large multibilliondollar corporation.  I'm giving up on my field.  If I could afford to, I'd throw the towel in and just work in a cafe somewhere.  I am old and tired at this point, and it's obvious that with a disability and age, that nobody in this economy is going to give me a chance anymore.   The saddest part? That's not depression taking, it's realism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, justanotherlostgrrl said:

That's on my list of things to do; that's the thing that nobody talks about when you're unemployed, that you're so terrified of poverty you let everything slide as you're busy emailing and meeting and applying.  I need to see multiple doctors but have no insurance; am also looking into back up plans (skills bootcamps, possibly relocating to a cheaper part of the country) if financial ruin is on the road ahead.

Today's soul crushing moment: Finds job, applies to job, recruiter calls back half hour later, finds out that not a real job because they don't have funding, finds same job ad on company Web site, company is large multibilliondollar corporation.  I'm giving up on my field.  If I could afford to, I'd throw the towel in and just work in a cafe somewhere.  I am old and tired at this point, and it's obvious that with a disability and age, that nobody in this economy is going to give me a chance anymore.   The saddest part? That's not depression taking, it's realism.

I'm sorry to read of your hardships.  You mentioned disability-have you talked to the OVR in your state?  It's a gov't agency that assists people with disabilities in professional development.  I have a psychiatric disability myself and have availed myself of my local OVR office.  Their services are free.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/4/2018 at 9:35 PM, Bodhicaryavatara said:

I'm sorry to read of your hardships.  You mentioned disability-have you talked to the OVR in your state?  It's a gov't agency that assists people with disabilities in professional development.  I have a psychiatric disability myself and have availed myself of my local OVR office.  Their services are free.  

 

Thanks - It's something to look into.  I currently don't have insurance so everything is dependent on getting insurance, and seeing how I can sign up for services at that point once I have work.  I have a diagnosis for ADHD but the major diagnosis that would possibly trigger in for any kind of VR - autism - is a harder process.  I have to get the diagnosis for autism first, and that's rarely covered.  It's quite the Catch22. Juggling a job hunt/unemployment and trying to get a diagnosis is a real challenge.  I feel like I could manage the structure of grad school, but doing all of this on my own is devastating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish you luck, justanotherlostgrrl. Hope something wonderful comes your way. Refashion yourself if you need to. I can also relate to this. Take care! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2018 at 11:11 PM, mindful said:

I wish you luck, justanotherlostgrrl. Hope something wonderful comes your way. Refashion yourself if you need to. I can also relate to this. Take care! 

Thanks.  I don't know how to refashion myself other than look into underground alternative economic arrangements, or maybe look into a PhD at some point.  I'm drowining debt and feel like grad school didn't help me if I'm unemployed a year out of it.  I can't begin to understand what to do next around refashioning; I likely will be dead within a decade because I'm a statistic waiting to happen: older, disabled women with no retirement or savings because of the economy and job loss because she's a 'bitch', apparently.  The American dream was always a fantasy - the question is when will we start to count up the bodies on the sidelines and recognize the cause.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.