Is The Academic Life The Life For Me? (or: What Do You Do With a BA In English, Part XVII)
May 9, 2011 11:31 AM Subscribe
I think I want to become an English professor. How would I go about it?
posted by SansPoint to work & money (63 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
So, I've been thinking about what I want to do with my life. I know that what I'm doing now (menial clerical work for the government, and a part-time telemarketing gig) ain't it. I really don't want a straight, normal, office job. I love reading, love literature, and love writing. I even like talking about all those things. I got my Bachelor's in English after all. So, I think that sort of qualifies me to pursue the academic life.
The big questions here are:
1) How much further student loan debt am I likely to accure in pursuing this? I know I need to get a Master's Degree. A Doctorate too, perhaps. I'm already $40,000 in debt, and that's bad enough...
2) Does it make a difference when/where I go to Grad School? I'm pushing 30, and it took me six years to get my damn BA (thanks to an ill-fated dalliance with studying Computer Science at Polytechnic University), so I gotta wonder if the best time for this has past...
3) How does one actually apply for a job as an English prof? Is it like a regular job with résumés and applications and interviews—just with my thesis attached?
4) What are the chances I could get a gig at a university in a city? I'm not a rural/suburban/small college town kind of guy.
5) What am I not considering about going into this? I know I'm missing something.
Obviously, going into academia is a medium-to-long term goal. I don't want to do it lightly. Any advice is appreciated.