How useful is a professional MA in publishing?
February 1, 2013 9:32 AM   Subscribe

As a specific example, this one at Napier University in Edinburgh. This is for someone in the UK, who would likely be more interested in running their own small business than looking for work with a big publisher—but would be happy to gain useful skills (and connections) in all areas of the business. The cost of the course at Napier is about normal for an MA in Britain, and doing it would not involve taking a loan.
posted by lapsangsouchong to Education (4 answers total)
I work in publishing (though I work in the US, so things may be different here). While some people I know in the industry have an MA, most don't -- I'd say that it definitely isn't necessary. If you have a year, I would suggest applying for (likely unpaid) internships and setting up informational interviews in order to make connections rather than paying money for school. That being said, that's generally my advice for someone looking to get a job in publishing. If you want to start your own business, it's possible that the overview you'll get from studying publishing formally may be useful -- as an intern, you can certainly ask questions about other areas of the industry, but your experience will be somewhat limited to the department that you're working in.

That may not be very helpful -- sorry! Feel free to MeMail me if you have specific questions about working in publishing.
posted by cider at 10:58 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

i have an ma in publishing. i work in publishing. the ma was not useful at all. now, i read the course descriptions of that napier program, and it sounds INCREDIBLY INTERESTING. if you have the time and money and just the general interest, i say do it. but if your ultimate goal is to get the ma to get a job in publishing that builds off your ma experience, probably a waste of time. (my experience is in the us, where things are very different than in the uk, so ymmv)
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:27 AM on February 1, 2013

I, too, have an MA in Publishing from an Australian university. I loved most of my courses and saw it as a way to break into publishing--especially editing--as I had no experience or connections in the field, just a Great Love of Books. I have to say that it hasn't been of much professional use, and if your friend/relative is more interested in running a small business, I rather think business and marketing courses would be more relevant.
posted by peripathetic at 3:02 PM on February 1, 2013

A couple of my colleagues (we don't work in publishing, we do do creative stuff) did that course, I believe, at Napier.

Ping me a MeMail if you have any specific questions you'd like me to put to them for you.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:37 PM on February 1, 2013

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