View Full Version : Question for those with MFAs

06-30-2008, 06:12 PM
This question has probably been addressed (multiple times) before, so if someone wants to just send me to the appropriate link, that's good too.:)
Anyway, right now I'm seriously considering pursuing an MFA in creative writing, something that's been a longtime dream for me.

How difficult is it to get a (teaching) job after earning your CW MFA? From what I understand, trying to find a job teaching at a four-year/community college, or another job related to the field is very hard, and I'm wondering if getting a graduate degree in this field is something better put off until I'm in a more secure financial position (say after winning the lottery :rolleyes:) or is a goal to pursue with reasonably promising post-grad potential.

06-30-2008, 07:38 PM
The short answer is very difficult. Almost impossible. There are hundreds of MFA programs, thousands of MFA graduates, and only a handful of teaching jobs, which go almost exclusively to those with publishing credentials. Basically an MFA is only for you, to work on your writing, to learn more about the craft. It shouldn't be considered the sort of degree that leads to employment.

Old Hack
06-30-2008, 08:15 PM
I'd think that if you wanted to teach writing then a teaching qualification, backed up with a few appropriate publications, would be a better route to take.

I do have a writing MA (the UK's equivalent) of my own: I always advise writers to chose their MA course by checking out who teaches on it. If it's a lot of writers you've never heard of, why would you want to learn writing from them? Whereas if the tutors are all writers you admire, you're far more likely to get what you want from the course.

07-01-2008, 07:06 AM
If you want to make a living teaching at the college level, while you write your own stuff, for instance, an MFA isn't really very marketable; nor is an M.A., these days in terms of a teaching career.

If you really do want to pursue that, you have a better chance with an M.A. in English, and you'll also be better suited for a variety of non-teaching jobs, but you are very unlikely to get tenure, which means a series of single year lectureship contracts.

07-02-2008, 01:54 AM
Thanks for the feedback, it pretty much confirmed what I suspected. Oh, well, guess I'd better make sure I have the bestselling novel first.:rolleyes: