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Posts tagged "you dont have to go to college"

Oct 20, 2014
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Why going into debt for (art) school is a terrible idea

In Steal Like An Artist, I wrote: “Get the education you need for as cheap as you can get it.” As anybody who’s followed my “you don’t have to go to college” tag knows, going into soaking debt for a degree is a bad idea, but even more so for artists. This graphic is from a recently published report, “Artists Report Back: A National Study on the Lives of Arts Graduates and Working Artists” by BFAMFAPhD:

In the United States, 40 percent of working artists do not have a bachelors degree in any field. Only 16 percent of working artists have arts related bachelors degrees. Though arts graduates may acquire additional opportunities and skills from attending art school, arts graduates are likely to graduate with significant student loan debt, which makes working as an artist difficult, if not impossible. We acknowledge that some arts graduates are satisfied with work in other fields, but the fantasy of arts graduates’ future earnings in the arts should be discredited.

Emphasis mine. Hyperallergic has an in-depth look at the report, and points out that it’s not just applicable to art students, either:

While this report focuses specifically on the arts, I couldn’t help but notice that it’s a part of a much larger conversation that’s been roiling across fields recently, particularly when it comes to graduate degrees. Our higher education system is producing a vast quantity of workers with educations and expectations for high-level and high-paying jobs that simply do not exist in the quantity needed to employ all these people.

…this is not an isolated issue in the arts — we’re training hundreds of thousands of young people who dream of gaining lucrative, or at least sustaining, long-term employment in a job market that is over-saturated with precisely those people and has been steadily losing good jobs.

To quote Steve Albini: “Some of your friends are already this fucked.”

The only decent argument I’ve heard for getting an MFA or teaching at an MFA program came from George Saunders:

I would feel weird if my students were going into mad debt to study with me. At Syracuse, we give 100 percent remitted tuition and about 15K a year, which a person can (sort of, approximately) live on in Syracuse. In any event, nobody’s leaving here with, you know, 80K in student loans. So this changes the dynamic dramatically. I feel good about teaching here, I feel like it’s honest. If we can help someone along their personal trajectory, great. If not, well, the person is only three years older than he/she was.

Via BoingBoing: It’s all but impossible to earn a living as a working artist, new report shows

Filed under: you don’t have to go to college

Jan 12, 2014
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Today’s NYTimes quotes @joycecaroloates arguing that most great writers of the past would be rejected by today’s universities.

Today’s NYTimes quotes @joycecaroloates arguing that most great writers of the past would be rejected by today’s universities.

Oct 22, 2013
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No one should get an MFA if they have to pay for it…. To me, a writer is someone who writes. The best thing to me is to read eclectically, to go to readings, to have experiences, to live in the world, to mix with all different types of people, to take some chances, and to find some people and start a writing group.

Oct 11, 2013
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“Should I go to grad school?” flowchart by Matt Thomas

Filed under: you dont have to go to college

“Should I go to grad school?” flowchart by Matt Thomas

Filed under: you dont have to go to college

Jun 11, 2013
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jaysonscottmusson:

The most succinct thing I’ve ever read about grad school.

From pictures for sad children

jaysonscottmusson:

The most succinct thing I’ve ever read about grad school.

From pictures for sad children

Apr 05, 2013
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Kio Stark, Don’t Go Back To School

I was really thrilled to read Kio’s book before it came out — if you follow my “you dont have to go to college” tag you know this is a subject near and dear to me. Here’s my blurb from the inside cover:


  Not going to graduate school felt like a failure at the time, but wound up being the best choice I ever made. It set me out on a path of self-learning and discovery that led me to work I love, work that would’ve never flown in an academic setting. How I wish I’d had Kio’s book as a guide to help me along the way!


Over and over in the interviews with independent learners, what struck me was the importance of publicly sharing and teaching what you’re learning:


  You need to create a feedback loop that confirms your work is worth it and keeps you moving forward. In school this is provided by advancing through the steps of the linear path within an individual class or a set curriculum, as well as from feedback in the form of grades and praise. Outside of school, people I talked to got their sense of competence from many sources. Many reported to me that they often turn around and teach what they’ve learned to others as soon as they’ve learned it. This gives them a sense of mastery and deepens their understanding. When their learning is structured around a specific project, successful completion and functioning of the project proves their progress. Projects can include making a computer program, constructing a book, making a film, writing about an unfamiliar topic, starting a business, or learning a skill. Projects give you a goal for learning skills and abstract information alike, and contribute to gaining a sense of mastery and competence as you complete them.  


For me, blogging was basically my graduate school.

You can get the eBook from Kio’s site.

Kio Stark, Don’t Go Back To School

I was really thrilled to read Kio’s book before it came out — if you follow my “you dont have to go to college” tag you know this is a subject near and dear to me. Here’s my blurb from the inside cover:

Not going to graduate school felt like a failure at the time, but wound up being the best choice I ever made. It set me out on a path of self-learning and discovery that led me to work I love, work that would’ve never flown in an academic setting. How I wish I’d had Kio’s book as a guide to help me along the way!

Over and over in the interviews with independent learners, what struck me was the importance of publicly sharing and teaching what you’re learning:

You need to create a feedback loop that confirms your work is worth it and keeps you moving forward. In school this is provided by advancing through the steps of the linear path within an individual class or a set curriculum, as well as from feedback in the form of grades and praise. Outside of school, people I talked to got their sense of competence from many sources. Many reported to me that they often turn around and teach what they’ve learned to others as soon as they’ve learned it. This gives them a sense of mastery and deepens their understanding. When their learning is structured around a specific project, successful completion and functioning of the project proves their progress. Projects can include making a computer program, constructing a book, making a film, writing about an unfamiliar topic, starting a business, or learning a skill. Projects give you a goal for learning skills and abstract information alike, and contribute to gaining a sense of mastery and competence as you complete them.  

For me, blogging was basically my graduate school.

You can get the eBook from Kio’s site.

Apr 03, 2013
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Jessica Hagy on student debt. (Her new book, How To Be Interesting, is out.)

Filed under: YDHTGTC

Jessica Hagy on student debt. (Her new book, How To Be Interesting, is out.)

Filed under: YDHTGTC

Mar 31, 2013
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Dec 05, 2012
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Oct 04, 2012
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MFA vs. MBA chart from William Powhida’s Why Are Artists Poor?

MFA vs. MBA chart from William Powhida’s Why Are Artists Poor?

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