Puzzled in Prairieland writes...
Since graduating last fall (BA English, creative emphasis), I’ve worked crappy jobs and pondered far too much. I had been locked tight on the idea of heading straight to an MFA, but then the benefits of an MA were posed to me by some of my co-workers, disgruntled and crusty adjunct English profs. (I work in a writing center). An MA buys time to decide: MFA? Creative PhD? It buys growth and the potential for better MFA/PhD program, if I do well. If I decide on the MFA later, having the extra degree wins a teensy bit of respect from non-creative folk (“more Lit. = pain = respect”--cranky English profs.). I don’t really know. All I know is I want to write and teach writing, both craft and Lit. ideally, and I’ll do whatever to give that goal a chance at survival. Would an MA be a waste of time and money? Should I listen to the crusties?
PiP, I can't tell you whether to do an M.A. or an MFA. I can tell you that you've articulated many of the advantages of an M.A. very well. Two of my colleagues at UMass went the M.A.-->MFA route, and they really appreciated what they'd learned at the M.A.
Anyone out there with an M.A.? We'd appreciate your take.