Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995 08:07:08 -0400
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" 104LYN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA
Subject: Re: Masters programs and beyond
a masters, and perhaps a doctorate degree. However, my father, the
ultimate pragmatist, wants to know what the hell I'd do with the
degree... aside from teach. I said research, but I really couldn't
give him a good answer... Anyone have any ideas?
Do you have web access? If so, go to http://www.msstate.edu/Archives/ADS/
and look at the job ads. At least several of them are for non-teaching
jobs in linguistics.
i have serious ethical debates (mostly with myself) about whether to
encourage people to pursue linguistics. yes, there are linguistics-
oriented jobs that are not academic, but they are generally not
given to linguists. a lot of the stuff these days is for computer
scientists with some familiarity with other languages or linguistics.
other things that advertise for linguists (e.g., the annual search
by caterpiller for linguists) are based on misapprehensions of what
linguists do (i base this on the experiences of several friends who
have applied for that job). many, if not most, lexicographers are
not linguists by training, but people who have worked their ways up
through the publishing organization.
for the jobs that exist, there is intense competition. i'm not
living in the city with the highest murder, rape, and carjacking rates
in the world for kicks--this was the only job _in the world_ in my
(albeit unfashionable with hiring committees) specialty in the year i
was applying -- and i was damned lucky to get it (perhaps b/c others
were not so keen on living here).
grad school in linguistics, i think, is just not for the pragmatic!
(i can think of 2 ph.d. friends who are selling real estate and one
who's doing secretarial work.) my advice is: do it if you love it--
if doing it is enough reward in itself. to be more pragmatic, go
into artificial intelligence and work on linguistic problems from
there. or do an ma-tesl.
ok, now everyone can take me to task for my disaffection.