Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995 08:07:08 -0400


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

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.