With a global population of over 7.4 billion and an increasing number of people choosing to write as a hobby or as a part of their daily routine, the demand for quality content is soaring.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a budding creative, whether you write for a prestigious magazine or as a hobby, your writing needs meet!
So which type of degree should you get to fuel your passion for writing?
This may seem like an easy question to answer but, in reality, there are numerous variables to consider. Before you make up your mind, here are some essential points to weigh in on.
The Difference Between MFA and MPA
An MFA is a Master of Fine Arts. A Master of Philosophy (MPA) is, as the name suggests, a degree to be completed in Philosophy. So, while both the degrees are connected to humanistic thinking and the Arts, they are very different in nature. While an MFA is mostly about writing, an MPA involves critical thinking and the analysis of arguments. For example, an MPA program could include classes such as:
- Introduction to Logic
- Introduction to Rhetoric
- Analytical Philosophy
- Critical Thinking
- Philosophy of Mind
By comparison, the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, also known as the MFA Writing degree is a lot more practical. An MFA in Creative Writing is a good choice for those who want to become professional writers or simply need a helping hand with their creative writing projects. Here’s a short list of the main courses you will study under this scope:
- Introduction to Fiction
- Introduction to Poetry
- Creative Writing I
- Creative Writing II
- Rhetoric and Composition
- Introduction to Screenwriting
An MFA in Creative Writing is the perfect choice for those who want to become professional writers. If you’re looking for a flexible degree that can help you get a leg up in the industry, an MFA is for you. However, if you’re looking for a more traditional path and want to study some pretty abstract topics, you may want to opt for an MPA.
Which One Should You Go For?
So, as you can see, an MFA is a great choice if you want to become a professional writer. An MFA in Creative Writing will put you in good stead for any job in the industry. As for the MPA, it’s a traditional choice for students who want to study analytical philosophy or critical thinking but, again, the benefits of an MFA in Creative Writing are clearly superior.
The choice, as always, depends on what you want out of your education. Are you looking for professional growth or simply want to learn how to write? What are your career goals?
The Demand For Writing
As we’ve established, writing is an increasingly popular career choice, especially among the younger generation. Back in 2011, there were just over 3.7 million young Americans between the ages of 14 and 24 who worked in publishing or media industries. That’s nearly 10% of the total workforce!
In 2022, there will be around 4.5 million US teens working in the industry. That’s a 13% increase from last year and shows how popular writing has become. It might not be a surprise then that many universities have launched specialized writing degrees. In 2022, you’ll see a 20% rise in the number of undergraduate students enrolled in creative writing courses.
In short, if you’re looking to write professionally or just want to learn how to write, both degrees will help you get there but, arguably, an MFA is the clear winner, offering you a more hands-on learning experience and a better chance of securing a job in the industry.
Of course, we couldn’t talk about degrees in writing without touching on the thorny issue of whether a degree is necessary at all. While a formal education certainly has its advantages, nowadays, it’s not always necessary to have a formal education to be a successful writer. There are plenty of successful self-taught writers out there, both in the traditional literary sphere and the newer fields of science fiction and fantasy. Many top authors and critics didn’t graduate from college but learned the trade on the street, largely self-taught.
As for the topic of degrees and whether they are necessary, that is a subject matter that could fill an entire blog post. Suffice it to say, while a formal education can certainly be useful, it is neither necessary nor sufficient for a career in writing. So, if you’re looking for a job or simply want to learn how to write, an MFA in Creative Writing is the way to go.