ALT position or grad school
Thread poster: Christopher Campbell

Christopher Campbell
United States
Local time: 20:48
Japanese to English
Nov 15, 2011

I am at a sort of a crossroads and I was wondering if I could get some advice. I was recently offered an alt position in Japan but I've been thinking of grad school as well. Living and working in Japan would benefit my language learning greatly but I'm not sure if I arrange the proper start up capital for the position. I have the plain ticket, 2 months living expenses, student loans, etc. The position is with Heart English School which has been difficult to find information on.

Grad school would be more affordable. I was thinking of University of Texas which has a good reputation for translation. I would be able to intern and hopefully gain experience, familiarity with the process of translation, and connections. It would also be in-state tuition. The problem is I've heard that Master's degree isn't all that useful when it comes to translation. I don't want to go back to school and get another degree if it ends up as useless as my BA.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

My apologies if I used the wrong the forum.


Elena Potapova  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:48
Japanese to Russian
+ ...
Tried a life coach?:) Nov 15, 2011

Hi there,

You might want to ask the teachers already based in Tokyo about your concerns. Try Gaijinpot and you will get all info you need.

About Masters's degree....I don't see how it can help you to find a steady flow of work that will pay your bills. Some clients do care if you have a university degree in a relevant field, credentials, experience, if you are using any CAT tools etc. So, having said that, if you already have you BA in Linguistics or an equivalent and you want to try translating you should probably get down to business pronto and start making a dollar...


ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:48
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Which Experience? Nov 15, 2011

It all depends upon what you would like to do at this point in your life. If you take the job in Japan, you would be working, making some money and gaining some practical experience. Pretty self-explanatory indeed. If you go to graduate school, you would be studying and gaining some theoretical experience.

You should decide which way you want to go now. In my opionion, it does not matter if the degree you are going to get is useful or useless. Everything in life is an experience. So, both of these choices should be considered as different pieces of experience. If you enjoyed going to graduate school and earned your degree, it really does not matter whether the degree is useful or not. You enjoyed the experience, and this is all that matters. You would be facing life with a new degree in your hands. Similarly, if you enjoyed working this job in Japan, it really does not matter whether that experience counts or not. As you see, the keywords here are "enjoy" and "experience". I think that is the viewpoint you should adapt. Good luck!


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