An MA in translation has been at the core of a professional translation career for a long time. Nowadays, there seems to be an increasing number of up-and-coming translators starting out in their careers armed with an MA.
With university tuition fees constantly on the rise, you might be asking yourself whether completing an MA in translation is worth your time and money. Truth is, there’s no foolproof answer. It all depends on your own goals, work experience, and circumstances.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why an MA in Translation Studies may be worth your while.
Employers and potential clients are likely to consider a candidate’s educational background in translation. An MA tells them that a candidate has taken that extra step to develop their translation skills.
Having an MA affirms that you have a solid foundation and understanding on how to translate various texts. Moreover, the practice and feedback you receive throughout the course allows you to improve and build upon your portfolio.
Most courses will place translation theory at its core, and this allows you to increase your confidence when asked to justify your translation choices.
Education is always going to be a good investment. Many postgraduate assignments mimic real-world projects and give you first-hand, practical experience of working on a translation project.
This, of course, comes with the additional benefit of getting feedback on how to improve your work. Many courses also include modules that equip you with business skills such as project management, customer service, marketing, and so on. These skills aren’t subject-specific and definitely transferable wherever you go.
It’s likely that you’ll get the opportunity to learn about and even use CAT tools and other software during your studies, which employers will find valuable. Your institution might even offer you a discount if you decide to buy later on!
While networking is useful for everyone, it will be especially valuable for those just starting out in the industry and whose careers will largely depend on building close contacts.
These opportunities may be online or in person, with the possibility that your institution will set up events that give you the chance to meet with language service providers (LSPs) and other potential employers.
And don’t forget your experienced professors! They might be able to help you get a leg up in an industry that isn’t always the easiest to start out in.