Sunday, August 28, 2011

What to do after a linguistics degree

I’ve been tempted to write something for youngsters who have just completed their degree in linguistics from GCUF and now angry from the whole world about their fate.

There are some problems, no one has denied that. For example linguistics graduates (MSC Applied Linguistics) cannot apply for PCS Lecturers seats. The problem is because PCS only considers MA English in this regard. The solution is to change the name of the degree as BZU Multan, Islamia University Bahawalpur and UMT Lahore did. They have these programs for longer time as compared to GCUF, their students faced the problem and they have made appropriate changes to compensate. As per my knowledge the same is going to happen in GCUF. The degree name would be changed to MA English (Specialization in Linguistics). There would be a few basic courses of literature as well, to give a general idea of English literature to language students.

But the changes are being made as of 2011. The masters program started in 2007 with first batch in 2009, so there are three batches out with degrees. They are at a loss this way. But solution is there, only that it would take some time, and some effort. We, the old students from Applied Linguistics with MSc degrees are going to apply for PCS. We know that we’ll be refused. Then we’ll go to Supreme Court filing a Writ Petition. This way we would request the court to: instruct the university to change the degree name for old students; instruct PCS to allow us the right of application.

Pretty much clean and simple solution eh? Everything perfect and smooth. But that’s not the case. Firstly do not expect that you’ll be granted whatsoever you want. Secondly do not expect that you will get a job in PCS even if you have got the permission to apply. There are less than 250 seats from all over Punjab and thousands of degree holders are waiting for an opportunity. So only the best and fortunate will be selected. Now there are two ways:
  • Sit down and start grumbling about the conspiracies, injustice, misguidance done to you by the world, the seniors, the university, the department and the teachers.
  • Start building your career by gaining experience and getting what you lack at this moment. So if you want to grumble the floor is open start is right now, if you want second option stay with me.
As a linguistics graduate your plus point is that you know how to teach English. You are not merely having a degree in literature which teaches you old English Drama, Novel, Poetry. It does not teach you “how to teach”. But you have to figure it out yourself. So use this plus point, don’t degrade yourself and start building your career. Let me start with myself. I never expected to be a super hero after getting highest grades in masters. I know life does not yield so easily, you have to be so lucky to gain such a favor. So in the meantime select an alternative path for yourself and start acting on it.
  1. Create your CV. A simple 1 pager which would tell what is your qualification and areas of specialisation. I’ve a few samples, drop your email in comments or through Contact Me page, and I’ll forward you the CV samples.
  2. Get copies of all of your documents. Attach them to 1 copy of CV and make bundles.
  3. Drop in all good institutions of your city. At this moment your target can be Beacon House, The City, Little Angels, The Educators, Lahore Grammar School, and for colleges almost every private college. And be quick because the session is going to start and they need teachers.
  4. If you get a job this would teach you how to behave in professional environment, deal with parents, deal with students and you’ll get experience.
  5. There is a program for Trainee Teachers in Govt. Colleges. Several of your seniors has been benefited from it. It gives you a reasonable salary as well as experience of teaching at college level. Aisha Chouhdary (BS 2006-10) worked in this position at a govt. college, Sadaf Maqsoof from MSC 2008-10 i.e. my class fellow, worked at a govt. college in her city. From MSc 2009-11 Berg-e-Hina is selected as a trainee teacher at a govt. college in her city, Tahir Imran from BS 2007-11 has been selected in Govt. College of Commerce Faisalabad (he informed me today). And Mudasir, one of my class fellows, secured a similar job at Govt. College Samanabad. But don’t be so excited, the opportunity is over for this year. The interviews held on 19 August, 2011. Like you, I got this news after 4 days and regretted not applying for a college trainee teacher job. But never mind, better luck next time (next year actually). Keep an eye on the newspapers in this regard.
  6. Make a habit to read news papers and find job adds. Make a habit to apply for jobs.
  7. You want to pursue for CSS, and regretting not having read literature in your masters degree? MA English Literature course is available in market, buy books and start reading works of Shakespeare, Novels and Poetry so you may have some idea of literature. Remember reading is a habit, good books always provide you something. So start reading while you have sometime before getting a job. And who knows while reading the books casually, you decide to go for another MA i.e. MA English. Personally I would like to have a Post Graduate Diploma in English Literature in next years of my life so that I can compensate for not reading literature. But it does not mean I do not read now. I read but my taste is a bit different. I like to read Fantasy and Science Fiction and so far have listened audio books of Harry Potter, Wheel of Time, Codex Alera. Roughly they make 30 books.
  8. Be in touch in HEC and see for any foreign scholarships.
  9. Pursue for M Phil in Applied Linguistics if you want to go forward for University Jobs. I’ve a similar plan as well.
  10. And thank ALLAH for what he has granted you. See what you have now, see around yourself to realize how you are blessed. Even you existence is a blessing. Its you who can make your life heaven or hell. By fretting you’ll make your life hell and nothing would change around your. By Thanking ALLAH you will be obliging for what HE has given you. It will create a positive attitude and give you strength to move forward.
May ALLAH bless us all.

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