Student Getting A Masters Degree In A Creative Field Says People Are ‘Horrified’ That She’s Entering A ‘Dying Industry’ With ‘Insurmountable Debt’

Meanwhile, she's not worried at all.

college student working on laptop in classroom mentatdgt / Shutterstock

We’ve come to a point where getting a degree in one of the humanities, or any creative field, isn’t exactly encouraged. 

Instead, everyone thinks you should go after something in business or STEM. This is exemplified by thousands of students’ experiences sharing what field they plan to go into, including one who shared her story on TikTok.

A woman pursuing her MFA in screenwriting has faced criticism for her choice.

Meg Ruocco is a writer for TV and movies who shares snippets of her life on TikTok. One snippet she shared garnered quite a bit of attention, reaching over 952,000 views.


Ruocco explained that she is in the middle of her master's program, and it brings up some interesting questions.


i told them i have no idea what my life will look like after may and they just went “oh…..”

♬ original sound - Meg Ruocco

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“Few things are funnier to me in the world than telling someone that I’m getting a master's degree in something creative,” she said. “Because there’s nothing quite like watching the horror befall on their face as they realize what it is that I’m doing.”

Ruocco detailed the difference between getting an MFA and getting an MBA, with a healthy sense of humor injected into her description.

“I was talking to someone the other day who’s getting their MBA,” she said. “And an MBA basically guarantees that you come out of it with a better job than you had before.”

“They have, like, career fairs, and they have mentors that they assign you. And you go in being, like, an account executive at Deloitte, and you come out being, like, the CEO of Deloitte,” she stated.


college graduates holding diplomas studioroman / Canva Pro

For Ruocco, the situation is different. “They were asking me about my master's program, and I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s three years long. I’m in insurmountable debt.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, well, at the end, you must come out of it with a job, right?’” she recounted.

“And I had to look them in the eye and tell them that I don’t come out of it with a job ... my professor, the other day, told me that I’m about to enter a dying industry, and hopefully it’ll turn around in a couple years or so,” she said.


Although there are major differences between the outlook for someone with an MBA versus someone with an MFA, Ruocco didn’t appear to be overly concerned.

woman painting in nature Karina Rymarchuk / Pexels

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The prospects for people who enter creative fields actually vary widely.

More creative jobs not paying well or being part of “dying industries” are common misconceptions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, income for creative jobs can actually vary greatly, from low to high.


The Bureau pointed to art directors as an example of a creative job where you can make relatively good money — a median of $92,500 a year, actually. Meanwhile, other jobs, like floral designers, make much less, with a median income of $26,350.

@sheneedsasnack And that’s on everyone who told me I could never live in NYC as a full-time writer 🥲 #writersoftiktok #mfacreativewriting #careerinspo ♬ original sound - nada

However, very few people get a master's degree to become floral designers. While an MFA may not be a guarantee of a job, it does put one in a position to take on more specialized jobs that have higher incomes.

Ruocco made light of any concerns others had.

In a follow-up video, Ruocco made it clear that she is not worried about her future. Or, at least, she isn’t letting on that she is. She said her original video got much more “traction” than she was expecting, and not all of the attention was positive.


“A lot of people commented on that video, like, ‘Why did you choose to do this? You’re so stupid. You should drop out,’” she said.

Her response? “The stupidity I was just born with, and I chose to do it, uh, because I wanted to.”


With that kind of confidence, Ruocco will surely excel in whatever she decides to do.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.