Stepping Into the Profession: Writing Games in Masters Programs
There are no doubt countless reasons why individuals decide to pursue advanced study at the masters degree level, including pure love of study or desire to postpone entry into the work world. Nevertheless, I am guessing that for most people, the decision represents a life and career choice to become a person with a field-specific identity who wishes to practice particular activities in professions that can be identified by name (teaching, engineering, business and so forth). With some specialized knowledge and expertise, plus the certificate that promises something to the public beyond general competence, the holders of masters degrees possess more symbolic capital than nondegree holders (Bourdieu, 1977a, 1991). This symbolic capital can then be used as public proof that degree holders have a certain amount of authority in a field, that they therefore deserved to be listened to, and that they can be trusted to practice their trade in ways appreciated and shared by other practitioners.