We’re preparing for descent from the high days of summer, and most publishing certificate programs have already finished or are winding down. You might be aware that professional education in the publishing arena has grown in prominence and ubiquity over the past 10 years or so. That certainly includes Masters programs, but there are also certificate programs that run a few weeks and serve as crash courses in the basics–and many of them take place during the summer months.
The roll of these programs in the making of a publishing great are hard to fully quantify–as is almost everything else in the 21st century publishing universe. There is still a huge “apprenticeship” element to publishing, and in a hyper-educated and “officializing” world, I think that’s something to cherish.
That being said, having a professionally vetted clue when you march into your first interview gives no small leg up. You might remember what a positive boost Julia, our Fall 2011 intern, said she got from NYU’s certificate program. It’s hard to gauge whether it’s more the connection-making (at Career Fairs or just in the classroom) or the practical knowledge that counts, but as the applicant pool gets larger and larger, if a program like this is at all an option for you, now would be a perfect time of year to start exploring the options.
Because so many factors go into making this decision–and because you have several months before you need to narrow down your options, this might be the perfect to time to read other people’s reflections on the experience. We’ve assembled a range of perspectives on several different programs. The beauty of the blogosphere is that if you’re really intrigued by one person’s story, you can probably get in touch to continue the conversation.
- Social media maven Marian Schembari–when she was still in publishing–on why she decided AGAINST the certificate option.
- The blog Love Twenty on why one young woman found a certificate program ”a worthwhile investment.”
- The young publicist behind Upset Apple Cart gives an exhaustive review of classes taken and lessons learned.
- Julia Nollen, sometime-Trendsetter-intern on what she got out of NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute.
- An unusual–but practically minded–piece on what to do if you get wait-listed by your program of choice.
- One woman’s experience with the University of Denver program (n.b.: from the U of D newspaper, so not exactly a disinterested source. But the personal perspectives make it worthwhile.)
- Laura of This Is Keeping Fingers Crossed on how a certificate program helped kickstart her non-NYC publishing career.
We’d be curious to hear more of your own stories–especially if you just finished a certificate this summer, or are considering one next year. What’s your take on all this?