Not surprisingly, on the heels of the MFA-program queries, come questions about jobs. What types of careers, students ask, can these programs prepare me for.
The short answer, of course, is that MFA programs aren’t really meant to prepare you for a job market. A person might pick up some teaching experience or editing skills along the way, but these are incidental.
Still, the question itself is important. How do writers make a living? At this point, I say that sadly, very few writers I know manage to support themselves with their writing. Most have jobs. Some teach, some edit, some do journalism. Some work in advertising. Some become librarians. Or technical writers.
Fortunately, now there’s a whole site dedicated to this topic. It’s called MFA Day Job, but it might be of interest to anyone contemplating a career that would allow him or her to be a writer and not starve to death in the process.