Would having a degree in English make you look more credible? If you wanted to get a TV job, that’s a good question. There’s no better person to ask than me. I have a degree in English literature from Princeton University. And let me tell you something, no one cares. That’s because people don’t care what’s written on my diploma. They care what’s written on the script, and what’s on the page. That’s what they’re hiring me for. So yes, I studied the classics. I recommend that you read the classics as well, it will only enrich your life and enrich your writing. You can do that for free with a library card, but you don’t need a degree. You can do that on your own. For many people, you have to learn story structure. That’s the most important thing. And you can obviously take a class to learn that, but that is required learning. 

One of the most talented writers that I worked with years ago, she barely finished high school. She didn’t have a college degree and she was always insecure about that. And honestly, I used to tell her, you need to relax because you are seriously one of the best writers I’ve ever worked with. She would say, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I am not like, yeah, I do know what I’m talking about. You are one of the best. No, I’m not. Anyway, that was her. That was her deal. So you don’t need a degree. You don’t need to study English. But you do need to be a student, a student of the craft. I always encourage learning of any kind, including this.

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Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Michael Jamin

For the past 26 years, Michael Jamin has been a professional television writer/showrunner. His credits include King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Maron, Just Shoot Me, Rules of Engagement, Brickleberry, Tacoma FD and many more.

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