A successful career in writing may seem like a remote possibility; after all, not everyone can be a New York Times best-selling author. However, the good news is that jobs for writers stretch across many categories and disciplines besides novel writing. Whether you are striving to write the next great American novel or want to break into the writing industry, a degree program in Liberal Arts and Humanities in writing will help you get the specialized career training you need.
Writing Degrees and Degrees of Writing
While novelists and journalists get the lion's share of publicity and glamour in the writing world, there are also other subcategories within the realm of the written word. There is technical writing, advertising, medical writing, public relations, grant writing, and other related fields. And of course, there are the high-profile degrees in creative writing and journalism. Typical coursework for a bachelor's degree in writing covers grammar and composition, news and reporting, editing, writing for the Internet, plot and story development, writing for business, English literature, and creative writing techniques.
Technical writing involves expertise in fields such as science, law, medicine, or other areas that require a deep understanding of the topic, plus an excellent familiarity with the specific terminology used for each subject.
Normally, a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or communications is the prerequisite for entry-level positions in writing.
Get Practical Career Training While Getting Your Degree
Fulfilling assignments and meeting school deadlines is only part of the career training equation. Check local listings in advertising circulars, newspapers, and colleges for leads on freelance jobs.
You can also self-publish on the Internet. Professional writers and aspiring writers use the Internet as a medium to publish poems, short stories, or other works. All you need is a computer, a connection to the Internet, and a good selection of content. There are Internet services that allow you to start your own Web site at no charge, and some have options to arrange your Web page and customize it. Just be certain that you copyright your work and read the user agreements very carefully before you embark on your electronic publishing venture.
There are also writer's workshops that you can attend to further understand the principles and theory of strong writing techniques. If you have a deep interest in poetry or creative writing, there are many contests and writer's competitions that you can enter. Some very well-known authors got their break by entering contests. Why not you?
There are many avenues to choose from in a writing career, including journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising, nonprofit outreach, public advocacy, corporate communications, speech writing, and more. Competition for writing jobs is fierce. Individuals with experience in Web-based content and technical writing will have the best opportunities for jobs. The job market for writers is expected to grow about 10 percent from 2006-2016. Average salary for entry-level writers is $51,185.