Believe it or not, the question is likely more this: What can’t you do with a bachelor’s degree in writing?
Most people associate those who study in writing in school with novelists, screenwriters and playwrights. Those certainly are careers writers pursue.
But many other fields also need writers. That includes journalism and content writing for websites, now considered a key component of a company’s marketing strategy. That latter, relatively new field attracts many who have earned a bachelor’s degree in writing.
But because communication is so important to many careers, many of those who earn a degree in writing move onto other fields, from medicine and law to education. The point is, when thinking about making a living in writing, it’s important to keep an open mind on ways you can launch a career.
The following are some of those ways.
Journalism and Freelance Writing
Despite the belief that people read less, they actually have the opportunity to read much more thanks to the internet. There are websites on just about every topic imaginable, and the owners of those sites need writers to provide them content.
Journalism publications, both online and the traditional newspaper, also have increasingly turned to freelance writers as they reduce staff and better manage budgets. This can include traditional media outlets, industry newsletters, university publications and magazines.
As mentioned above, content marketing has become a large, relatively new industry, thanks to the millions (and growing) number of websites. Brand journalism is a subset of content marketing and journalism that involves writing articles, white papers and other content used by an organization on its website.
Rather than trying to “sell;” people on a product or service - something that works less and less well as people become savvier about marketing messages - brand journalism focuses on providing information that is useful, interesting or entertaining for those with a curiosity about a certain topic. A website on sports-related games, for example, might have articles on sports history, profiles of famous players and information on specific teams.
Those with talent and a degree in writing also are prime candidates for jobs managing communications for an organization. This can include public and private companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Any such organization of any size (more than 20 people or so) will want someone to oversee and write website content, press releases and internal communications.
A highly specialized but very lucrative area of writing, crafting speeches for business leaders, politicians and other organizational leaders is a job that is almost always in demand. It takes a very specific skill set within writing, but for those with the talent, it can prove very lucrative.
Those with good written and verbal communication skills are always in demand in education. This can include working directly with schools, as a tutor, for test prep companies or joining one of the many “education abroad” programs in which you will teach students in other countries about communicating in English.
And, of course, many writers move into creative fields. The need for writers is in every type of entertainment. Television shows need people to write scripts, as do movie producers. Novelists also have many new avenues for finding readers, including electronic publishing. Many people who work in these creative fields also work as teachers until their career takes off.
Those are some of the careers that are open to writers. For those willing to put in the hours writing, it’s a skill that can carry you far, whatever specific path you choose.