I can give you an answer for the technology industry, since my 30-year career has been spent in this industry. Copywriters in tech typically come from one of two directions: They are either Business/Marketing grads with exceptional writing skills, or they are Journalism/Mass Communications grads with an interest in--or at least no fear of--technology. People occasionally come from a third direction: technical professionals with exemplary writing skills, but that's rare, since technical roles pay better, so people don't often migrate out of them.
The key to getting into a writing role is to develop a portfolio of writing samples that will demonstrate your writing chops to prospective hiring managers. Journalism and Mass Communications programs typically provide students with ample opportunities to do this by participating in student publications and media, but in today's world, there are a number of additional ways to build up a writing portfolio beyond those somewhat limited opportunities (see Suggested Next Steps).
Look at marketing materials and websites for companies whose products or offerings are interesting to you. Get a feel for the persuasive language they use to promote their brand and offerings.
Bruce recommends the following next steps:
- Look at marketing materials and websites for companies whose products or offerings are interesting to you. Get a feel for the persuasive language they use to promote their brand and offerings.
- If you don't have a blog, start one and start posting at least twice a week. When you do post, take the posture that every word you write will be a representation of your writing skill. If possible, focus the blog on topics relevant to the industry you want to work in.
- If you already have a blog, refine, refocus, and redirect it so it can start to act as your online portfolio (see previous item).
- Browse through online listing for free and/or shareware apps and look at the promotional copy used to describe them. Find one or two with substandard copy, rewrite the copy, then contact the developer to see if they'll replace their substandard copy with your improved version. Voila, you're a published copywriter!
- Look at both the freelance professionals and the job listings on online marketplaces like Upwork.com to get a feel for the skills needed and the jobs and clients out there that require copywriters.