What degree do I need to have to be a writer?
Honestly, to be a writer, there isn't a degree that is actually necessary. It depends on what kind of writer you want to be. If you want to be an author, publishing novels and so forth, then take a creative writing path. If you want to write for magazines or a newspaper, journalism would be a good path to look into. A good way to find as much information is to see if you can contact someone who is in that field and ask them a bunch of different questions. When pursuing your degree, make sure you write as much as possible. Have a blog as a portfolio to show your talents. Intern at writing designated jobs. Good luck!
Writing can be a very rewarding career path! I majored in Communications at my college and this fit well for the broad spectrum of what my career has become. I also minored in English. In addition, I worked at my student newspaper while in college to pad my writing resume for prospective employers.
As Heather mentions, no major, however, is critical if you want to pursue a writing career. What matters is that you take a broad spectrum of courses that will further your skills across the writing spectrum. Your specific interests and passion for the type of writing you want most to do (technical, creative, straight journalism) will help to chart the course for you in your college career.
Some of the courses I took in obtaining my B.A. included:
- Public Speaking
- Media Writing
- Multimedia Reporting
- Editorial Writing
- Communication Law
- Writing and Editing for Public Relations (it's important to understand your company's brand and protecting interests should you work for an organization - and not yourself!)
- Communication Ethics
These all led to provide a well-rounded education around the media and journalism field I ended up working in right out of college. And it helped me transition into the web editing and publishing sector I have been employed in for the last 12 years or so.
My advice would be don't limit yourself if you want to pursue writing as a career. Select courses that will hopefully generate some passion and interest and will eventually mold into your ultimate major in college! Talk to your English or language professors in high school (and guidance counselor) to seek their advice as well. They know your skill set the best, and you're probably going to be surprised at the talent they already see and recognize in you!
Your initiative to ask such a question shows forward-thinking and the aptitude that your future employer will be proud to mold as you embark on your career. Best of luck to you, Marcella!