Strong writing and communication skills are critical for many careers in the modern workplace. Employers look for candidates who can articulate ideas clearly and concisely. As businesses and other organizations focus strategy on creating content for marketing or other purposes, trained professional writers are primed to excel. Before you can qualify for a writing career, however, you will need to identify which type of writing degree is right for you — and there are more options than you may think.

Programs for Writing Majors

Technical writing

This professional writing major teaches students to write for different types of audiences and produce different types of business-facing content. Examples include white papers, how-to manuals and support documents for products and tools. This type of degree is a smart choice for those interested in working in technical fields.

Literature

A major in literature focuses heavily on reading novels, poems and other types of writing. Then, literature majors are tasked with writing papers about what they’ve read, analyzing it for style, themes and the author’s message. This type of writing degree also teaches students to think critically and conduct thorough research.

Creative writing

Creative writing majors spend more time producing their own written work than reading the work of others. Through a process of repeated revision and feedback, creative writers hone their own unique style. This major is ideal for those who are interested in a career as an author or blogger.

Business writing

As communication skills become more important for business professionals, many students are choosing to pursue a business writing major. Also known as communications, this degree is designed for students who want to work in a business setting.

Linguistics

This major is designed to teach students about the foundation of languages. Students learn about the structure of language along with its use in communication. It’s ideal for those interested in careers in academics.

Journalism

Journalism majors prepare students to work for newspapers, magazines and other publications, as well as television and online news sources. Coursework commonly focuses on fact-checking, interview skills, emerging media and more.

Writing Careers

Once you’ve chosen a writing major, it is time to start thinking about careers after graduation. Here are some of the jobs writing majors are qualified for.

Technical writer

This writing career focuses on communicating complex information to diverse audiences, so that they can understand technical topics more easily. Technical writers are tasked with standardizing content and updating it to reflect customer feedback as well. The median salary for technical writers is $70,240.

Copywriter

This career involves writing advertising and marketing content for clients. Copywriters must be able to write concisely and convey a company’s brand identity effectively. They often work directly with clients to create content that meets their needs. The median salary for copywriters is $47,440, according to PayScale.

Begin your technical writing career today

The world needs strong writers and communicators. An online degree in Technical Writing from West Virginia State University will prepare you to land a profitable, sustainable career.

Explore Degree Details

Business writer

Business writers work for companies in a corporate context. They usually prepare reports and proposals for leadership and company stakeholders. Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide salary information specifically for business writers, the median salary for writers is $60,250.

Journalist

This writing career requires professionals to “inform the public about news and events happening internationally, nationally, and locally,” according to the BLS. Journalists conduct interviews, write articles and scripts, and research stories. The median annual salary for journalists is $37,720.

Editor

Editors work closely with writers and other content creators to “refine their styles and correct grammar or spelling errors,” according to PayScale. They must have a deep understanding of various style guides, such as Associated Press (AP) and Chicago Style. The median salary for editors is $49,872.

Which Major to Choose?

The writing careers you qualify for will depend largely on the major you choose. Creative writing usually involves fiction work for a general audience. The goal of creative writing is to entertain, and creative writing can be subjective and informal. Technical or professional writing, on the other hand, focuses on providing detailed information to the reader. These writers must communicate objective, factual details to their audience. Their purpose is to inform or instruct.

Any successful career in writing starts with the right education. West Virginia State University offers a fully online Bachelor of Arts in English – Technical Writing degree that focuses on developing skills at the intersection of business and writing. It combines a technical writing curriculum with coursework in critical reading, digital literacy and more. Students graduate prepared to excel in a wide variety of writing and communications careers.