What Can You Do With A Degree In Creative Writing

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 9 minute read

It’s no surprise, then, that the art of writing informs so many different fields and pursuits.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Growing up, what were your favorite stories?
  • Shows and films that you enjoy
  • Materials for teaching and learning
  • Copywriting
  • Speechwriting

A creative writing degree, on the other hand, devotes as much time and attention to teaching you the ins and outs of the craft and encouraging your development as a writer.

You may wonder why you need a degree in writing at this point in your life. Only a small percentage of the world’s greatest writers went to college to pursue a degree in literature. Many of the world’s greatest writers didn’t intend to make a career out of writing.

In today’s information-rich society, we have produced more media in a few years than in all of human history. In spite of this, the market for talented writers can be rewarding and lucrative. Getting a job as a writer can be as simple as earning a bachelor’s degree in creative writing.

Which Universities Offer Programs in Creative Writing?

The field of creative writing is a relatively new one in the college ranks. A bachelor’s or a master’s degree in one of these areas has traditionally been offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

  • A bachelor’s degree in art
  • a degree in liberal arts and sciences
  • graduate with a degree in art or humanities
  • a degree conferred by the University of the Arts in Philadelphia

There have been a number of doctoral programs in creative writing introduced in recent years.

The lack of an associate’s degree in creative writing may perplex you. Probably because the best writers are extremely well-versed in the art of writing. If you want to be truly good at writing, you’ll probably need to go to college. There are many hurdles to overcome in the path to becoming a better writer, even for those who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a writing-heavy program.

An undergraduate degree in creative writing includes the study of a wide range of topics.

Students pursuing bachelor of arts degrees in creative writing must first complete the 120-credit general education requirements of a bachelor’s degree. Courses in the following are common:

  • Research in the humanities and social sciences
  • Sciences of Nature
  • Literacy in Mathematics and Quantitative Thinking
  • English
  • Composition
  • Academic disciplines in the social sciences and humanities
  • The Arts and Humanities
  • An Unknown Dialect

A bachelor’s degree requires a well-rounded understanding of the subject matter, as well as a command of the English language.

You’ll begin taking classes in your chosen field of study as you progress through your degree program. Programs in creative writing can vary greatly. However, a typical bachelor’s degree in creative writing may include courses like the following:

  • Introductory Creative Writing
  • Authors, Authors, and Publishing.
  • Language of English
  • Writing for an Advanced Audience
  • Theory of Literature
  • Shakespeare
  • A Playwriting Workshop
  • Poetry-Writing Workshops
  • Nonfiction Writing Workshop
  • Workshops in Additional Topical Areas
  • A Work Experience
  • An End-of-Year Project

It’s worth noting that a bachelor’s degree in creative writing includes many traditional college courses and only a few workshops. For example, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is distinct from an undergraduate degree in a liberal arts field.

There are fewer general education requirements, less academic courses on writing and literature, and a greater number of workshop courses in which students produce creative writing in bachelor of fine arts degrees in creative writing.

While both a BA and a BFA should prepare you with a portfolio of your writing, BFA programs devote more time to the creation of that portfolio.

The master of fine arts (MFA) in creative writing has traditionally been the only creative writing degree available at the master’s level. Experienced writers can usually take advantage of the intensive workshop format of an MFA program to further their craft.

First, let’s talk about what a writing workshop is.

In the context of an undergraduate or graduate degree, writing workshops help students learn how to improve their craft in a systematic and repeatable manner. It’s common for the workshop leader (usually a well-known author) to direct students toward mastering a specific writing technique or genre.

Many of the students will pair up to brainstorm ideas and work through the creative process together. Students in the class will critique each other’s work at regular intervals, and the feedback will be constructive. When a writer receives helpful criticism, they go back to fine-tune their work. Students will present their work to their peers at the end of the workshop and receive a final grade.

Workshopping provides a framework for moving from the realm of ideas to the written word. Writers are shown how to sit down and write productively, receive and give feedback, and then hone their work. The goal of a workshop is to help writers improve their ability to plan, write, read, and communicate about their work.

The majority of the coursework in an MFA program in creative writing is usually based on workshops.

Additional opportunities for professional development will be provided for students through the use of master classes, lectures, and networking events.

Lectures often focus on readings from a particular literary tradition. The best writers are also, as everyone in this field knows, the best readers.

To sum up, PhD programs in creative writing help to train future writing instructors in higher education, which is the primary goal. Even though there are only a few of these programs, they are useful for students of creative writing who plan to pursue a career in education.

Ph.D. programs in creative writing place a greater emphasis on the teaching of creative writing than on hands-on workshops for improving your own writing skills. Even so, there is some of each.

Is it Possible to Earn a Degree in Creative Writing Online?

In the past, a significant portion of the creative writing degree progression has required students to meet in person to discuss and present their work at a workshop.

Due to recent developments in conferencing and online communication tools, it’s now possible to simulate this process virtually in great detail on the internet.

There are a few online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in creative writing, despite the fact that the majority of creative writing programs are still located on campus.

Students who are considering pursuing a creative writing degree online should be aware of some of the most common advantages and disadvantages of online learning. In spite of the fact that online degrees are becoming increasingly popular — about one-fourth of all students now study online — and are fantastic for some, they aren’t right for everyone.

In the following sections, we’ve outlined some of the most common advantages and disadvantages of online degrees.

The most common “selling points” of online degrees are listed here.

  • There is no need to relocate in order to pursue a degree with a fully online format.
  • Because of the flexibility of asynchronous coursework, you can access your classes whenever it is convenient for you.
  • The cost of online degrees is generally lower than the cost of on-campus degrees.
  • I don’t see any mention of the fact that you completed your degree online.
  • Online, a wide range of assistance options are available to you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Degrees

  • You don’t have to adhere to a strict timetable when pursuing an online degree.
  • Students and instructors are less likely to form meaningful relationships online than they are in person.
  • On-campus events are more difficult to find online than they are at the university itself.
  • When it comes to customer service, you won’t find as many options available online.

When and How Do I Apply to a Creative Writing Program?

In many ways, applying to a bachelor of arts in creative writing program is like applying to any other bachelor’s program. Transcripts, essays, test scores, and letters of recommendation are all required for students applying to graduate school.

Students applying to bachelor’s degree programs in fine arts should have a well-honed portfolio from their prior work in the field. Like programs in art or music conservatories, many BFA programs require applicants to submit a portfolio and appear in person for an interview.

Some BFA programs allow students to choose how they want to represent themselves in their portfolios, which can be problematic. Students in these situations have the option of applying to a conservatory or a traditional bachelor’s program.

Admission requirements for MFA programs in creative writing can be quite high. Many require applicants to select a “path” of study, such as playwriting, poetry, or creative nonfiction writing, before they can apply. As a result, candidates are evaluated on the basis of both their previously published work and an unpublished portfolio. There is a wide range of requirements for admissions, with some programs looking for aspiring hobbyists while others expect their applicants to be well-established professionals in their fields before they are accepted.

Academic Specializations in Creative Writing vs. Others

Writing is an essential skill in a wide range of professions, and it is also a subject of academic study in the humanities. It’s only logical that there would be academic options that are similar to a career in creative writing.

Among the degrees that can be used to land the same kinds of jobs, or that focus on a particular aspect of writing, are the following:

  • Writing for the Arts
  • Writing for a Purpose
  • With a Focus on Writing, I Practice Public Relations
  • With an emphasis on the written word, marketing
  • Writing in the Sciences
  • Journalism
  • Communications
  • Furthermore, Strategic Communication

If you’re looking for a career in creative writing, you’ll be able to find work in almost any of the other fields listed above that require non-creative writing degrees.

Creating a written portfolio may be a requirement for any or all of the aforementioned degree programs. Almost all writing can be considered creative in some way. As a result, there is a lot of potential for overlap.

Other degrees listed above are “applied,” but creative writing is unique in this regard. Most of the coursework in these degrees is geared toward preparing students for careers in particular fields of study. There may be a set of tools or techniques you can use in business, science, education, or journalism that are the focus of these courses. A creative writing degree is the best option if you want to learn more about writing than you can in any of the other degrees.

What can a creative writing degree do?

Creative writing, like many art- and humanities-based degrees, prepares you for a wide range of careers. Despite the fact that writing-related careers are the most obvious choice, the critical thinking and communication skills taught in a creative writing degree are invaluable in a wide variety of settings.

A few of the most common professions for people with a creative writing degree are discussed below.

Starting with engaging and diverse written content, copywriters primarily served corporate clients. Creative assets such as a jingle or a script, as well as more descriptive content like a how-to manual for software, may fall under the purview of the copywriter’s purview.

Despite the fact that copywriters share many characteristics with other writing positions, their location of employment and subject matter sets them apart. Traditionally, copywriters work in the advertising and marketing industry, or for large corporations. Copywriters in other industries may be referred to by different names, but they all do the same thing in the end.

Copywriters currently earn an average salary of $47,838 per year.

The second reason is that technical writers (also referred to as science writers) aid in the translation of complex scientific and technological concepts into clear prose in fields related to STEM. Technical writers may have a degree in technology or the sciences, or they may have a background in writing. Writers who specialize in a particular field can become highly specialized.

Universities, research institutions, governmental agencies, and corporations are just a few of the places where technical writers can find work. It currently pays $74,440 to be a technical writer.

The role of media producer falls under the umbrella of our third creative writing role (or simply, producer). In general, the companies or organizations that employ these designers have a strong online presence. An important part of online communication is multimedia, and thus the term media is used in this context. Text, graphics, video, web pages, and interactive content can all be used by these “writers.”

Front-end developer and data journalist are just two examples of media producers. As a result, the salary range is quite wide. As a result, the current national average salary for this position is $55,224.

Finally, a large number of people who major in creative writing go on to work in journalism. Journalists are expected to report the news in an unbiased manner, with an emphasis on objectivity and sound investigative techniques. Students who majored in creative nonfiction have the best chance of landing a job in journalism, but creative writers of all stripes have found employment in the media.

Depending on the location where you work and the critical acclaim you’ve received, your salary can vary greatly. The average journalist’s salary is $40,900, however.

Many creative writing majors go on to work in the following fields:

  • Writers who are self-employed
  • Those who work in public relations
  • Managers of public relations
  • Editors
  • Then there are attorneys.
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