In a world powered by film, television and text, writers are more important than ever. Between an entertainment industry thirsty for new content, a bevy of corporations stressing over the wording of their advertisements, and the nigh-infinite frontier of articles, blogs, memes, wikis and indie media that is the internet, graduates with excellent writing skills can make themselves indispensable to employers across industries. While there is some truth to the notion that some individuals are born writers, there are technical aspects of the field that can be learned or refined through hard work and careful study. What better way to guide that study and prepare for your creatively verbose future than with an accredited writing program?
We compiled our list of the five best online colleges for writing by using data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). A wide range of data points were weighed in our study by way of our unique methodology, including in-state tuition costs and number of online programs, in order to establish which online schools would be best for the nontraditional student looking to major in creative writing.
Visit our methodologies page to learn more about how we use official data to evaluate schools.
Writing is a diverse field, allowing journalists, authors, screen writers, biographers and others to make their mark in the world in a creative way. An online education for writing can help students to develop essential skills to the field and to learn about creativity, the technical aspects of writing, ways to market written work and even different forms of communication.
Degree programs focused on writing are available in many different forms from the undergraduate to graduate level. Below are details on some of the courses that students may take while attending online colleges for writing.
Online colleges for writing may enable students to develop skills essential to earning or improving a career in the field. As students complete a writing program, focusing on the following skills could be advantageous.
Writing is the dream job for many, but it can be your real-life career if you put in the work to learn the career and distinguish yourself in the field. There are multiple areas a prospective writer can focus on; here are some of the most prominent.
Individuals with a talent for understanding and simplifying complex technical information often pursue technical writer careers, where their work can help millions of people understand and utilize products that improve their quality of life. Generally, in order to land a job, prospective technical writers must complete a bachelor's degree in communications, journalism or English. In some cases, employers require workers to earn a degree in a technical field, such as computer science or engineering.
On a daily basis, a technical writer is responsible for pulling together all the different facets of a product's design and boiling them down to a clean, elegant description. A technical writer must regularly communicate with the product's designers to understand how it functions; help organize the layout of publications; write and revise content about the product; and draw sketches to explain how a product is assembled.
Although people in writing and author careers all create content, the type of work they do can be as diverse as the words in the English language. Generally, however, all writers and authors choose and research topics; write drafts of material and do revisions as needed; and work closely with editors.
There are many professional avenues that writers may take. If they're interested in fiction, they may work as screenwriters, novelists or playwrights, constructing grandiose epics, tales of human struggle, or entertaining pick-me-ups. Those who are interested in nonfiction may work as bloggers, copywriters, biographers or journalists, recording salt of the earth memoirs, the truth behind national and global issues, or their own personal thoughts and feelings.
Behind every great novel, there was a great editor who was responsible for crossing out all the errant commas and bridging all the unforeseen plot holes. These professionals are responsible for transforming text to increase readability, fact checking information in articles, making decisions about what should and shouldn't be published and helping writers develop their ideas into full-fledged works.
Editing careers involve the planning, editing and coordination of written materials for publication. In order to do their job, editors need strong leadership, writing and speaking skills. They must also be able to manage their time and work under pressure to meet regular deadlines, as well as manage the writers in their care to do the same.
Editors may be required to have a bachelor's degree in journalism, English or communication. In addition, professional writing experience may be expected. People interested in this field can work as copy, assistant, managing or executive editors.