Studying to Become a Writer

a person pulling a book out of a shelf / become a writer

The steps that one takes to become a writer can vary from person to person. Whether you go to school for English, Engineering, or Communications, writing is welcome to all and can be a part of your student career. 

Paths to Become a Writer

While there isn’t a prescriptive way to become a writer, there are certain paths that allow you to become a professional writer by the time you graduate. 

Option 1: Take an Arts Program

Most Arts programs are writing intensive. If you don’t have exams, you’ll have to submit papers periodically during the semester. If you do have exams, there’ll be an essay included in the exam. Depending on how big the post-secondary institution is, they might divide their arts programs into different branches rather than keeping it under one umbrella. 

Arts programs include:

  • English
  • Journalism
  • Publishing
  • Linguistics
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Creative Writing

The reason why taking an Arts program is the first option is because jobs online post that they want candidates who have graduated in English or any writing heavy program. 

Option 2: Take a more Scientific Approach

Most companies need writers for an unspecified number of reasons. This includes science and tech companies as well. However, even the most brilliant English student may have trouble writing for tech companies without any prior background knowledge. 

If you want to study sciences during your time at school, but also have an affinity for writing, then you can do so. One thing that is strongly recommended is to take a lot of English and communications courses as electives while you are still studying. It also helps to volunteer in those areas by joining a club and becoming part of their communications team. 

Option 3: Take Post-Degree Programs 

If you had a desire to change your career path a little bit too late into your time as a student or you’ve already graduated, you’re not too late. Colleges and universities offer certificates and diplomas that have a duration of one year. It’s a helpful extension to your previous education experience. 

Make a Portfolio

You should make a portfolio regardless of your educational background. In some cases, it may be your only proof that you are a writer. 

More advanced writers have entire websites that showcase all their works. However, newer writers will get by with a Google Doc of their best work or a zip file of works they wish to demonstrate. 

Why Study to be a Writer

If you have intention on becoming a writer after you graduate, the best part about it is that you have the freedom to choose how you want to spend your time as a student. It doesn’t limit you to one area of study and lets you explore the courses your school has to offer. 

While you should have the intention to graduate with at least a Bachelor’s Degree in a discipline, that discipline can be entirely up to you. It’s your opportunity to study what you truly have a passion for and that passion can open up a fun and creative career path.

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