- Accuracy, coherency and clarity in speech and writing
- Ability to simplify and understand jargon
- Problem solving
- Honesty and integrity
- Strong work ethic
- Teamwork skills
- Analytical skills
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Good computer skills
- Detail oriented
- Developing hypothesis
- Good presenter
- Think independently
- A bachelor's degree in English is sufficient for many entry-level positions in business and industry.
- A graduate degree is required for teaching at the college or university level.
- Develop a specialty area of interest via additional coursework and/or work experience for greater marketability within that specific career field.
- Save samples of written work to be used for a portfolio.
- Be prepared to be proactive, determined, assertive, and confident in order to secure freelance writing opportunities. Writers typically experience many rejections for each piece that is accepted for publication.
- Obtain additional areas of expertise such as journalism, broadcasting, technical writing, or politics for specialized positions.
- Conduct informational interviews or shadow professionals in careers of interest to learn more about their jobs.
- Creative writing: Books, poetry, plays, screenplays, scripts, greeting cards, lyrics/jingle writing.
- Journalism: Writing/reporting, editing
- Technical writing: Science and medical writing
- Freelance writing
- Broadcast media companies including television, radio, and the movie industry
- Trade, professional, or consumer publications
- Internet sites
- Large corporations
- Government agencies including Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of State, Veterans Affairs, National Archives and Records Administration
- Universities and university presses
- Technical industries
- Select elective coursework in a particular area of interest.
- Write for campus publications such as college newspapers, magazines, or departmental/program newsletters.
- Volunteer to assist or tutor students in a writing center.
- For technical writing positions obtain a concentration in technical writing.
- Become familiar with the proposal writing and submission process involved in freelance writing.
- Gain as much experience as possible through volunteer positions, internships, or part-time jobs.
- Higher education administration: writing center director, student affairs, admissions and enrollment management, alumni services, international affairs, institutional research and planning.
- University professor