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What degree do I need to be a writer?

It has been said that to succeed as a writer, you have to immerse yourself in a literary city, (like Paris!), live like a pauper and write 10 pages a day. That's far from true, and you don't have to follow in the footsteps of starving writers to work toward success in your profession. Rather, one of the main ingredients that could help you launch a writing career could be a formal college degree - no eating cheap baguettes every day necessary!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks data for writers and authors as well as technical writers, a college degree is generally required for a salaried position as a writer. Top-notch writing skills are essential for writers in any field, and thus many employers like to hire writers who have earned a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or communications. The same holds true for technical writers, who are also generally required to have substantial experience in the area for which they are writing, such as e-commerce, high-tech, industrial design, etc. Writers who want to write about a particular topic, such as finance or business, may need formal training or experience related to that topic. Writers tend to be life-long learners who are constantly polishing their skills, and a bachelor's degree is traditionally the beginning of a life of continuous learning and acquiring and perfecting skills. Writers should keep abreast of changes in writing conventions, citation styles, new words and their usage, and even emerging technologies.


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