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Related Skills

  • Accuracy, coherency and clarity in speech and writing
  • Ability to simplify and understand jargon
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Strong work ethic
  • Teamwork skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Good computer skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Developing hypothesis
  • Good presenter
  • Think independently

Being Successful in the Field

  • 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.

Related Fields


  • Creative writing: Books, poetry, plays, screenplays, scripts, greeting cards, lyrics/jingle writing.
  • Journalism: Writing/reporting, editing
  • Technical writing: Science and medical writing
  • Freelance writing


  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • 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
  • Self-employed/freelance


  • 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.

Master's degree

  • Librarian
  • Higher education administration: writing center director, student affairs, admissions and enrollment management, alumni services, international affairs, institutional research and planning.

Doctoral degree

  • University professor

Professional schools

  • Lawyer

Career Industry Liaison

Name Office Email Phone
Megan Ruffin  223 Bone Student Center  (309) 438-2200 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Elise Hurley  423C Stevenson Hall  (309) 438-7848