Associates Degree in Writing: Program Information
Learn about the courses and varied options for associate's degree programs in writing. Find out about career choices, employment information and continuing education to broaden writing job opportunities.
Education in writing can be found through associate's degree programs in creative writing, journalism and technical writing. All of these programs emphasize clear communication through writing. Associate's programs generally take two years to complete and are readily available through community colleges and vocational schools. Some programs require or encourage students to participate in internships.
Associate's Degree in Creative Writing
Through degree programs such as an Associate of Arts or Associate of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, students develop the knowledge and skills to begin a writing career. After graduation, they might choose to write for book publishers, broadcasting companies, magazines or periodicals. Students also gain a solid foundation for later expanding into careers in copywriting, editing or publishing.
Programs train students for professions in the literary field. Program courses also improve students' creative writing and language capabilities. Creative writing degree programs include courses in general education, core courses and a variety of creative writing mandatory courses. Studies may also include workshops, playwriting and screenwriting. Other courses may include:
- Civic communication
- Composition of the English language
- Contemporary writing
- English prose
- Fiction, nonfiction and poetry writing
Popular Career Options
Graduates of associate degree programs in creative writing can choose to pursue a variety of professional positions. Creative writers can enter some of the following careers:
- Book reviewer
- Freelance writer
Graduates of associate's degree programs in creative writing gain proficiencies and education to advance to a bachelor's degree program. Graduates can typically transfer their credits to a 4-year college or university to pursue their bachelor's degree.
Associate's Degree in Journalism
Writers who desire careers in journalism can begin by enrolling in a 2-year degree program, such as an Associate of Arts in Journalism degree program. Journalism programs help prepare students for numerous careers, such as writing for magazines, newspapers and other publications. They may also find work in writing for radio or television shows.
Students gain experience by receiving hands-on training throughout the degree program. While gaining writing skills, they can specialize in various media and production areas that come together for a career in journalism. Students build skills in writing and reporting about various events and issues. Typical courses may include:
- Civilization and journalism
- Broadcasting and media
- Editorial and feature writing
- Public communications
Popular Career Options
Writers who specialize in journalism work for various types of organizations, commonly media agencies. Potential careers for writers in journalism include:
- Newspaper reporter
- Internet journalist
- Media relations specialist
- Radio reporter
Upon graduation, students may choose to transfer their credits to a 4-year college. Completion of a bachelor's degree program in journalism opens up additional career opportunities. Graduates are also prepared for career opportunities in numerous media outlets, such as newspapers, radio stations, television stations or Web publications.
Associate's Degree in Technical Writing
Common associate's degrees offered in technical writing are the Associate in Arts in Technical Writing degree and the Associate in Arts in Technical Communication degree. Program courses help students in improving their writing abilities, composing guides and instructions booklets and discovering writing procedures in technical areas. Associate's degree programs with emphasis in technical writing provide a foundation for those interested in pursuing a career as a freelancer or in-house technical writer.
Through technical writing degree programs, students practice creating documents, correcting and revising and writing on specialized topics. Some colleges may assist students in receiving internships. Technical writing students explore areas such as:
- Communication essentials
- Composition of the English language
- Computer graphics and information processing
- Preparing and formatting technical documents
- Performing online research
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Technical writers were projected to see a 17% increase in job opportunities from 2010-2020, stated the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These workers averaged $67,910 annually in May 2012.
Graduates who wish to further their education can pursue a bachelor's degree in technical writing. Studies expand their knowledge by taking advanced writing courses. Some other studies include editing, language rules and sentence structure, publishing and prose. Graduates of bachelor's degree programs can enter positions in various areas, such as business, government, performing arts and teaching.
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