For some of the writers out there, getting a creative writing degree might be the first step toward publishing a novel, writing a script for a production, or even teaching at a school.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Some people who have graduated with degrees in other fields have come back to get further education in the field of creative writing because they’ve developed their own passion to have a website or develop a written work of art.
I could discuss the debates that revolve around this degree, but I would rather stick to the facts and let you develop your own opinion on the subject.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Outlook for Jobs Related to a Creative Writing Degree
Although creative writing is not listed as its own profession on the BLS site, there is specific information for writers and authors which can be found here. Some of the main facts that you’ll want to know include:
- Average yearly income = $55,940
- Job outlook for the next decade = 3% growth
- Proficiencies needed = Computer, writing, and editing
The writing field continues to grow as technology advances. It used to be that you would have to submit publications and manuscripts to magazines or publishers to get your work considered.
That’s no longer the case!
Today, you have the ability to create your own website, self-publish through services like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, or find freelance work through various job boards online.
Colleges Offering a Creating Writing Major or Concentration
A simple search on College Board listed 273 results for creative writing at the time of this post.
I’ve listed a few of the colleges and universities below, but be sure to check out the site for yourself! Although the degree you want may be offered, odds are that you have other things you are looking for in a college, such as being affordable or having good housing options.
- Adams State University
- Asbury University
- Baldwin Wallace University
- Butler University
- California State University (several campuses)
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Coe College
- DePaul University
- Eastern Michigan University
- Elon University
- George Mason University
- Ithaca College
- Marshall University
- Miami University
- Oberlin College
- Purdue University
- Seattle University
- Texas Christian University
- University of Arizona
Every school is going to have their own general education and degree requirements, so keep that in mind as you read through this list of potential courses you may have to take.
If you have your school list narrowed down, then try to find the creative writing degree plan for each college and look at the similarities and differences. By doing this, you’ll be able to evaluate each program and then compare it with the others on your list.
- American Literature
- Modern Poetry
- Introduction to Creative Writing
- Research for Creative Writers
- Fiction Writing
- Nonfiction Workshop
- Literary Magazines
- Writing from the Self
Creative Writing Degree: Major vs. Concentration
Some schools offer creative writing as a major whereas others only offer it as a concentration to a different major, such as writing or English. There are a few different ways to look at a college major vs. a concentration:
- A major is going to require more hours in the given subject
- If you choose a concentration, your school may only put the concentration on your transcripts rather than diploma
The other important thing to consider is that you may have more potential job options if you have your degree in a broader field, like English. Again, this is something you will want to think about and talk with possibly a career advisor about so that you can make the best choice for your future.
What Can I Do With It?
Great question! Getting a creative writing degree can lead you down several paths, but hopefully you will have found a niche that you really enjoyed writing about through your college years so that you can narrow down your search a bit.
For example, you may find that you really enjoy writing fiction over nonfiction, or you may decide that poetry is more your thing. Once you have some ideas, start using those keywords in career and job searches to see what comes up. You may find employment opportunities like:
- Creative Media Director
- Story Writer
- Creative Editor
- Screenplay Writer
- Freelance Writer
Make a Name for Yourself
While you are completing your creative writing degree, you’ll want to start making a name for yourself. To begin, you may want to start a simple website (affiliate link) so that you can publish your work, offer your services, and tell people a little more about you.
While you’re at it, start building your brand on social media to promote your work and network with people who have similar interests. By gaining knowledge from others and interacting with them, you’re building a community of writers who can provide you with constructive criticism, and possibly some job leads!
Remember, making a name for yourself can take some time, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed overnight. Enjoy the process, take some extra continuing education courses if you need to, and put that creative writing degree to good use!