Written Communication graduates, both undergraduate and graduate, pursue an incredibly wide range of job titles and careers. The key to this flexibility is that "writing" is much more than simply creating text. Effective writing is a research and design process that improves one's thinking, analyzing, and creative abilities the more they are practiced. Our graduates have demonstrated this adaptability with their range of job titles: technical communicator, proposal writer, content developer, information designer, interaction designer, instructional designer, social media coordinator, technical editor, lawyer, teacher, sports information director, user experience designer, technical author, content strategist, usability specialist, and even vice president for user happiness (and the list goes on!).
The key to this adaptability is that the program teaches students to analyze the needs, audiences, and processes of business, organizations, and schools. Students respond with documents, digital content, visuals, video, and websites that get the job done because they know how to analyze up front and test along the process. Our students learn to think strategically about writing and digital media, and how to test how language, visuals, and video actually work. The ability to assess the effectiveness of digital writing and media today is extremely valuable as more and more work in the field is digital and both employs and supports technology.
With this mix of problem-solving, design, and development, it isn't surprising that the Federal Bureau of Labor continues to project growth in technical communication and related areas at 15% -- substantial growth. And according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual salary for technical communicators was $69,030 in 2014.
Eastern Michigan University's Written Communication program is the place to study these rapid and important changes in the practice and profession of writing.
Our undergraduate major in Written Communication offers three emphases: Writing Studies, Professional Writing, and Technical Communication. Each emphasis will guide you through the study of a specific aspect of writing while simultaneously offering flexibility through our restricted elective offerings. We also have a minor in writing that is an excellent match for almost any major.
Our graduate program leads to a Master of Arts in Written Communication with an emphasis in the Teaching of Writing or Professional Writing. We also offer graduate certificate programs in Technical Communication and in the Teaching of Writing.
Writing@EMU is the program's blog for sharing the latest news, announcements, and updates related to EMU's programs affiliated with Written Communication, including the First-year Writing Program.
“A degree in Written Communication teaches you a variety of skills that prepare you be a writer, communicator and story teller in a professional capacity. The degree is applicable to multiple fields, including marketing, corporate communications, technical writing and others. Not only do you learn to write well, you learn the ‘back end’of writing, too—the fundamentals of good communication, information design, rhetoric and other useful concepts and tools most people are unaware of. Having knowledge of these things and knowing how to apply them to writing is what enables you to have authority in a role as a communicator. Written Communications means being successful in making complex or unfamiliar concepts easy for others to understand. It also means making those ideas interesting for others. I think what that means is story should be a backdrop for everything, even the most technical pieces. That’s because a writer is always trying to get a reader to act on something. Whatever I write should communicate an idea in a compelling or clear way that enables a reader to make an easy choice or at least think differently or deeper about a concept. If you’re telling a story, you’re leading a reader and making it possible for them to make choices along the way.”