Writing: A Flexible Career Path

Professional writers help people solve problems, so they are in high demand in many different career fields (the Federal Bureau of Labor projects 15% growth in technical communication and related areas). That means that you can choose the career path or industry that fits you best.

As a professional writing student, you will develop writing skills for many professional settings: corporate, nonprofit, graduate school, etc. We use hands-on learning about designing and writing many types of digital, print, video, and audio products.

You don't have to be a perfect writer to do well in our program; our purpose is to help any student improve their professional skills in many contexts. For that reason, our major and minor can help different types of students who have different career needs.

  • Bachelor's in English, Professional Writing Concentration

    Our graduates can go anywhere because we emphasize skills in research, audience awareness, design, and (of course) writing in all sorts of contexts: corporate, nonprofits, academics, online, etc.

    Our courses 1) build your professional portfolio and 2) explore different types of writing contexts. You could play with social media in WRTG 444, help real clients in WRTG 324W, make videos in WRTG 428W, or engage in social movements in WRTG 310W. The point is to learn how to adapt your writing to many contexts, audiences, and purposes so that you are more marketable after graduation.

    Finally, because our major is a small number of credits, you can combine it with many different minors to make your education fit your career goals. If you're curious about our classes and major/minor combinations, we've included that below.

  • Minor in Professional Writing

    A study of Fortune 500 CEOs found that writing was a "threshold skill" required for hiring and promotion in any company:

    Half the responding companies report that they take writing into consideration when hiring professional employees. “In most cases, writing ability could be your ticket in... or it could be your ticket out,” said one respondent.

    People who cannot write and communicate clearly will not be hired and are unlikely to last long enough to be considered for promotion.

    The 21-credit professional writing minor is flexible enough to fit with you current major while honing marketable skills for corporate, nonprofit, graduate school, or online contexts. Every career path benefits from the skills we teach in our courses: research, audience awareness, design and (of course) writing.

    And you don't have to be a perfect writer, either; we combine hands-on learning with classroom instruction to help you improve over time. If you're curious about our classes and major and minor combinations, we've included that below.

Customizing Your Path: Major-Minor Combinations and Contexts

Combining professional writing with different majors or minors results in a path that fits your goals: everything from a career in writing, to corporate or social media, to teaching, to STEM and social sciences, etc.

Some students prefer to take one or two of our courses to see what they're like, and you can customize your path by taking courses that emphasize writing in certain contexts: on the job, in the classroom or graduate school, online, or for civic engagement.

  • Combining Majors and Minors

    Because our major and minor are small credit hours, they can be easily combined with other majors and minors. To figure out what will work best for you, we like to talk to you about your life goals. We recommend setting up an appointment with an advisor from the Program, which you can obtain by contacting Joseph Csicsila

    If You Love Writing

    Many of our students love writing, so they often pair up with creative writing; journalism; or language, literature, and writing. This enables students to follow their passion while also honing their skills so that they can be employed after college.

    If You Want to Go Into Corporate, Nonprofit or Social Media

    For students who enjoy these careers, we often pair with communications, marketing, public relations, business, or nonprofit administration. These pairings create strong portfolios with many projects, which makes you more marketable in these industries. In addition, the qualitative analytical skills that the professional writing courses build are a complement to the quantitative skills of business or marketing.

    If You Love Teaching

    Our major and minor overlap nicely with education because you learn 1) how to write for a school setting and 2) how to teach writing specifically. For these students, we often pair with the language, literature, and writing for teachers.

    If You Want to Specialize in STEM, Computer, or Social Sciences

    Several of our students pair with surprising majors or minors because they want to write within a particular industry. For example, we have had psychology or social work majors who want to write for government; finance majors who want to write in the banking industry; or computer science majors who want to write in that industry.

  • Contexts We Teach: Job, Online, College, and Civic Writing

    To make you more marketable after graduation, our classes use hands-on learning and traditional classroom experiences to teach you how to adapt writing to many contexts, audiences, and purposes. For official course descriptions, see the EMU catalog. But you can also talk to a professional writing faculty member to learn more hints about what we do in each class.

    A Useful Gateway: WRTG 301

    If you just want to get your feet wet, WRTG 301 Introduction to Professional Writing is the best class for 1) understanding professional writing as a career and 2) which WRTG classes you should take to match your career goals.

    Writing on the Job

    The best courses for learning how to write on the job include:

    Writing Online

    To learn skills for writing professionally in online contexts, like social media or websites or computer documentation, we recommend:

    Writing in Classrooms or Graduate School

    The best courses for improving writing in any college major are:

    Writing for Civic Engagement

    If you're interested in writing that helps with civic engagement, we recommend WRTG 310W Writing for Public Audiences. But other courses are also useful because we often partner with real nonprofit clients. For example, WRTG 428W User Experience Research and Writing has partnered with four nonprofits (and counting!) to create real materials that help people.

Additional Information

A female student writing on a computer


Writing@EMU is a dynamic site for sharing news and announcements related to EMU's academic programs in professional writing and written communication.

A female alumni


Because writing, research, critical thinking and design are skills for any industry, our alumni go into many different careers and academic paths.

A male student at a computer

Graduate Program

Interested in continuing your studies? Check out our 30-credit master's in written communication.