Education Options for Writers

One of the questions most asked about freelance writing is this: do you need an education to do it? The answer to that question, unfortunately, isn’t a clear yes or no. Certainly, your education is important. When you apply for writing jobs, having a degree in professional writing, English, communications, or a major relating to the subject matter can come in handy.

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Truth be told, though, many clients today won’t care about your resume. Instead, they will want to see good writing samples.

However, what you pull from your education isn’t that piece of paper – it is experience. Over the course of your college career, you’ll learn writing skills that you can apply to jobs later in life. You’ll also learn about marketing yourself, creating resumes, doing research, and so forth – all valuable skills that you can take to the freelance world.

But what if you don’t have all that?

There are many freelance writers out there who do not have college degrees, and they are extremely successful. Writing does take talent and creativity, but along with that, you need to take advantage of “on-the-job” training options. Few clients will offer formal training programs (unless you have to use specific software they’re providing), but there are countless websites that offer specific training on freelance writing skills. Don’t overlook these resources!

More important than education is your ability to write well. For some, this comes naturally. Others have to learn it (and yes, it can be learned). You can’t “learn” to be creative necessarily, so not everyone can be the next Steven King, but you can learn how to write good copy and how to make your job application email stand out above the rest.

In short, education is good, but not a necessity if you approach this career with an open mind willing to learn and improve.


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