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5 Best Online Colleges for Writing in 2016

Online writing degrees can be used to pursue a wide variety of career paths. The most common writing degrees are typically in creative writing. These degrees help students develop ways to create original written content for books, magazines, advertising, movie and television scripts, and online publications. Typically, individuals holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree in creative writing can pursue a career as a copywriter, biographer, novelist, songwriter, playwright, or screen writer. However, most will require some form of experience that can usually be gained through an internship or work study. Advanced degrees, such as a master’s or doctorate, are typically only required for individuals hoping to teach the subject at the post-secondary level.

Most writers advance through reputation, and the popularity of their work. Combined with the right amount of knowledge and work experience, creative writing graduates can also become editors who plan, review, and revise content that is written. Most programs typically involve a core curriculum involving humanities, history, philosophy, public speaking, and social sciences, before progressing into major specific courses in English, grammar, and a number of writing courses. Courses and specialties within creative writing programs can vary greatly based on the school and type of degree, so it’s important to find one that fits your career goals best.

Most writers work in an office environment, or from home. One of the advantages of the career is that due to recent advents in technology and communication, writers can typically work from anywhere they need to as long as they have access to a computer and the Internet. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, writers and authors helped approximately 145,900 jobs in 2010, with 68% being self-employed. The BLS also states that job growth for the field is expected to be slower than average compared to all other occupations, increasing by only 6% through the year 2020. Job competition for authors and writers will be particularly strong, especially with established newspapers and magazines, as the BLS states that the publishing industry will continue to become smaller. However, new job opportunities have been created by the increased presence of online, digital, and self-publishing. The growing popularity of electronic books and media also allows more freelance writers to publish their work.

While there are no licensing or certification requirements necessary to become a writer, it is important to remember that the quality of work is what helps build a writer’s reputation. This can lead to advancement, along with more writing opportunities. As a writer’s work becomes more well-known, read, and distributed, they may have the ability to be published in a larger, more prestigious markets and publications. Working well with publishers and editors to produce high-quality work, while meeting deadlines, is also important for a writer to advance. Additionally, some writers move into other managerial roles within the industry, such as a publisher or editor, after gaining experience in correcting grammar and writing style, while also interacting with other writers, and finding interesting content.

One of the most important things for an aspiring writer to gain a career as a writer is by ensuring that their degree is accredited. While there are numerous accrediting agencies out there, prospective students will want to find a school that is either regionally or nationally accredited, and more importantly, that the degree is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This is essential because it allows potential employers and other academic institutions like graduate schools to know that the recipient of the degree earned an education that meets an acceptable level of quality.

Rankings

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Rank School Name Average Rating
1 Southern New Hampshire University 11.34
2 National University 13.53
3 Full Sail University 16.81
4 Regent University 19.65
5 DeVry University 21.39
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