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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in English Concentrating on Professional Writing

Majors Overview May 20, 2014

Those with an interest in writing may want to look into a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in English concentrating on professional writing. These programs will help students develop their editing and writing skills. Graduates will be qualified for professional editor and writer positions.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in English Concentrating on Professional Writing

Even graduates with an English degree can benefit by earning a BA in English with a professional writing concentration, whereby they can focus on honing their publishing and writing skills. Aspects of publishing, rhetoric, editing, and technical writing are intertwined in the coursework of many professional writing programs.

Students can gain the skills they would need in finding work as proficient editors and writers. They could seek work in digital and print media. The curriculum may involve practical experience components, whereby students may be able to participate in internships and create a professional portfolio.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a high school diploma. Some colleges expect students to record strong grades in English courses.


Coursework usually combines professional writing topics with English ones and is devised to prepare students to take on publishing or writing jobs once they finish college. Class titles vary by school; however, coursework may generally include topic areas such as:

•Style and editing
•Research methods for writing
•Business writing
•News reporting
•Technical writing

Job and Wage Outlook

Those who successfully complete a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program in English with a concentration in professional writing can choose from numerous jobs including technical writer, publication specialist, marketing director, editor, and grant writer. A job growth rate of 6% has been predicted for authors and writers over the 2012-2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). A job growth rate of 18% has been predicted for technical writers, while the growth rate of just 1% is projected for editors over the same period. In May 2012, technical writers banked an average annual wage of $65,500, while editors and writers (authors) took home average annual wages of $62,440 and $68,420, respectively.

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