If you’re about to graduate with a creative writing degree, you might be wondering what kind of jobs might be available to you. Sure, as a creative writer, you probably have aspirations to write creatively, be editor and chief of a major magazine, get published, hit the bestseller list—all that good stuff. The truth is that your dream writing job might not come right out of college and that’s okay!
Believe it or not, your creative writing degree has helped you develop some highly sought-after skills, and your degree can easily apply to many different kinds of jobs beyond writing. Let’s explore some of the jobs you’ll certainly have available to you once you graduate from your creative writing degree.
Are Employers Looking for Creative Writers with Degrees?
The long and short answer is yes! Many studies have indicated that employers value soft skills over hard skills, meaning they are looking for specific character and cognitive abilities over direct experience when evaluating candidates. A recent study conducted by Top Resume in 2021 discovered that employers value the desire to continually learn, emotional intelligence, and creativity in job candidates. Another independent study conducted last year also indicated that communication and creativity ranked on the top of the list for job recruiters, according to Zety, an employment support company. A heightened value on soft skills has remained over the last 5 years, with the Wall Street Journal reporting communication as being a highly sought-after skill by recruiters in 2016.
As a creative writer, you’ve not only had a natural propensity toward creativity, communication, emotional intelligence, and the desire to learn, but you’ve most certainly homed in on those skills during your degree. Here’s why recruiters value your natural talents.
How do Creative Writing Skills Translate to Jobs?
- Desire to Learn. As a creative writer, you have a natural yearning to read whatever you can get your hands on. You love to learn. This desire to keep learning isn’t something that applies to all people, but employers love it because it means that you are on a continued path of personal improvement.
- Emotional intelligence. Because you read so much, you have a broader understanding of the world around you. Readers are writers and writers are often open-minded individuals. It’s your ability to see the world from multiple perspectives that empowers you and makes you an awesome job candidate.
- Communication. You may have already had a natural ability to communicate both verbally and on paper, but your creative writing degree most certainly improved this skill even more. Employers are highly interested in candidates who know how to professionally communicate with customers, clients, and teammates.
- Creativity. Creative writers are naturally creative! Employers are desperate for fresh, imaginative ideas that relate to how their business runs, how they engage with customers, and how they market their products or services.
Top Jobs for Creative Writing Degree Graduates
Let’s explore a few jobs that you would most certainly do quite well in if you have a creative writing degree. Again, we know that the ultimate goal might be to work directly in creative writing, but that kind of position might not be available right away. These are positions that will build your work experience as well as allow you to write creatively in some capacity.
As a content marketing strategist, you’ll heavily use your creative writing degree to create content either for a single company or for many companies if you’re working in an agency environment. A position like this often includes writing social media posts, blog content, email marketing content, and other kinds of written marketing material. This is a great way to expand your writing portfolio if you don’t already have your work published online.
As a social media strategist, you’re often responsible for managing a company’s social media accounts. With this position, you’ll be planning, creating, and scheduling a wide variety of content that will require copywriting, video, and photo content. Not only will this kind of position help you improve your knowledge of social media marketing for your writing career in the future, but you’ll have the chance to be creative on a daily basis as well!
As a professional copywriter, you might work in a marketing agency environment, a single company, or work on a freelance basis with clients on retainer. In this position, you’ll need to be familiar with writing a wide variety of content types including blogs, articles, press releases, email content, and website copy. As a copywriter, your company or clients will come to you as the expert to help them write all kinds of content. If you’re looking for a position that allows you to write almost exclusively, this is the job for you!
If you already have a knack for growing on social media, you might love this position. Many companies are in dire need of a talented Facebook and Instagram advertising expert who can help them create paid ad campaigns that result in actual leads or sales. In a position like this, you’ll most certainly use your creative writing degree for developing ad copy, but you may also need some additional training on Facebook ads if you’ve never run any major paid advertising campaigns in the past. Do some research online to find Facebook advertising courses if a position like this interests you!
As an advertising strategist, you’ll be behind the scenes planning entire advertising campaigns. Depending on the size of the company you’re working for, this advertising plan could include a quarterly or a full-year plan on how the brand’s advertising dollars should be spent based on market research and audience research.
Depending on the size of the company you’re working for, the creative director may be the one planning advertising campaigns along with other duties. Usually, however, the creative director will be responsible for executing advertising campaigns. They will work with the design and creative department to develop campaign concepts, and then they will determine the outlets for executing/releasing the campaigns. In an agency environment, the creative director will oversee all marketing campaigns and initiatives going on for each client, ensuring that goals are being met as planned.
Landing a Career After Your Creative Writing Degree
Despite what your friends and family may have told you, creative writing is a great skill to have and can lead to many high-paying careers beyond what we’ve listed above. If you’re graduating with a creative writing degree and are at a loss for what you can do after graduation, we hope this list will give you some ideas! If you’re looking for jobs directly related to creative writing, you can check out the Poets & Writers job board, or read my article about how to make money as a freelance writer on Upwork!
Mel Beasley has a bachelor’s in creative writing and journalism from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He brings 9+ years of digital marketing and writing experience to the table by writing for publications such as Lumina News and Encore Magazine. He spent 2 years as a college-level writing tutor, and is a certified writing tutor through the CRLA, which is a prestigious cert recognized by the Association for the Coaching & Tutoring Profession. He is a professional SEO blogger with experience writing for brands such as Boardworks Education and The Greater Wilmington Business Journal. One of his latest website and marketing projects has been building the website for the now New York Times Bestselling author, Nina de Gramont.