If you have a passion for creative writing, you may be happy to learn that there is a myriad of exciting career options in this field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in media and communications is expected to grow 14% by 2030, which will likely result in over 150,000 new jobs.1 This above-average demand is anticipated due to the need for writers who can create, edit, translate, and communicate information across a variety of media platforms.
If you’ve already obtained a bachelor’s degree in a related field, earning a Certificate in Creative Writing at Penn LPS Online is an excellent way to upgrade your credentials to pursue—or advance—a career in writing or communications. With an innovative workshop format wherein you explore novel writing tools, discover new means of expression, and hone your craft, this program provides the perfect forum to tap into your creativity. Aided by collaborations with peers and instructors, you create and revise original works in multiple literary genres for maximum impact.
“Students can focus entirely on one genre, say fiction. Or you can come in and decide you want to try your hand at not only fiction but also poetry, screenwriting, nonfiction, and journalism. You can tailor the program to your interests as a writer.”
–Julia Bloch, Faculty Director, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Creative Writing Director, University of Pennsylvania Creative Writing Program
Whether your goal is to gain an introduction to creative writing or to enhance your existing writing skills, the creative writing courses are designed as a practical study of the power of language. Students learn how to utilize creative writing as a form of critical thinking and delve into the major literary genres. Upon completion of the basic 4-course certificate, an additional two courses can be completed to earn an advanced credential and further highlight your expertise. You also have the option to enroll in individual courses without committing to the entire online certificate.
Now that you’ve been introduced to the Certificate in Creative Writing at Penn LPS Online, read on to explore five rewarding careers you may pursue in this field.
In today’s media landscape, digital content is king. Whether for company websites or digital platforms such as YouTube, there is a high demand for talented writers who can create content that really bring stories to life. As a content writer you might be assigned to work on scripts, blog posts, news articles, white papers, and editorials. Depending on your background, you may choose to specialize in writing for a particular field such as fashion, lifestyle, fitness, or travel—or focus on specific industries including nonprofit, entertainment, business, education, technology, or publishing.
The writing and storytelling skills that you obtain in the Certificate in Creative Writing at Penn LPS Online can be invaluable if you want to pursue a career as a content writer. The BLS projects approximately 15,400 new job openings for writers on average each year until 2030.2 If you’re looking to escape the 9-to-5 grind and become a freelancer, this type of role may be particularly appealing as it allows you to work with clients across multiple industries and provides more scheduling freedom.
If you’re interested in becoming a content writer, you should consider enrolling in CRWR 3600: Advanced Nonfiction. In this course, you study a variety of genres in creative nonfiction including personal essay, memoir, and journalistic prose. Through writing assignments and peer workshops, you explore important elements of prose writing with a focus on description, voice, and narrative structure. Not only will you gain experience you can use on the job, you also have the chance to discover which types of writing you excel at and enjoy.
If you have a background in marketing or advertising, but you’re interested in pursuing a role in the creative side of these industries, you may want to consider copywriting. This type of writing is generally created with the goal of increasing brand awareness and loyalty as well as encouraging a response in the reader that results in the sale of a product or service. When working as a copywriter, you may create a wide range of copy including advertising slogans, email campaigns, website content, sales copy, banner ads, and more.
While companies and organizations do hire in-house copywriters, you may also choose to work with an advertising agency or become a consultant. Some copywriters focus on writing for specific industries like finance, healthcare, or technology. Another option is to specialize in a type of copywriting such as direct response, product, search engine optimization (SEO), technical, business-to-business (B2B), or business-to-consumer (B2C).
Whether you’re new to creative writing or you want to refresh your skills, in CRWR 1010: The Craft of Creative Writing you can explore a variety of writing styles and literary genres including fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, poetry, and journalistic prose. As you collaborate with your peers, you improve your writing prowess and build skills that can help you thrive in copywriting and related career paths.
If you’re an ardent news buff who enjoys digging to the bottom to find the truth, you may want to consider pursuing a career as a journalist. This field is highly competitive—so you will need to embrace your creativity—but that can also make it even more rewarding. As a journalist, it’s your responsibility to alert the public to facts surrounding current events in a way that is engaging, easy to digest, and factual. This may involve pitching news stories, conducting extensive interviews, interviewing sources, and crafting compelling narratives.
As a journalist, you may work for a newspaper, website, magazine, or in television or radio broadcasting. Examples of different journalistic specialties include investigative, political, trade, global, sports, and science. According to the BLS, media outlets are increasingly seeking multimedia journalists who can create their own content across multiple platforms including audio, video, and social media platforms.4 Due to the nature of the industry, it’s important that you are comfortable with being on-call to report when something newsworthy breaks.
As part of the Certificate in Creative Writing at Penn LPS Online, CRWR 3700: Journalism is a how-to course led by an instructor with 25 years of experience as a freelance journalist and culture writer. The coursework explores different journalistic fields—from news reporting to feature writing and profiles—as you learn how to engage the reader and develop skills to gather, scrutinize, and report information. Each week you’ll also conduct your own focused investigations and report on media sources from video and audio reporting, print and digital publications, and social media journalism.
Social media specialist
Social media specialists are tasked with writing and publishing persuasive content on social media platforms—such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or LinkedIn—to grow a target audience, build brand awareness, and generate sales for a product, brand, or organization. If you pursue this high-demand career path you may also be responsible for analyzing site metrics and user data, creating social network strategy, interacting with users, and designing the content you publish.
According to ONET, the projected growth for this role is 15%, which is much faster than average.5 The proficiencies required by employers in this role may include excellent written and visual communication skills, data analytics skills, sales and marketing knowledge, SEO knowledge, and social media expertise. This type of role is fast-paced, and you will likely need to have a flexible schedule to accommodate the needs of your clients.
As a social media specialist, you may choose to work with clients in multiple industries or focus on a specialty such food, entertainment, health and wellness, or travel. If you’re interested in pursuing this career path with a focus on travel, then CRWR 3000: Writing About Place is a course at Penn LPS Online that could be beneficial to your goals. This collaborative workshop is focused on writing of and about places. You can expect to write literally about a city or landscape—and write figuratively while considering themes of location, belonging, and displacement.
If you enjoy enforcing the rules of spelling, grammar, and punctuation—and improving writing to more clearly express meaning—you may want to consider a career in editing. Taking someone else’s words and using your knowledge and experience to better them can be extremely fulfilling, but that’s not quite a complete job description. Depending on the publication you work for, you may also review and approve story ideas, evaluate submissions, and work with writers to help make their content successful and in keeping with the style and editorial policy of your organization.
According to the BLS, the largest employers of editors were newspaper, periodical, and directory publishers.6 Editing jobs tend to be concentrated in larger media and entertainment markets like Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and Washington, DC. However, in recent years there have been increasingly more opportunities to work remotely. Because it is very deadline-driven and often involves overseeing multiple projects at once, editing can be a high-pressure—but exciting—career path.
Whether you aspire to become an editor or you’re looking to upgrade your existing skills, in CRWR 2400: The Art of Editing you are immersed in all of the technical aspects of the revision process. Covering topics including the merits of MLA and Chicago style, the difference between line and developmental editing, and digital and hard copy proofreading, you gain practical editing experience, learn about a wide range of editorial processes, and explore the nuances and standards of punctuation and grammar.
Ready to exercise your creative muscles?
Browse the creative writing certificate courses and watch a video of a recent virtual information session for the Certificate in Creative Writing at Penn LPS Online, or view our course calendar to see the full range of what’s available in the upcoming term.