Degrees for writing-related fields fall under a number of titles, including communications, technical writing, journalism, mass communications, marketing, public relations, advertising, public affairs, English, and media studies. Typically, a four-year degree is required by employers of writing-related positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers look for both a broad liberal arts background and specialized studies in degree fields such as communications, journalism, and English.
Degree options are as varied as career possibilities. At North Dakota State University, students in the communications department can choose from seven communication undergraduate degrees, including management communication; journalism, broadcasting, and mass communications technologies; public relations and advertising; health communication; agricultural communication; speech communication; and mass communication.
Many programs offer a journalism degree with options to specialize in specific areas. At the University of Arkansas, students choose from one of three areas of emphasis in the journalism program: news/editorial, broadcast journalism, or advertising/public relations. Columbia College Chicago offers journalism options in news writing and reporting, magazine writing, and broadcast journalism. The Boston University College of Communications offers specialties in its graduate-level journalism program, including broadcast journalism, business and economic journalism, and science journalism.
Aspiring journalists and writers who wish to specialize in an area, such as law, science, or business, might consider a specific major (if available) such as the science journalism program mentioned above, or pursue a minor in that field to complement their entire degree program.