Online Certificate Programs in Writing

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: The educational prerequisites of an online writing certificate program may vary depending on the type of certificate and the institution that is offering it. Some universities offer a post-baccalaureate accredited online writing certificate program that requires students to have a bachelor's degree. Other certificate programs are open enrollment with the only requirement being that the student must have a high school diploma or a GED.
  • Professional Prerequisites: None.
  • Average Program Length: 14 credit hours

Writing is an important skill to have for just about any working professional. Good writers can communicate their ideas clearly and concisely, which is an invaluable skill for attorneys, business or marketing professionals, journalists, professors, and more. An online certificate program in writing is a good option for people who want to improve their writing skills, publish a novel, or build a portfolio to earn admission into a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree program. Generally speaking, an online certificate program gives students the opportunity to expand their skill set and boost their credentials without having to attend classes on campus. Instead, a distance learning program enables students to do their class work from home at the time that is most convenient for them.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Writing

Online writing certificate programs typically offer formal training that is designed to improve a writer's skills, prepare them for graduate study, and help them build a professional-quality portfolio. As such, students may enroll in courses such as the craft of writing, American fiction, form and theory of the novel, and science writing. A craft of writing course teaches students the fundamentals of writing in its various forms, including poetry and long-form fiction and non-fiction story telling. Meanwhile, a form and theory of the novel course may cover the centrality of sympathetic characters, desire as the dynamic of narrative fiction, and the development of action and reflection in a novel.

In these courses, students are assessed by their performance on reading assignments, critical review essays, class discussions and participation, research projects, quizzes, and exams. Reading assignments may include excerpts from novels, essays, and poems. Online certificate programs in writing typically don't offer or require internship programs. Instead students complete their assignments and if their grade point average (GPA) is high enough, then they graduate.

What Your Online Certificate in Writing Can Do for You

Earning an online certificate program in writing could prepare an individual for a career as a writer or an author. Writers and authors create original written content for use in books, magazines, songs, online publications, advertisements, and more. They conduct research into a subject matter that may be of interest to readers, conduct interviews if necessary, write copy for various publications, and work with editors to improve the writing so it can be published. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 68% of writers and authors were self-employed in 2010. A bachelor's degree is typically required for a salaried writing position, and career advancement depends on if a writer can get published by more prestigious publications.

The median annual salary earned by writers and authors in May 2010 was $55,420, according to the BLS. Employment of writers and authors is expected to increase 6%, or slower than average, from 2010 to 2020. Although growth is anticipated to be minimal, writers and authors will be needed to produce content for online publications that are becoming more sophisticated. Freelance opportunities also exist for more traditional media organizations, including newspapers and magazines. These projections are no guarantee of salary or employment opportunity, which is determined by location, employer, and condition of the economy.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.