The short answer to this question is that there is no difference. While both creative writing and English degrees prepare you to write creatively, they do so using different language and methodologies. Let’s take a closer look at what makes these degrees so special and what are the differences between them.
No Separation Between the Two
As the name suggests, a creative writing degree does not separate the written word from the concept that inspires it. This way of thinking extends to all areas of study within the degree program. For example, in addition to teaching you how to write creatively, a creative writing degree program will also teach you how to analyze literature or how to properly use a comma.
This concept of inseparability resonates with students who have graduated from these programs. One of the students I spoke to said that she felt that her English degree was as much a part of her as her creative writing degree because she learned so much in both areas. Another said that she considered her creative writing and English degrees to be completely integrated because she took some English literature courses in her creative writing degree.
In actuality, creative writing and English degrees are often combined into one degree program. The reason for this is that employers today value writers from different areas of expertise. A creative writing degree prepares you to write in a variety of styles, while an English degree gives you the ability to write clearly and succinctly.
Creative Writing Is An Integral Part Of An English Degree
An English degree, as the name suggests, is about using English to its full potential. This could mean that you will study the “ Queen’s English ” or it could mean that you will study the usage of English in today’s society. The point is that you will use English not just to read literature or speak with your friends, but you will also use it to create works that will engage an audience.
According to one of the English professors I spoke to, a creative writing degree is not only compatible with, but it is also essential to an English degree. He said that without a creative writing degree, you will not be able to obtain good marks in his classes because he requires his students to be critical thinkers who can analyze literature and communicate their findings to others. In his classes, you will be expected to write a short story or a novella using the “ structure, plot, and language ” that you learned in his class. To achieve the best marks, you will need to integrate your knowledge of grammar, usage, and style from both your English degree and your creative writing degree. If you want to secure your dream job, you must become an expert in creative writing.
Degrees Are Often Taught In Collaboration
When I sat down with one of the English professors at my university, this is the first question he asked me: “Do you want to be a novelist, short story writer, or essayist?” As if asking someone what they want for Christmas is the most important question in their life, he thought that I had missed the mark with my answer, which was “all of the above”. His goal for me was to focus on my strengths while also developing my weaknesses. So rather than giving me a single answer, he told me to think of different genres that I could write in. From this, I learned that even literary writers divide their time between novels, short stories, and poetry. An employer will not care about your strengths and weaknesses, they will only want to know if you can write what they need.
Writing is a collaborative process, and this is especially true for creative writing. To paraphrase William Shakespeare, “all the world’s a stage, and we are merely performers”. When you are writing, you are performing for the reader, and your reader will have certain expectations about how the story or essay should flow, what style they should expect, and what the topic should be. To this end, you need to work with a professional editor who can help you make your writing as strong as possible by providing you with constructive criticism and suggestions on how to improve your work. For this reason, a collaborative approach is essential for any serious writer.
Creative Writing Is A Fast-paced, Career-oriented Degree
If you are someone who is looking to make the transition from your current job to a new and exciting one, a creative writing degree can be a great option. After completing a degree in this field, you will have the tools to quickly land a job writing for different companies and publications. As a writer in this field, you will not just have to show them that you can write, you will also have to prove to them that you can write well.
When I asked one of my English professors about the most in-demand careers in English, he told me that in the next five to ten years, writers and bloggers would be the two biggest occupations. This is because there are so many more opportunities for writers today than there were before the pandemic. With more people working remotely, the demand for content – whether it is literary or otherwise – is at an all-time high.
In addition to having a steady stream of clients, a creative writing degree can also lead you to more lucrative opportunities. One of my professors told me that while a lot of graduates from my program could find employment in lower-paying roles, students with a creative writing degree will most assuredly be able to find work in the more lucrative areas. While this may be true, a lot of what he said was predicated on my already having a job. If you are just graduating from college, you may not be able to land a job in a lucrative field yet.
A Degree In Creative Writing Can Be A Great Start To A Graduate Career
If you are looking for a graduate degree that will make you stand out above the rest, a creative writing degree is a great start. With more people turning to online classrooms and working remotely during the pandemic, companies like Udemy and Coursera are expanding their opportunities for anyone who wants to learn. Learning how to write creatively can be an exciting challenge, and once you have learned the necessary skills, the sky is the limit as to what you can achieve.