Expressing yourself through written words says something about who you are to the world. What and how you write can say a number of things about you. Exceptional writing abilities portray a person who is well-educated, expressive, and knowledgeable about a topic. Poor writing can give the impression that you lack knowledge, are unqualified, and do not know much about your subject. Often, the most interaction you have with others in professional and educational settings is in written form. That’s why writing ability is so crucial in education and employment.
Writing in School
The dreaded essay. The daunting 20-page paper. The terrifying written exam – sound familiar? Writing is a part of college that many students simply suffer through. In fact, it’s a part of almost any general education program and most advanced coursework.
As you go through your classes, you will be asked to write on a number of topics, for different audiences in a variety of formats. Don’t think that just because you are an IT student you will get away with crunching numbers and be able to skip the writing bit. Why? Writing is part of a well-rounded education and, in turn, a well-rounded individual. And should you go on to graduate and post-graduate work, your writing will be a huge part of your academic life.
Writing Applies to Any Major
Even if writing isn’t a prominent part of the coursework you’re doing for your chosen major, being able to write clearly, concisely and effectively is key to your performance in and out of the classroom. These are just a few majors where writing is applicable, even vital.
Criminal Justice – Your dreams of being a police officer, a probation officer, or working in a correctional facility may not seem like they will require much writing, but each career associated with a degree in criminal justice requires some form of writing. You’ll need to communicate effectively in reports for crime investigations, taking field notes, mental health evaluations, probation reports, and so much more.
Information Technology – Software development, IT administration and analyst positions are some of the many career options available to information technology majors, and all will require you to write. Writing descriptions of software applications and the documentation to accompany them is common, as are various types of reporting that go into the analysis and planning for technology departments. Being able to convey highly technical information in a way that others will understand it is of the utmost importance when you’re trying to communicate difficult subject matter to executives and team members.
Business Administration – A degree in business administration can lead to a number of careers in management or business, even to owning a business of your own. Any individual with a business degree can expect to write reports, employee evaluations, product or service descriptions, and professional letters and emails. Whether you’re writing a business proposal or developing an advertising campaign for a line of products, success could hinge on how well you’re able to translate business values and persuasive appeals into writing.
Accounting – Most people think of accountants pouring over spreadsheets and charts. When it comes to school and their careers, however, accountants may have more demands on their written communication skills than most.
Accountants are required to write reports that make it easy for their employer or clients to digest highly technical financial, legal and regulatory concepts. Income and expense statements must be accurate and should include detailed explanations. Accountants also often write notes for auditors, finance executives and other professionals that need to be clear and concise. Communication is becoming one of the most desired characteristics for professionals in highly specialized fields like finance and accounting.
Landing a Job after School
One of the most important things that you will do in the course of your career is write a cover letter and resume to send potential employers. These are the first impressions your future employer will have of you, so it’s important to make sure you are portrayed in a professional, intelligent manner. A well-rounded education that teaches its students the value of writing will give any career-seeker the skills needed to successfully write a cover letter and resume and to fulfill the job requirements once hired.
Writing may be the single most valuable asset of any potential employee in almost any field. Making your writing skills a priority in your education will take you far and make finding your dream job a lot more likely.
Jennifer Cook is always looking for new learning technology to help college students crack the code of higher education. When she isn't writing for Strayer Buzz, you'll find her pontificating on the latest issues relating to college financing, grad school preparation and disruptive online learning tools.