The Bureau of Labor Statistics
confirmed what I had suspected about the future of writing jobs Their report projects job growth from 2008 – 2018. Cross referencing the information about writing with Post-Secondary Education positions
, the numbers support my suspicion that finding work as a writing instructor/professor in the next few years will be good. Work for freelancers is even more promising as companies outsource writing, editing, and graphic design. The factors influencing the increase in hiring include: demographic changes, digital media, and the growth of community colleges.
Enrollment in postsecondary schools will rise with 18-24-year-old entering college between 2008 and 2018. In addition, adults are returning to colleges and technical institutions as a result of the failing economy. Therefore, Postsecondary teaching positions are “expected to grow by 15 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations.”
Growth is due to enrollment of traditional and nontraditional students and retirement of tenured professors hired in the “late 1960s and 1970s to teach members of the baby-boom generation.” Competition for tenured track positions will be stiff, but more community colleges and smaller institutions are hiring adjunct and part-time instructors. An English major with a Ph.D. will have better prospects of landing a full-time professorship.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
“Online publications and services are growing in number and sophistication, spurring the demand for writers and editors with Web or multimedia experience.” Writers and writing instructors who can adapt and grow with the new media will have the required skill sets for the future in academics and as freelance writers, designers and marketers.
Recently, while researching for a column, I came across the following statistics:
It took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users; television reached the same number in 13 years. The internet reached 50 million users in 4 years – Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months. Social media is not a fad; it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook daily.
Digital communications are here to stay. Generation Y (born 1976-2000) is not sitting in front of television but in front of computers. My twenty year old is more comfortable communicating on chat or texting in the next room than talking to me in person. Instead of fighting this new normal, helping this generation write better is the challenge. We are writing more because of the internet and social media, we need to write better. Current and later generations need to communicate effectively online; I want raise the level of online writing excellence
Community College Growth
With a weak economy and the rising cost of higher education, community colleges and technical institutions have grown in the last few years.
A graduate of a Masters of Arts in Professional Writing will be able to gain experience as an adjunct instructor at these institutions. These smaller institutions do not want to hire Ph.D.s and the cost associated with that level of education. Many smaller colleges are even offering tenured-track positions to master’s level graduates.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed what I had suspected about the prospects for writing jobs from now until 2018. Cross-referencing the information about writing with Post-Secondary Education positions in English, the numbers support my suspicions that finding work as a writing instructor/professor in the next few years will be good. Work for freelancers is even more promising. The factors influencing the increase in hiring include: demographic changes, digital media, and the growth of community colleges. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos066.htm
When I grow up
When I am through with my graduate and maybe a Ph.D. program, I would like to work with college student to help them to write better online. I want to stay current with all the latest digital media and trends and merge them into my syllabus. I would like to help traditional and nontraditional students to acquire digital writing skills that will prepare them for a changing job market.