Opinion | English and creative writing majors graduate with beneficial skills

An English and creative writing degree allows you to grow into a skilled, versatile individual.

Naomi Rivera Morales, Opinions Columnist

The English and creative writing major comes with numerous benefits despite some concerns.

As a student in this major, I have been asked the question: What are you going to do with your life?

The most prominent fields after graduation are education or publishing. I remember being worried about the limit of possibilities, where this degree might take me, or rather, where it might not take me. I wasn’t yet aware of just how many fields would open their arms to me.

An English and creative writing major means a lot more than most think. It means that you can translate your voice into a variety of fields, both on the page and aloud. A translation of one’s voice and craft is unique to each person, best suiting them in whichever field they land themselves in.

On the University of Iowa’s English and Creative Writing site, the college boasts that 95 percent of students find a job or a graduate school placement within the first six months after graduation.

The English and creative writing major is offered to those that are seeking an education in craft, voice and thought. Students that join are expected to learn, and show promise, in areas of effective communication, contemplative reading, and efficient writing skills, to name a few.

Students Mikey Waller and Margaret Dalton shared their experiences as English and creative writing majors, highlighting the benefits they see in the major and the concerns that often arose throughout their studies at the UI.

In an email to The Daily Iowan, Waller shared her reflections on the English and creative writing pathway.

“Learning how to research, analyze, read, write, communicate and edit, along with a multitude of other skills, is incredibly versatile and works as a foundation for future education and job experiences,” Waller wrote.

When she graduates this spring, Waller plans to work in arts administration with the hope of giving back to the art and literary communities here in Iowa City.

Dalton shared her thoughts and experiences through an email.

“I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned here during my time in Iowa was how versatile this degree can be,” Dalton wrote. “I’ve taken a variety of classes centered around how to apply this degree in a professional setting, whether it be through traditional publishing or applying one’s writing skills to the world of nonprofits and academic settings.”

Dalton also reflected on how her research skills have been refined to help her fiction writing. She added that she has gained a wonderful community of writers to lean on at the UI.

As English and creative writing majors, we do not have to be reminded of the concerns that surround our lives after graduation. More individuals need to come to understand just how beneficial an English and creative writing degree can be to one’s life and, as Waller and Dalton put it, how versatile it can be.

I will begin my senior year this fall. As I near the end of my time at the UI, I am confident that whatever I end up doing with the materials and skills that I have learned about and practiced, I will be engaging in something worth doing.

I have been working with poetry for some time now and plan to continue my path through this area of writing. From my time in this major, I have taken courses on teaching and the writing style and can see myself pursuing a career in education or writing.

Though looking to the future can often be stressful, the path of an English and creative writing major can often be unique, leading them to whichever path will best reflect their skills and their craft.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.