Answering A Popular Request: Do You Need A Degree To Be A Freelance Writer?


The answer to this it depends. If you have a degree (and it really does not matter what field of study a degree is in), you have obviously achieved not just achieved a high level of knowledge in you field of study but you have also demonstrated that you have a high level of research, writing, planning and logic. This is not saying that people who do not have a degree do not have these skills it just means that they have not had their skills and abilities formally recognised.

There are some people who as working as freelance writers that do not have degrees but through their work they may be experts in their field or they may just be talented and gifted writers. If you look back through history there are many great writers that did not attend formal writing courses but they were still able to produce classic novels and non-fiction books. But over time to give students the aim of the school curriculum has been to give students a taste of different styles of writing by instructing and encouraging students to write in different styles (e.g. descriptive, process, argumentative). A student does not know what they are capable of until they get the chance to write in different styles.

Having a degree will perhaps give the freelance writer the edge of over a freelance writer who does not have a degree, as they have a formalised qualification that is recognisable world-wide. But, with experience and a bit of direction the writer with a degree may be able to build on their skills in much the same way that an apprentice becomes a master at their work over time. The important issues here is that the writer should practise the art of writing every day, actually all writers need to write something every day to sharpen their skills.

For a freelancer who does not have a degree, and is just starting out, they need to be aware of what other people are writing, and devise ways of getting experience. Qualifications are not everything, if you take for example a graduate in a science area may not find it easy to write a short descriptive article but they could with practice. If a freelance writer builds on their skills and accepts direction, there is no reason why they should not be able to get paid for their writing. Remember that not every client is going to need a degree level freelance writer.