Saturday, May 23, 2009

Do You Need a Degree to be a Freelance Writer?

This is an ongoing debate. The answer is YES, and NO. Some jobs require a degree, and some don’t. Some jobs require years of experience, and some don’t. The secret is, only apply for the jobs where you meet the qualifications.

Looking at job sites, degrees range from Bachelors to PhD, and ranging from English, Journalism, Communications, Computer Science, and Scientific disciplines. The years of experience can range from as low as 2 to 5, or as high as 7 to 10 years in one of the disciplines above. You can see that you will need to read the job requirements carefully and only applying for it if you have the matching requirements.

If you are willing to work for low pay, there are many bidding sites where you can find jobs. These are not for someone that values him or herself. There are bidding sites where a percentage is held out by the site, and others that cost you money buying credits or jobs lists. None of these requires a degree.

Some people say that not having a degree means that you are not a professional freelance writer. Disagreeing, with this premise, there are statistics that many graduates of universities and colleges unable to write a complete sentence, a degree is not the be-all-end-all to prove professionalism. There is also experience, and lifelong learning to be said for in the experience equation.

Yes, a degree is nice, and furthering your education is never a bad thing. You can be a freelancer without the requirement of a piece of paper. For some jobs, a degree is a requirement; those jobs will have to be left for those that have the required degree and years of experience.

When first starting out, it may be difficult to find work. All freelancers need to learn patience and perseverance if they want to become freelancers. Nothing happens overnight. If you give up easily, freelancing is not for you.

If you think you need a degree, find courses in a local college or university, or even take courses online if you can afford them. With the economy, many colleges and universities are raising their per semester costs. You will need to judge for yourself if getting a degree is what you want or need. Don’t let anyone dictate to you that you need this or that to freelance.