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Professional Writing

Photo of Jessey Nettey.


Jessey Nettey went from blogging about video games on YouTube to working for an actual gaming public relations firm. Read more here.

Majoring in Professional Writing

College Magazine ranks Purdue’s English Department #1 in the United States, and it’s easy to see why. Our degree programs offer individualized attention and access to excellent teachers and experts who shape how people think about literature, linguistics, and writing.

While pursuing a BA in Professional Writing, students explore strands in technical writing or writing and publishing. The Professional Writing student is a multimedia-writing specialist. The major is perfect for those who enjoy organizing and presenting information in multiple formats. Professional Writing cultivates writing for the digital workplace; specializes in multimedia writing, visual rhetoric, usability, and emergent technologies, as well as print and digital publishing; and emphasizes collaboration, community service, and open-source development and documentation. It also requires a minor outside the English department to cultivate further expertise in a related area of interest.

Students interested in Professional Writing might also explore English LiteratureEnglish Language in a Global ContextEnglish Education, or Creative Writing.

Upon completion of the program, English majors may choose graduate school or employment in an industry, which may or may not be related to their interest in English. Student experiences have included:

  • English Teacher
  • Web Publisher
  • Bilingual Educator
  • Journalist
  • Technical Writer
  • Marketing Director
  • Production Assistant
  • Youth Minister
  • Case Manager
  • Graduate or professional school

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Within the field of English, students develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Exceptional writing for multiple audiences, and in multiple styles (stories, poems, reviews, reports, memos, essays, and critical analyses).
  • Deep reading (how to read patiently, with empathy and insight; how to recognize patterns in texts; and how to express your observations about them effectively).
  • Creative and literary thinking (metaphorical and other non-literal reasoning; historical and global awareness; connecting the dots and telling stories with data).
  • Analytical and research skills (how to take texts and ideas apart for a greater understanding of the whole; how to find, compile, and synthesize important information).
  • Cutting-edge presentation skills (how to produce, read, and understand images and digital texts; how to present your ideas in the most effective manner).

English majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue. They may otherwise choose to attend graduate school to either continue their degree or master in a field related to the skills they have gained from their liberal arts education. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • Tippecanoe School Corporation
  • Holbrook Early Childhood Center
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 
  • Wabash Valley Alliance
  • IBM
  • Center for Global Impact

Graduate School

  • University of Connecticut
  • Purdue University
  • Syracuse University
  • Kent University
  • University of Florida

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