Editor Training Programs and Requirements
As an integral part of the writing process, editors proofread, edit and rewrite content for print and electronic formats. They check spelling, grammar and facts prior to the material being submitted to the public. Pursuing a bachelor's degree in English is a common academic choice for students seeking a career as an editor.
Editorial Training Programs
Becoming an editor demands a great amount of skill, objectivity and grasp of language and punctuation. Depending on what type of editorial position a student chooses (Web, newspaper, book or magazine), the required skill set may vary. Editors should be able to edit content for tone, clarity, spelling, grammar and overall quality. Desirable skills include strong computer proficiency, the ability to work well under pressure and writing experience.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (www.bls.gov), the minimum educational requirement to become an editor is a bachelor's degree, although some editors may begin their career as an intern or volunteer. Proof of high school graduation, standardized test scores and at least a 2.0 GPA are required for entry into most bachelor's degree programs.
A communication or journalism degree are other options for students who wish to become an editor. However, selecting an English degree provides a broad basis of liberal arts, which is helpful in editing different forms of material.
Bachelor of Arts in English
A Bachelor of Arts in English program concentrates on the proper use of language and critical thinking, both of which are crucial when editing material. Students in the program not only study speech and composition as general education requirements, but they may also have the option of specializing in creative writing or multimedia communications. Graduates of a B.A. in English program learn how to research, express, write and edit complex information through courses such as poetry and persuasive writing. Through homework, students also complete assignments that build technical writing and oral communication skills.
Prior to graduation, some students have an idea of what type of editor that they want to be, whether it's in fashion, editorial or the Internet. Information on internships may be found on career websites or through college departments. Hands-on, supervised internships are another way for students to explore career paths. Under the direction of professional editors, a student's duties may include researching, fact checking, writing and some clerical tasks. Internships are typically completed for college credit and taken in the summer.
Workshops and Seminars
Students can find sources of extracurricular learning through community colleges and universities. Topics of discussion may include specific manual styles, like the Associated Press, proposal writing or working through writer's block. Some regional media associations also may offer training workshops for college students that include topics on professional development, social networking and proofreading.
Prospective editors may expand their editorial opportunities by earning a certificate in a niche area, such as technical or creative writing. These specialized programs are likely to increase an editor's knowledge base, in addition to opening the doors for more employment opportunities. Certificate programs may take between a few months and two years to complete, depending on whether they are part of an overall graduate program or are offered as part of a continuing education program for working professionals.
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