There are numerous careers that the PRWR degree might prepare you for, and the principal options are reflected in three different streams that third- and fourth-year students have available to them. Every Professional Writing major must declare a stream preference during the second half of the second year of course work. The streams – periodical, book, and institutional communication – reflect three possible choices of academic and professional interest, and are described in the following pages. Stream placement determines which courses students must take to complete their degrees, although students may take PRWR courses outside their declared streams if room is available in those courses. (Such courses will count as electives or as free-choice credits.)
The Book Stream
The book publishing industry employs people with a variety of talents. Manuscript editors need to have highly developed copyediting and substantive editing skills; production managers should be skilled in design, typesetting protocols, and project management and should be conversant with the latest developments in printing and computer technology; marketing managers benefit from training in advertising, publicity, public relations, sales, price theory, consumer relations, sampling and focus group management; and business managers usually have backgrounds in accounting, administration, distribution and logistics, copyright law, etc. Students who have gone through the book stream may also entertain careers as book agents, translators, or writers.
The Institutional Communications Stream
Businesses, government agencies, and not-for-profit entities all require people who can design and write pamphlets, brochures, instruction manuals, technical reports, advertising copy, internal and external newsletters, and blogs. They also need public relations specialists, speechwriters, translators, and technical writers. Students in the Institutional Communications Stream will be exposed to basic concepts that should be useful for anyone contemplating any such careers.
The Periodical Stream
The Periodical Stream attracts students interested in the periodical publishing industry. Like the book publishing industry, the periodical publishing industry needs editors, production managers, advertising managers, and business managers, with the appropriate skills. But the periodical industry also employs writers and journalists. Generally (except in the area of elementary and high school textbook publishing), book publishers do not employ authors. However, a periodical's writing staff is an important part of its organization. Of course, there are freelance periodical writers, photographers, illustrators and journalists, but all of these may be employed directly by the periodical as well.