Writing Skills Top Employer Lists - Vol State Can Help

Submitted on July 02, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Writing can seem like a lost art until you look a bit closer at that iPad or Kindle screen. Writing is everywhere in the digital world. Effective and efficient prose is more important than ever. Volunteer State Community College can help students become better writers. That mission occurs in the classroom, but also in extracurricular writing for award-winning campus magazines and a student newspaper. Whether it be news stories, fiction, essays or poetry the college has a publication to help students showcase their work.

"Whether you email or Tweet, you are writing," said assistant professor Clay Scott. "Writing is, and always has been, an essential skill to communicate. Student publications allow writers to gain experience. It also allows them to receive feedback from their audience of readers."

Writing in different styles, and for different platforms, can inspire creativity in students.

"Any way that a student uses writing to express opinions, feelings or thoughts is a creative process," said English professor Cindy Wyatt. "It gets the student in touch with their inner selves. That can serve people for their entire lives. Creativity is a means of engaging the reader. Good writing has to have the reader in mind."

Employers say communication is an essential part of many job requirements.

"The most valuable attribute of job applicants, according to employers, is the ability to communicate," said Dr. Rick Parrent, director of Career Placement. "According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) the ability to verbally communicate with people, inside and outside the organization, was number one on their list. The ability to create and edit written reports was number eight on the list."

Alumnus Paul Farmer wrote newspaper stories, fiction and even poetry while at Vol State. After graduation, he put that experience to work as an online marketing analyst for a large national healthcare company.

"I had to submit examples of my writing to get this job," said Farmer. "I used the student work I did at Vol State. Writing for the school gave me the opportunity to do it for a real-world application."

"Writing is such an important skill, and not just for journalists," said Scott. "My former students have gone on to law school and taken jobs as college instructors, computer programmers, and museum curators, just to name a few."

For more information on student publications at Vol State visit: www.volstate.edu/humanities or call the Humanities Division at 615-230-3201.


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