Fiction is about what’s possible. Giving free reign to the imagination-building worlds and relationships, characters and creatures without regard to restrictions and parameters.
A career in literature could encompass teaching, both English and foreign-language literature, or creative writing or literary criticism. It could emphasize poetry or drama, short fiction or novels.
Those interested in studying literature can consider a bachelor’s or master’s degree or a doctorate in English, or creative writing, or communications or even literature in any number of languages. Literary studies can also involve subjects such as history, sociology and anthropology, political science, cultural studies and much more.
A career in literature usually involves teaching, or writing or both. Teachers of English or creative writing generally teach at a middle school or high school level, or at a post-secondary institution. Writers can work in journalism, in editing for publishing houses, or as independent contractors.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual earnings for post-secondary teachers in May 2008 was $58,830, with the middle 50 percent earning between $41,600 and $83,960, and the highest ten percent earning more than $121,850. For authors, writers and editors, median annual earnings were $53,070 with a fairly wide range of lowest (less than $28,020) to highest (more than $106,630).