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If your dream job involves overseeing the many facets of producing a magazine, you may wish to become a magazine editor. The path to becoming a magazine editor can be fairly long, beginning for many people in college. To begin your quest to become a magazine editor, you should get a college-level degree in a relevant area. You should also get experience by completing internships and contributing to local publications. Finally, you should take an entry-level job at a magazine and work your way up to an editorship.
To begin your quest to become a magazine editor, you should get an undergraduate or master’s degree in a relevant area. As an editor, you will need strong writing, proofreading, research, and critical thinking skills. A degree in journalism, English, or creative writing can help you develop these skills. If you know that you would like to eventually work for a highly specialized publication, you might consider also taking classes in that area. For instance, if you want to edit an architecture magazine, you will likely find it helpful to take a number of architecture classes.
Before you can become a magazine editor, you must also gain practical experience. Consider completing an internship at a local magazine. As an editor, you will need to have an in-depth understanding of the many different facets of magazine publishing. Therefore, during your internship, you should try to observe the workings of all the different departments of that publication, including such areas as art and advertising. Even if your internship is unpaid, you may find that the experience and contacts it provides are highly valuable.
In addition to completing an internship, you should also spend some time during college building a portfolio of published work. For instance, consider contributing articles to your school paper. Be sure to save clips of everything you publish. Not only will publication help you hone your writing, editing, and research skills, but it can also provide concrete evidence of your talent and experience to potential employers.
Once you have completed your studies, you can continue your quest to become a magazine editor by taking an entry-level editing job at a magazine. Often, entry-level candidates are hired as copy editors or editorial assistants, jobs which may involve polishing and fact-checking articles and researching potential story ideas. As you gain experience, you will become eligible for higher-level editing positions, such as associate editor or department editor. In time, you may eventually rise through the ranks to become a managing editor or even an editor-in-chief.