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A combination of education and work experience are usually necessary to become a senior editor. There are also skills that people should have in order to succeed at this position, such as strong organizational abilities. Good writing is also usually considered important. Being able to handle stress and juggle multiple tasks may be other qualities necessary to become a senior editor.
At minimum, a bachelor's degree is usually required to become a senior editor. This degree could be in a variety of disciplines, but should generally be in the liberal arts. Some specific degrees that may help someone become a senior editor could include journalism, communication, or English. An advanced degree in these field may increase the opportunities to procure a position as a senior editor. In addition, some colleges offer certificates in editing, which could further help someone's chances to become a senior editor.
Work experience is also usually necessary before someone can become a senior editor. For example, two to five years experience as a writer, editorial assistant, or journalist may be required. This experience can sometimes begin in college; for example, working at a college newspaper or getting an internship at a newspaper or magazine may help someone get a job following graduation.
As a senior editor's job often involves increasing the publication's readership, knowing what readers want to see in the publication is important. Marketing or advertising may be other fields of expertise that can strengthen someone's chances of becoming a senior editor because this knowledge may also be used in order to increase readership. Business and managerial courses may also be useful as the senior editor often oversees an editorial department and manages a group of editors, writers, freelancers, and photographers.
Another skill that may be important to become a senior editor is computer knowledge. Taking computer courses, especially because technology is continually evolving, is often very helpful for senior editors. Courses in desktop publishing or graphic design may also be useful as part of the senior editor's job is to decide the layout of the publication.
It is also important to choose the type of publication one wishes to work for. For example, a senior editor for a newspaper may have vastly different responsibilities than a senior editor at a publishing company or trade magazine, and so the paths to these positions may also differ. Senior editors at smaller publications often undertake more writing responsibility, so gaining writing experience is also a way to increase the chances to become a senior editor.