In general, a person does not necessarily need any sort of formal education to pursue a poetry career. Excellent writing skills, however, are almost always essential in order to have a successful writing career. For some, the best way to hone their writing skills is by earning a degree in writing. Students working toward this type of degree will often find themselves starting with the basic rules of writing and expanding from there. While in school, they will also have a chance to choose several elective writing courses as well. Those interested in professional poetry careers should take poetry writing courses and creative writing courses. These types of courses not only help a student hone his craft, but they can also get the creative juices flowing.