Career Options for English Majors

Estel M. August 30, 2012 3
Career Options for English Majors

I’m writing this article because I’m an English major.

You might be thinking one of two things; that I’m an English major with a career in article writing, or I’m an article writer among other things because I’m an English major.

I am sincerely glad to say that the second premise is actually true. A graduate of Bachelor in Secondary Education Major in English, being a formal English teacher was not my first choice in career paths. (If you’re wondering, it’s actually Psychology.) Little did I realize how versatile this specialization is and how many career options it would present me. Even for a graduate of my course, (which has limited major units unlike a pure AB English degree) the possibilities are numerous. The amount and variety of jobs for English majors are hardly disappointing and present many opportunities for different skills to be utilized.

If you’re wondering just how many English major career options are there after graduation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides a list of a few examples of career opportunities for English Majors. By the way, it spans the alphabet and takes an average of 5 downward scrolls on a webpage. Below are some examples:

  • Author
  • Bookstore manager
  • Columnist
  • Court Reporter
  • Creative Writing
  • Critic
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Drama
  • Editor (assignment, book, copy, dictionary…)
  • Educational Researcher
  • Environmental Planner
  • Filmmaker
  • Foreign Service
  • Interpreter/Translator
  • Journalist
  • Librarian
  • Musician/Composer
  • Narrator
  • News Reporter
  • Proofreader
  • Research Analyst
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • <span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Singer/Songwriter
  • Social Worker
  • Teaching (all levels)
  • Writer: Technical, Speech, Freelance

See the full list here. Many of these career options are already familiar, but some may surprise

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graduates. Being in the foreign service or the entertainment industry would not probably be the first career option to cross the mind of most English majors. Most of these career options Overall, this is a solid choice for

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casino Roulette players. require additional training and certification, but a degree and specialization in English would definitely command an advantage.

Careers for English classifies these career options in three categories:

  • Teaching Careers
  • Writing Careers
  • Social Work

This is not an official categorization, but it gives a good overview of the many English Major career options at a glance. In a follow up article these will be discussed more in depth, including what required additional trainings might be needed for a particular career option. It would help to keep in mind what your expectations are ( length and costs of training, average salary, work hours, etc. ) when deciding on a career path.

A degree or major in English is simply a tool, not a set of rules. There are no black-and-white lines carved in stone to limit an English Major graduate with an open mind. I’ve taught English in an international curriculum, written short stories and a screenplay treatment, worked as an environmental journalist, and published articles online. Each opportunity taught me something and expanded my world a little more while giving me the chance to realize my potential and skills.

With the abundance of jobs for English Majors, there’s only one factor to limit a person: himself or herself.


Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by Pen Waggener on Flickr.


  1. Shevonne Polastre April 3, 2013 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Technical writing is a great career path for English majors who love technology. You work on technical documents, and can delve into proposal writing. You can also head in other directions like business analysis. I am glad that I decided to go that route, especially in the DC area. :)

    • Chris April 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      Good observation Shevonne. How would one with an English major gravitate towards the business analysis side of writing? What are the steps that you suggest taking?

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