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What Can I Do With A Major In English?

Those with a passion for English language and literature, this program is ideal preparation for successful and creative careers in literary writing, academics, journalism, law and the communications industry. In addition, an English major is also a good choice for those who may be unsure about their professional path—English majors graduate with a broad range of writing, communication, analytical, interpretive, research and critical thinking skills that are eagerly sought by employers across a wide range of fields.

Possible Career Options

(Some may require further education/specialization)

Abstract Writer
Advertising Copywriter
Advertising Executive
Arts Administrator
Consumer Affairs Investigator
Copy Editor
Corporate Communications Critic
Customer Service Representative
English/Literature Professor
Feature Writer
Grant Writer
Legal Assistant
Legislative Aide
Literary Agent
Manuscript Reader
Market Research Analyst
Mass Media Assistant
Media Planner
Museum Curator
Newspaper/Magazine Journalist
Office Manager
Policy and Procedures Analyst
Political Campaign Organizer
Public Affairs Coordinator
Public Relations Specialist
Radio/TV Announcer/Program Assistant
School Administrator
Screen/TV Script Writer
Senior Editor
Song Writer Specialist
Speech Writer
Technical Writer/Communicator
Writing Center Director

Types of Employers

Private & Non-Profit Organizations

Advertising Agencies
Books and Magazine Publishers
Community Arts Centers
Community Service Organizations
Consumer Organizations
Cultural Organizations
Education Institutions
Financial Institutions
Healthcare Facilities
Historical Societies
Hospitality Organizations
Insurance Companies
Investment Firms
Market Research Companies
Media (Radio, TV)
Public Relations Firms
Research Organizations
Retail Stores
Telecommunications Firms

Government Agencies

Civil Rights Commission
Consumer Affairs Office
Cultural Affairs
Department of Education
Division of Youth and Family Services
Legislative Affairs
Motor Vehicle Department
National Endowment for the Humanities
National Institutes of Health
Peace Corps/AmeriCorps
Political Organizations
Small Business Administration
Travel and Tourism Department

Transferrable Skills

General Skills
Concentrates for long periods of time
Possesses liberal arts background
Works well under pressure
Reads carefully
Analyzes closely

Research Skills
Conducts and clearly explains research results
Reads analytically
Evaluates and integrates information

Problem Solving Skills
Makes critical observations and appropriate decisions
Analyzes the problem closely
Explores various solutions

Communication Skills
Reads, writes and speaks proficiently
Possesses a comprehensive command of grammar and vocabulary
Listens, clarifies, questions and responds well
Communicates ideas thoughtfully and creative

Experiential Education

Editing books for a publishing company

Writing articles, essays and short stories for a local magazine

Working as a staff writer for a small publication

Transforming scientific and technical data into understandable language for a children’s magazine

Professional Associations

Academy of American Poets,

American Library Association,

Modern Language Association,

National Council of Teachers of English,

PEN American Center,

The Author’s Guild,

Enhancing Your Employability

Join relevant student organizations to develop leadership skills

Participate in internships and field experience placements

Become active in alumni and/or mentor networks

Plan on a graduate degree for advancement

Write and/or produce for the school newspaper, journal, radio, broadcasting channels

Take part in mock interview opportunities

Source: Ashland University, Rutgers University

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