What Jobs Can an English Major Get, Any Way?

I have been so proud of myself for wanting to go back to school, and ever more impressed with myself for going to school for something that I feel matters: English.

You heard me correctly: English is a major of matter.

Every time I tell someone that’s my goal I get the polite:

“Good for you! But what are you going to be able to do with that?”

I’m glad you asked!

There are a great many occupations out there that an English major can aspire to. An adviser at the college once told me that people generally go for their English degree for one of two reasons:

  1. They don’t know what else to study
  2. They want to be a writer

However, an English major can be extremely useful.

Borrowed from the Harvard English Department

Borrowed from the Harvard English Department

English goes hand in hand with a Communications degree. This is optimal for someone who wants to be in Media arts, such as broadcasting on television or television as well as journalism.

Ok, that was was obvious/\.

That was one was too – just had to get those out of the way!

Social Media Manager
Also known as Search Engine Marketers, or Market Managers, this job is not just a fancier term for career option #1, but is some one who will organize a company’s profile of the interwebs. That is, some one that ensure that the blogs on the website are update, tweets are twittered, Facebook posts are updated, Instagram is – well, you get the picture. Alright, it’s not that simple. It’s choosing the folks that get to do all the blogging an and tweeting, but mostly writing proposals for exposure for the company, how they can best get their word out.  Not sounding too fancy? Well check out what Alison Doyle has to say about the salary that can be expected:

“According to Salary.com, the average salary for social media managers is $103,202.  The top 10% of social media managers earned at least $199,470 while the bottom 10% earned $57,473 or less.  The average salary figure for social media managers posted on Indeed.com was much lower, $62,000.”

Not too shabby, hm?

Public Relations Specialist
Whenever you hear the fancy spin on a product – you can thank the Public Relations Specialist for that. It’s the person responsible for the fancy word-smithing that gets the story into the paper, the ad into the magazine, the product into the consumers’ hands.
Mike Profita in his article Top 10 Jobs for English Majors describes it as:

[Needing] to tell a compelling story about a client or colleague which will capture the attention of the media and generate placement with a magazine, newspaper, website, television or radio station.  English majors have developed a refined sense for storytelling and have the creativity and writing skills to convey these messages through press releases.

Entertainment Agent
For any form of management, you’re going to need a good grasp on the English language, meaning your English writing skills as well. This goes hand-in-hand with writing contracts and agreements, something that anyone in entertainment will need.

Speech Writing
Everyone from soap-box speakers to the President, those in theatrics and the best men at weddings – need speeches – and not all of them have the time or ability to write one themselves.
There is definitely a good salary in speech writing if done correctly. According to George Mason University, one can look at an annual compensation of $78,000.

What? Really? It’s true. Many English Majors are in it for the written word, for understanding the depth of text. This can draw them to Law, where contracts are written, read and re-read, and at the end of the day, you’ve spent at least 4 years arguing with your peers that English it’s wasted schooling, so you’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Here are some more obvious ones…

  • Food critics
  • Book Reviewer
  • Publisher
  • Teacher
  • Contract Writer
  • Content Writer
  • Research Assistant
  • Travel Writer
  • Librarian

And Above all, my favorite: The Starving Writer
Don’t get me wrong, I mean not at all to discourage. But at the end of the day, my goal since I was ten was to be the starving writer. Now, I’d like to be the fed writer, which is why I’m going to school. But in the mean time, the English Major Student, is definitely the starving writer.

What do you plan on doing with your English Degree?

Here are some more helpful links:
How Much Does A Social Media Manager Earn?
A Complete List of English Majors Careers
What Can You Do With An English Major?
George Mason University
Classroom to Careers


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