Have you ever been fascinated by the power of words? Do you notice when commas are out of place, or grammar is incorrect on street signs? Do you read a sales message and think, “Well done with the persuasive tone”?
If so, you may be considering becoming an English major. Perhaps you’re curious about what is involved and what career options will open up to you after receiving your degree. Whatever the reasons, it’s helpful to learn that there are plenty of possibilities, and you’ll learn transferable, in-demand skills.
English Major Overview
Rather than simply a degree for aspiring authors, an English major will cover a range of learning, from critical thinking and creative writing to history and research skills. You’ll learn to analyze how the written word relates to historical and current events.
Spending time studying history, you’ll develop your voice as you explore a wide variety of poetry, plays, cinema, and more. If you have a passion for a specialized track, you might focus on specialized pieces, such as British literature.
With a wide variety of courses to choose from, an English major is an excellent choice if you haven’t clearly defined your career path after college. Even if you’re not interested in a career as a writer, you can put your studies to use to move into fields such as education, law, and business.
Skills You’ll Gain as an English Major
With extensive reading and writing throughout your studies, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of language, including its nuances and contexts, along with other marketable skills.
- Hard skills: Throughout your coursework, you’ll learn recognizable skills in proofreading, editing, writing, and tone management.
- Soft skills: As you explore genres and works from different perspectives, you’ll gain cultural literacy, empathy, and understanding through interpretation.
- Transferable skills: With a heavy emphasis on writing papers, you’ll complete your degree equipped with extensive research and organizational skills. Persuasive communication and analytical skills will also be valued in many occupations you may pursue.
Common Industries for English Majors
An English degree is an obvious match for aspiring authors, lining up neatly to their career and life goals. However, outside of being a published author, there are many future options for those pursuing the major. For example:
- News & Journalism
- Education & Training
- Advertising & PR
- Nonprofit & Philanthropy
Common Job Titles for an English Major
You’ll most likely find someone with an English major in nearly every company, especially Fortune 500 companies. The following are just a few of the many career paths you might choose to pursue.
Any company with written content requires editing to ensure grammatical accuracy and brand consistency. You can also pursue a freelance career as an editor, assisting independent authors in accurately conveying their messages. Many editors work for publishing companies helping to ensure all content, whether written or digital, is vetted before publication.
Digital Content Creator
Every company and brand that has an online presence requires content. As a content creator, you’ll be tasked with writing engaging pieces that range from web pages and blog posts to downloadable brochures and magazines. Becoming a digital content creator, you’ll often be able to use your creativity and vision to bring your written word to life.
Journalists often require investigative research skills and need to work well under pressure. Depending on the role, you might be tasked with quick turnarounds of current events or longer, well-researched papers detailing health and medical news. Regardless of your position, you’ll be able to unleash your research and creativity side by side.
While you will most likely need additional licensing, if you’re passionate about inspiring the next generation, a career in teaching English might be a perfect fit! You can pursue positions within public, private, and online schools working with students to develop their skills and knowledge. You’ll inspire them to expand their horizons and develop their personal voice while developing lesson plans according to state standards.
Enter the field as a legal assistant while pursuing your advanced law degree. Following a legal career requires an exceptional command of the English language, with the ability to complete research, retain complex amounts of details, and professionally convey persuasive arguments.
Does an English Major Appeal to You?
There are many careers that you might pursue once you’ve attained an English degree. This is simply a small sampling, and the sky is truly the limit. When you stop to consider how various professions communicate, you’ll see that a career field focusing on mastering the language is substantially versatile.
Whether your passions lie within the nonprofit sector, traditional businesses, or even entrepreneurship, there will be options to put your English degree to good use. Having well-defined career goals that line up your next five to ten years is a great way to determine if an English major will fully support you and your aspirations.
More Career Paths:
They often utilize the opportunity to find an entry-level role, building their skills while balancing their studies for their remaining two years of education. Business degrees also appeal to military spouses and those whose career goals include being digital nomads for the simple portability that they offer. If you are looking for the most flexible degree that you can earn, you might find that a business major is precisely what you’re seeking.
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