Jobs for English majors

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By Bleah B. Patterson

It is often assumed English majors intend to become teachers after graduation.

However, a degree in English can be a great segue into many careers, English Chair Mike Burton said.

English degrees offer an “incredibly good foundational education” Burton said, one that builds on critical thinking skills and a valuable historical perspective.

The reading and writing required for English majors instill a love of learning and understanding more advanced language.

Such reading and writing is a link to history that adds context not only to complex books or English major readings but also to situations in a person’s daily life, Burton said.

Skills gained in English classes, such as literature, composition and literature criticism, lead to highly successful law students, journalism students, future political leaders and business leaders, Burton said.

Editor, copywriter, public relations, marketing, anthropology and linguistics researcher are all among career options for English majors, English Professor Jane Focht-Hansen said.

Focht-Hansen even suggests that philosophy and English degrees are a great pair. Many English undergraduates go into philosophy.

Burton said, “Liberal arts degrees like English show that you are dedicated and persistent. Employers want thinkers.”

Burton said students who leave a junior college with an Associate of Arts in English are liable to have great success finding jobs with the experience an English degree provides.

English degrees are “ideal for changing landscapes,” Burton said. “People who go into limited technological programs hit a dead end.”

Employers in every field are impressed by students’ ability to comprehend language and grammar,” Focht-Hansen said.

English majors should not panic when they hear that predictable question “So you’re going to be a teacher?”

Instead students should research options before heading to an adviser to change majors.

An English degree can be a great key for unlocking a career in multiple fields.


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