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Whether you’ve decided you’re looking to study English, you’ve already started your degree, or you’re just beginning to think about your major and what that could mean for your future, you might hear the echo of an abundance of voices chanting, “Don’t study English! You’ll be jobless!” right at you. While you may be fully aware that this idea is far from true, it may still put you into a bit of a stress mode — especially if you aren’t sure exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life yet.
If that sounds like you, there’s a lot of good news for you. Firstly, you don’t need to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life anytime soon, even if you just graduated and you’re job-hunting, degree in hand. There’s plenty of time to figure out what you want, and you can get there when you’re ready. Additionally, there are so many amazing careers out there for English majors, so you’ll have no shortage of options. Here are just a few of them.
Yes, becoming a lawyer does require that you go to law school — sorry, Shakespeare knowledge alone won’t cut it — but English majors comprise a large portion of incoming law school classes. With the language, writing, and reading comprehension skills needed to make it in law, English majors are often off to the right start when they sit down and start their LSATs.
No advanced degree required here — all you need to become a copywriter is a passion and knowledge of writing. Writing copy can really be anything, from blog posts like this one to sales descriptions, and even book jacket covers. If you love to write anything and everything, copywriting might just be your calling.
Maybe writing isn’t your calling, but editing is. Just like a copywriter constructs and creates the copy you see all around you, copyeditors edit and refine it before it goes out into the world. If you’re a great editor, have excellent grammar skills, and can edit just about anything, copyediting could be a fantastic fit for you.
While it is a bit of a stereotype that English majors always end up teaching one way or another, that doesn’t cast it off as a viable option if it truly is your calling. While many English majors who intend to become teachers double major in education, others get a teaching certification after they graduate with their bachelor’s degree. If you truly love books, reading, and shaping young minds, this one could be for you.
5. Social Media Manager
If you’re particularly social media savvy, skilled at writing copy, and have a passionate, creative side, social media management could be a great job for you. This involves managing a brand or company’s social media accounts, and can often be a fun, fast-paced job perfect for English majors.
Contrary to popular belief, being a librarian doesn’t just mean working in the library. In fact, librarians are trained professionals in the field of library sciences, which means that in order to become a librarian, you need to have a master’s degree in library sciences. If you adore books, organization, and quiet workplaces, going for your library sciences degree could be a great idea.
7. Marketing Associate
English majors know how to use words carefully and creatively, which often makes them a great fit for the marketing industry. Marketing is a great industry for those who enjoy corporate environments and want the opportunity to grow in their field while using their talent and intellect.
8. Editorial Assistant
If you love everything about books, reading, and publishing, becoming an editorial assistant — or perhaps even an editor eventually — might be the right track after your English degree. Editorial assistants often work at publishing houses or presses, reading manuscripts and assisting larger editors with things they need. This is a great job to start off in the publishing industry.
If you have a way with paperwork and enjoy the legal system, getting a job as a paralegal could be the perfect fit. Paralegals are essentially legal assistants, handling cases and paperwork in order to keep things running smoothly. This can be a great way to check out the legal profession if you’re considering going to law school eventually.
Jobs for English Majors
Whether your passion is shaping young minds or using your skills with words to creatively contribute to a company’s brand image, there are so many opportunities to use your English degree in a job you’re passionate about.