What Can I Do With an English Degree Besides Teach? 6 Career Paths

Classrooms Team

Dec 23, 2020
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Are you majoring in English? If so, you’re probably looking into potential career opportunities to pursue after graduating. The obvious choice may be to become an English teacher. But what can you do beyond that? Fortunately, you have plenty of options.

Here are six alternative careers to education that work for English majors.

1. Journalism

Do you enjoy keeping up with current events? You may be able to apply your degree to a career in journalism. There are many paths you can take in this industry. You can be anything from a content editor to an international reporter. Your experience with writing and communication will help you thrive.

The best way to pursue journalism is to get as much exposure to different media types as possible. If you’re a student, you should join your school’s newspaper or radio station. You can also look into internships. If you’ve already graduated, you should start building a portfolio and applying to positions.

2. Non-Profit

If you’re passionate about helping others, you should consider working your way up to being a non-profit director. These organizations work to support a specific cause. It’s a career path that’s fulfilling and rewarding. As an English major, you can apply your communication and analytical skills to your role.

You can get into the non-profit world through volunteering. This experience will make a difference when you’re applying for jobs. You should also look into internships in your area so that you can explore roles and build expertise.

Working at a non-profit can lead you to various unique opportunities. As long as you’re passionate about helping others, you should be able to thrive.

3. Marketing

A career in marketing is a common choice for English majors. That’s because you can use your creativity and storytelling skills in your everyday work. You could sell products through copywriting, create video advertising campaigns, or manage social media accounts.

If you’re unsure about getting started, you should do what you can to learn the different terms, strategies, and techniques. Those currently in school can get a marketing certificate and network with marketing professors.

This career path is perfect for extroverted types who like engaging with co-workers and clients. A large part of marketing is sales in one way or another. Therefore, you should be comfortable forming connections with people if you take a more public-facing role.

4. Public Relations

A career in public relations is a great choice for people who love managing events and clients. You get to put your creativity and storytelling abilities to work while crafting press releases. The central purpose of working in public relations is to craft a positive reputation for individuals and businesses.

You’ll see that a career in public relations requires networking knowledge. You should strive to build connections with professionals whenever possible. The world of public relations is vast. As a result, you should be able to use the skills you obtained during your studies in many capacities.

5. Publishing

Are you interested in the publishing industry? An English degree will open many doors in the world of magazines and books. In fact, your experience should come in handy as you apply for jobs in this sector. You can find roles as anything from an editorial assistant to a literary agent.

A smart idea is to start small. Many small publishing houses don’t get as much attention as big names. You can begin a career by inquiring about volunteer or internship opportunities. If you’re still in school, you should see whether your college has its own press.

6. Law

Do you know how often lawyers use writing and analytical skills? The answer is every day. An English degree can be a gateway into a law career. There are several types of law you can study. These fields range from environmental law to family law to contract law. The choice is yours.

It’s important to note that you have to go to law school to become an attorney in most states. You then take the bar exam to obtain your official credentials. Thankfully, you can use the abilities you learned in school to tackle parts of the test.

If you like the idea of working in law but you aren’t sold on becoming a lawyer, you can always look for paralegal roles. That experience could help you gauge whether law is right for you.

Consider Pursuing These Paths With a Degree in English

Are you asking yourself, “What can I do with an English degree besides teach?” If so, you should consider these alternatives. You don’t have to work in education when you have an English degree. There are endless possibilities to explore.

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