If you’re wondering whether you should major in English, this thought has probably crossed your mind. Maybe your parents and friends have asked the same question. Besides, aren’t you a pro at speaking, writing, and reading English already? It seems a little silly to study it in college, right?
Well, contrary to popular belief, English majors learn specialized and in-demand skills during their time in college. Your degree will prepare you for a future career in practically any industry, from analyzing and editing literature to writing hard-hitting news articles
Here are just a few of the many jobs you could get with an English degree upon graduation.
You love a good book. More importantly, you can’t wait to recommend it to others. Put your love of reading to good use and by becoming a librarian. Now, before you roll your eyes, not all librarians are old ladies working in your local library. In fact, many librarians work in a variety of settings, from museums to major corporations. Plus, they earn a mean annual salary of $61,920, which is more than most teachers and retail store managers make.
2. Technical Writer
Tap your ability to write clearly and concisely and get a job as a technical writer. Write everything from manuals to website help sections in whichever industry you choose. Learn to incorporate feedback from real users as you read and revise your work to best help clients and fellow employees. Practice writing for a specific industry while still in college to become an expert in the field for which you plan to write.
If you’d rather read than write, consider becoming an editor. This profession will provide you with a variety of job opportunities since practically every company could use an editor on their team. Review books for publishing companies, proofread blog posts for marketing agencies and provide feedback to writers so they can sharpen their skills. After graduating, begin working as a freelancer until you find your niche or a company with which you’d like to partner.
Of course, you could always use your English degree to teach others about the language. Instruct younger students in grammar and spelling or work in a high school or university and share your love of classic literature. You might also work with an organization like VIPKID to teach English to non-native speakers. While this particular job would allow you to work from home, you could also travel abroad and share the English language with anyone with a desire to learn.
Did you know that you can become a professional fundraiser? Use your mastery of the written word to engage prospective donors and generate contributions. Write content for brochures, event invites, campaign letters, emails, thank-you cards, and more. You may have to plan events and interviews as well, so it wouldn’t hurt to have a few organizational skills, too. Partner with an organization that’s close to your heart and use your degree to make the world a better place.
6. Public Relations Specialist
If you’re a born storyteller, a job as a public relations specialist may be right up your alley. This profession will test your creativity and writing skills as you draft compelling press releases about clients and colleagues. Plus, you’ll learn to sharpen your organizational skills as you manage deadlines and the heavy workload that many public relations specialists manage daily. While you’re still in college, take a few media writing, storytelling and journalism courses to build your resume.
7. Social Media Manager
You spend most of your time scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, so why not get paid for it? Use your English degree to become a social media manager and work in whatever industry you wish. Form friendships with content developers and bloggers from around the world and promote their work online with your persuasive writing skills. Pursue on-campus roles working for your school paper or student organizations to build your credentials and gain experience.
Find Your Purpose
While you can get a myriad of different jobs with your English degree, making English your major can still be a risky investment. Depending on where you attend college, you could pay upwards of $50,000 a year for tuition. The last thing you need is to rack up student loans on a degree that you don’t know how to use.
Get the most out of your college education by finding an end purpose for your English degree. Know what you’d like to do after graduation and the career field in which you’d prefer to work. Then, take courses that will grow the skills you already have and ones that will help you become an expert in your specific field of study. If you can still find joy on this narrow road to graduation, you’ll know you picked the right major — and future career — for you.