Careers in English


Most of us become English majors because we enjoy reading and writing, but it is not always clear how these interests translate into a career path.

Once you become an English major, people will sometimes assume that you plan to teach grammar or become a librarian. Though these are noble professions, your career options are richer and more varied than this.

English majors find work in a variety of different fields. They often work in education as both teachers and administrators. They also work in publishing and media fields, as well as business, public relations, banking, real estate, government, health care and legal professions. English majors are able to find careers in any profession where reading, writing, research and communication skills are valued and rewarded.

This recent USF graph demonstrates the diverse career options that are open to English majors:

Resourceful Generalists and Writing Specialists

One thing employers consistently want from employees is the ability to process written information and communicate clearly.

Writing, research and critical thinking skills are essential to high level work in almost every business or institution. This is good news for HPU English majors and writing minors.

If you can demonstrate an ability to write/analyze reports, write letters, develop clear written instructions and prepare presentations, you will increase your chances of getting hired (and promoted) in a variety of different professions.

Links to career resources that may be suitable for English majors

Graduate School

Continuing your education is certainly an option, but you should consider the following things:

Cost (How will you pay?)

Location (Where are you willing to go?)

Time (2-3 years for an MA or 5-8 for a PhD)

Career goals

If you are passionate about your studies, want to continue them,and have a clear career goal, then graduate school may be a good investment. Avoid going just because you can't think of what else to do or dislike the idea of starting other work.

Graduate school resources

More information on applying to grad school

Final Tips

 It is never too early to start thinking about your plans. Imagine where you would like to be in 5 - 10 years and consider small steps that will help to get you there.

This could involve taking a class, applying for an internship to gain experience, or stopping by the HPU Career Services Center to learn about job fairs, workshops and counseling services.

It could also just mean having a conversation with your professors about career paths.

Remember that your career is not your life. Most people will end up doing multiple jobs during the lives. Leave yourself room to explore and experiment.

Good luck!