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Articles on English:
   English Major...A Closer Look
   Explore a Career in English

English Major...A Closer Look

By Misty Sneddon

photo An English degree can open surprising doors for someone with the right amount of drive. You aren’t limited to simply becoming a writer or teacher.

What does it take to get a degree in English? A solid background in English and literature courses is necessary. It is also important that you have an aptitude for writing, as an English major spends hours and hours reading literature and writing papers. A four-year degree often includes classes like Critical Reading and Writing; Practices of Literary Study; Shakespeare, Milton, and Chaucer; Linguistics; Renaissance Drama; Classical Backgrounds in English Literature; Old and Middle English Literature; African American Literature; Irish Writing; Literary Modernism; American Poetry; Southern Women Writers; Irish Prose from Joyce to Doyle; and Canadian Literature. Oftentimes, students will major in English and have a concentration to deepen an area of study. Concentrations can include creative writing, literary and cultural studies, rhetoric and writing, and professional and media writing.

Obtaining a degree in English provides limitless opportunities in the work force because employers know that English majors are excellent communicators, writers, analytical thinkers, researchers, and debaters. These skills can be easily applied to almost any career out there. With that in mind, the following list contains examples of careers one can pursue after graduating.

  • Primary School Teacher
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Private School Teacher
  • School Administrator
  • Tutor
  • English as a Second Language Teacher
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Copy Editor
  • Production Assistant (Publishing)
  • Acquisitions Assistant (Publishing)
  • Journalist
  • Science Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Creative/Fiction Writer
  • Grant Writer
  • Speech Writer
  • Freelance Writer
  • Corporate Blogger
  • Marketing Researcher
  • Librarian
  • Archivist
  • Curator
  • Metadata Manager
  • Search Engine Optimizer
  • Social Media Manager
  • Search Engine Marketer
  • Information Broker
  • Brand Strategist
  • Cataloguer
  • Website Developer
  • Congressional Aid
  • Lobbyist

Many of these careers may require additional education. Students with an English degree often minor in something completely separate such as history, media, marketing, education, or business.