The bane of every English major’s existence is hearing, “oh, so you want to be a teacher” after telling someone what field they’re studying. Teaching is an honorable, challenging, and incredibly under-appreciated career. However, not every person wielding an English degree aspires to fill that role. This being said, English majors need to know that there are so many businesses that are looking for people who can wordsmith and analyze information for their company with ease. In short, they need you to be their storyteller. So, never believe it when someone tells you there is little worth in having an English degree. If you’re feeling a little lost, take a look at these industries where English majors are in high demand!
Do you thrive off creativity and thinking of persuasive and inspiring messages? Then a job in advertising may be the perfect fit for you. When you were studying English, your curriculum mainly consisted of examining a piece of literature or other similar resources. You worked on developing a thesis, extracting critical information from your research, and highlighting the most essential and revealing points to convince someone of your argument. Advertising is very similar in the sense that you are convincing your audience of an enticing narrative. You have to encourage them to engage with the product or service being offered. Creating these stories takes a particularly crafty and imaginative mind. So, this is where English majors are a considerable asset.
Tip: Digital art and design skills are highly desirous, and occasionally a requirement in advertising positions. If you have the time and resources, it may not be a bad idea to familiarize yourself with software like Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. Any artwork you create can help your portfolio stand out even more to hiring managers.
As our society progresses further and further into the age of technology, social media has become a prime space for promoting businesses. Much like advertising, social media marketing focuses on selling and raising awareness about a company’s brand through digital communication. A career in social media marketing will allow you to use your keen writing and research skills. You will be able to increase a company’s online presence and expand its brand through various media platforms. Some platforms may include social networking sites, company blogs, message boards, etc. This job not only needs influential writers, but tech-savvy people, organized. You also must be up to date with global media trends.
Tip: For anyone still in college or pursuing higher education, a few marketing classes or even an internship in the marketing field will definitely boost your resume and increase your chances of landing a job like this.
Storytelling is pretty much a guaranteed skill in your tool belt if you have a degree in English. A career in public relations may be of interest to you if you have a knack for spinning a story to work in your favor. As a public relations specialist, you’ll be creating a favorable image for a person or organization’s reputation. As an English major, you have been taught to look at information from every possible angle then develop a thesis around a single point you want to defend. Businesses want to maintain a positive appearance, so they need someone who’s a master of knowing what and what not to tell their audience.
Tip: If you’re asked to provide some writing samples for a PR job application, it won’t hurt to include an argumentative essay you’ve written in addition to any journalistic work you have. This will highlight the fact that you are capable of doing your research and defending a claim with the evidence to back it up.
Technical writing is an up and coming industry for any English majors who are looking for a relatively lucrative career. As a technical writer, you will be responsible for drafting documentation, including user manuals, software guides, and product instructions. Many people stigmatize this job as being dull. However, it can actually be an exciting challenge! This is because you will be in charge of becoming an expert on a particular product. Then, you will begin writing documentation and explaining the details of it in terms anyone can understand. One of the biggest concerns English majors have is the notion that there are very few jobs where you can earn a hefty salary. Well, good news, if you decide to go down the tech writing route, there are definitely opportunities to make up to or even more than 100k a year.
Tip: Many schools offer technical writing programs as an additional certificate you can earn alongside your primary major. If you are a STEM student, tech writing can also be an excellent alternative for you. You will be able to try something a little out of the ordinary, especially if you are a strong writer.
The English major — and the humanities in general — are always under fire from people who are misinformed about what you actually do in your field of study. In reality, an English degree truly provides you with an incredibly versatile skill set. Despite what people may tell you, you are not restricted to just a mere handful of jobs.
Everybody needs and values a good writer. You’ll soon see there is a whole world full of opportunities for a talented English major like yourself!
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