Our B.A. degree in English can serve as a foundation for many diverse career paths.

What can you do with an English degree?

English at UMA

Virtually anything you can imagine.

The English degree teaches students how to read carefully, analyze a variety of texts, and write for a number of audiences. This set of skills prepares graduates to work in a number of fields that require critical reading and writing. English degrees are highly lauded in this new creative marketplace. There’s no better time to be an English major.

Broadcasting and media, which includes the internet, where so much information is now found. English majors work the same jobs as in publishing, but in different media: reporters, on-air or online journalists, bloggers, editors, producers, web content developers, and researchers. And the same rule applies: if you have a passion, your ability to write about it/blog about it/video it may lead you into a career.

Business, where their skills of analysis and communication are highly desirable in virtually any business endeavor. English majors may work in advertising, market research and analysis, copy editing, merchandizing, marketing, human resources management, and retail management.

Creative writing. Novelists, poets, fiction writers, screenwriters, playwrights: these are the vocations that have always said “English major.” But they also include nonfiction writers, travel writers, food writers, memoirists, biographers, and historians . . . For an English major, all writing is potentially creative writing.

Education, where they work as teachers, instructors, professors, administrators, and teaching and curriculum policy experts. They may also work in educational publishing and curriculum development. Training in English is excellent training for teaching not only literature and composition but also film, gender studies, media studies, cultural studies, theater, communication, and the many other branches of the humanities.

Government, Politics, and Law, where their training in argumentation, synthesis of information, and clear writing are highly valued. An English degree is excellent training for law school, and English majors may work as lawyers, attorneys, and legal assistants. In addition, many work in national, state, and local governments as legislators, lobbyists, and researchers.

Librarianship, because English majors can research. They know not only how to find information but also how to evaluate it and organize it. Many English majors continue on to library school and find work in public, private, and corporate libraries—working with the public directly as librarians and library directors or behind the scenes in collection maintenance, development, and archival work.

Publishing, which includes the traditional venues such as newspapers, magazines, and books. English majors excel at writing and editing, proofreading, copywriting, and technical writing. In addition, English majors may work as bookstore owners and managers, book buyers, film and theater critics, and newspaper reporters. Many English majors also work in such fields as science writing, business writing, and public policy writing, where their ability to communicate unfamiliar, complex ideas to non-experts is invaluable. If you have a passion, your ability to write about it for others may lead you into a career.

The public sector, because their skills in communicating information and policy with the larger public are invaluable. The range of careers here is wide. English majors may work as activists, speechwriters, grant writers, policy specialists, NGO organizers, and public relations specialists.

These are just some—and hardly all—of the possibilities you can consider when you become an English major. What can you do with an English degree? Virtually anything.

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