When it comes to being an English major, you might think that a Bachelor’s Degree is actually more like a life sentence to work in the English triumvirate of professions: teacher, writer, or editor. However, having an English degree can actually prepare you for hundreds of jobs across several fields. Courses prepare you to process information, read and write at a high level, and understand texts of several natures.
English majors can defend their ideas, present clear arguments, and have creative, thought-provoking ideas. With these skills, you can be invaluable to many companies and organizations. Here are a few of the careers you may not associate with an English degree.
1) Public Relations
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a career in public relations is ideal for an English major, but it’s not often a job commonly thought of. With a job in public relations, you could be working for a multinational corporation, a business in the health sector, or even a non-profit organization. Your assignments in college that asked you to defend your views and persuade the reader will come in handy in a job where you need to promote a certain viewpoint or images to the mass media.
The position also entails lots of writing, perfect for someone with an English degree. Between emails, memos and press releases it is one of the largest aspects of the job. The average salary for a public relations position is $52,000 annually, although much of that depends on the sector you work in and your years of experience. No addition education is needed, although many directors of public relations have a Master’s Degree in communications.
2) Social Work
A career as a social worker is a natural choice for those who studied English. You might work with people first-hand in a counselor capacity, or perhaps help them with transitions and challenges in their life. Social workers help children find homes, vet potential foster parents or help the elderly find a career or get extra education. While details might vary depending on your specialty or field, social workers are essentially those responsible for helping people in your society who need help.
Reading and writing skills come in handy because reports are a necessity to document all the cases on your schedule, and the ability to clearly explain yourself will help you communicate with the people you are helping. These skills will advance your career and help you to be successful at what you do. Average salaries are around $43,000 annually, and increase with experience and performance. A Bachelor’s Degree is all that is required for most positions.
While many business majors looked down on the liberal arts majors in college as idyllic readers of Chaucer and nothing more, English majors are carving out an important spot in the modern business world. They can be invaluable assets to a business when it comes to marketing and promotion. Even if you don’t have a solid background in economics or finance, your skills in writing and creative thought can be a great way to promote the image or sales of a company.
Your job might entail coming up with new ways to market an item, or ways to promote a hospital in a neighborhood. Salaries can start above $30,000 per year and rise quickly, with a median salary of $52,000 per year. An English degree will be enough to start employment in marketing, but additional courses in business may help to further your career.
As an English major, there is more to your future career than Shakespeare. Consider positions like those listed above or find ways to make your skills in persuasion, writing and critical thought work for you, and be willing to attempt interesting positions that are not generally considered appropriate for those who studied literature.
Picture Credit: Hermitage library by Christopher John/flickr