Career Opportunities for English Majors

“The verbal and written communication skills that English majors possess remain in top demand at nearly every company in America.” –“Working Your Degree” from CNN Money

Students often think that majoring in English limits them to one or two career paths—teaching or writing. This is certainly not the case. While a number of English majors do want to teach English at the secondary level or go on to graduate school and pursue an academic career at the community college or university level, many will want to explore other, non-academic options. Most majors prepare you for one pre-determined path, but an English major prepares you for a wide variety of careers in such fields as:

  • Publishing
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Education
  • Creative Writing
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Advertising
  • Technical Writing
  • Public Relations
  • Politics

The skills that employers in these and other fields most prize—research, communication, critical thinking, analysis, oral skills, and writing—are the ones we focus on and help you hone. The Department regularly offers courses in Professional Writing, Technical Writing, Technical and Professional Editing, and Introductory and Advanced Journalism. The optional Internship in English program places students in part-time employment relevant to their career goals. Many participants in the Internship program have parlayed their positions into full-time careers after graduation.

An excellent source for exploring career options, and one that includes a comprehensive list of related resources, is Julie DeGalan and Stephen Lambert’s Great Jobs for English Majors.

Graduate Studies

LesOf course, you may decide that further study is right for you.  A Master’s Degree in English is an obvious choice and could prepare you for a career in publishing or teaching literature and/or composition at a high school, community college, or university.  The English Department at UNO offers graduate studies  leading to the M.A. in English, the M.A.T. in English Teaching, and the M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Other graduate programs in Library Science, Law, Education, and Journalism are also good choices for English majors.  If you think you might be interested in pursuing a Ph.D., you should be aware that the academic job market is quite crowded in certain fields (like American and British Literature) although less so in others (like Rhetoric and Composition or African-American Literature).  The Modern Language Association has compiled survey results for many years tracking the job placement of Ph.D.’s.