What are the Different Careers for English Majors?

Erin J. Hill

Students who obtain an English degree while in school can take advantage of a multitude of career options, including technical writing, copywriting, editing, paralegal work, and sometimes teaching. Additionally, many careers for English majors may not be related to writing or English but may require good communication skills. Two similar careers for English majors are technical writing and copywriting. Technical writers writer informative papers and instructions for high-tech devices and new technologies. They must be able to compile highly complicated information and present it in a way people can understand. Copywriters generally write advertising materials, such as brochures, ads, web content, and case studies.

Teaching literature is a common career for English majors.
Teaching literature is a common career for English majors.

Writing skills are important in both options, but many technology-related firms desire candidates to also have some technical knowledge. This is not always the case, but those who minor in something related to technology may have an edge in this field. Copywriters should minor in fields like marketing and communications, although this isn’t always necessary.

Two careers for English majors are technical writing, and copywriting.
Two careers for English majors are technical writing, and copywriting.

Other careers for English majors are related to writing, such as editing or teaching. Editors read and correct various forms of writing projects and re-write portions for clarity, style, and grammar. Many editors also hire writers to provide content for various forms of media, including magazines and books. English majors who go into teaching often require additional education in order to do so, but this is a popular option for those who want to have a career involving literature.

Paralegals are often English majors because this job involves a lot of information compiling as well as writing. In many areas no degree is required for this position, but those who have good communication skills may be more likely to be hired than those who don’t. Some employers in various fields also hire English majors for this reason, whether the job is related to writing or English or not.

Those who are considering becoming an English major should weigh all their options. Students who have a career field in mind should determine with a school administrator or potential employer which areas of study would be most beneficial. Those who wish to major is English should consider minoring in fields closely related to their desired careers. Although there are various careers for English majors, this degree program is not ideal for all students.

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