Career Exploration

“You don’t have to ask for permission to have the career that you want," says alumna Jamie Millard about how her English major helped prepare her for a career in publishing: "You can just go out and take it.”

Majoring in English prepares you for a lifetime of learning, cultivates a broad understanding, and encourages you to make connections across many different fields and ways of knowing. It also readies you for a wide variety of careers and gives you the tools you need to succeed in the increasingly global 21st-century economy.

In particular, majoring in English helps you develop transferable skills—skills that are not tied to a particular vocation but can be valuable in almost any career. According to a recent survey of more than 300 major employers, these skills include:

What Can I Do With a Major in English? For expert help investigating careers, writing your resume, preparing for interviews, or learning about graduate or professional school, visit CLA Career & Internship Services.
  • the ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing
  • critical thinking and analytical reasoning
  • the ability to analyze and solve complex problems
  • the ability to connect choices and actions to ethical decisions
  • teamwork and the ability to collaborate with others in diverse group settings
  • the ability to innovate and be creative
  • the ability to locate, organize, and evaluate information from multiple sources

Pairing your English major with real-world experience helps you figure out what you want for your career, and prepares you to go out and do it.

Careers for English majors include:

  • Advertising Manager
  • Book Reviewer
  • Business Writer
  • Communications Consultant
  • Communications Director
  • Communications Specialist
  • Copy Editor
  • Curriculum Developer
  • Editor
  • Grant Writer
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Literary Agent
  • Marketing Director
  • Media Manager
  • Professor
  • Project Director
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Publicist
  • Publisher
  • Screenwriter
  • Script Supervisor
  • Strategic Planning Consultant
  • Teacher
  • Web Manager
  • Writer

Our alumni include a professor of surgery and a research biologist; an inventor of magnetic poetry and an inventive humorist; a NASA staff engineer, an actor, and a dancer-choreographer; librarians, lawyers, and literature professors; scriptwriters, high school teachers, and leaders of commerce. To name just a few.

Where will a degree in English take you?