What Can I Do With a Major In English?

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Joyce Halverson

Career Counselor

Major Information

The Department of English offers three program options:

Each of these programs offers students the opportunity to study with our award-winning faculty, often in small classes that encourage class discussion and active participation.

English majors and minors receive personalized academic advising and select from a host of opportunities for real-world experience, including conducting research, working on The Tower (our literary and art magazine), presenting at our annual English Undergraduate Conference, engaging the community through service learning, traveling internationally with study abroad, and building job skills through internships.

Our degree programs cultivate a rich appreciation for the power of literature, creative writing, and other forms of cultural expression and prepare students for a wide range of careers in business, education, law, government, and nonprofits.

All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and English majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to formulate clear, organized and persuasive messages
  • Strong critical thinking and analysis skills
  • Ability to research and synthesize information efficiently
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding skills
  • Expertise in the English language and grammar
  • Ability to work well independently and collaboratively

Interest code: AIS


Internship & Job Search Websites

Student Groups

Professional Organizations

Career Options

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although keep in mind that there are english alumni in all eight of the career fields).  For more career information for English majors, utilize these additional resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn's Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Writing, Publishing, Advertising, Public Relations, Journalism & Communications


  • Editorial Intern, Greenspring Media
  • Corporate Communications Intern,  Land O'Lakes
  • Intern, ABC Radio
  • Development Intern, Graywolf Press
  • Intern, Redleaf Press
  • Creative Writing Intern, Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute
  • Staff Writer, The Odyssey Online
  • Marketing and Social Media Intern, Free Arts Minnesota
  • Promotions Intern, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment


  • Writer, Jesse Avant
  • Art Connection Grant Liaison, Free Arts Minnesota
  • Engagement Assistant, International Student & Scholar Services at the U of MN
  • Freelance Playwright, various venues
  • Freelance Writer, various publications
  • Reporter, Aberdeen American News


  • Client Relationship Manager, Fast Horse
  • Editor, ABB
  • Director, Adobe Publishing
  • Writer, About.com
  • Writer, American Public Media
  • Writer, Aveda Corporation
  • Technical Writer, Beckman Coulter Inc.
  • Editor, Business Wire
  • Editor, Metro Magazine
  • Director, Media Productions
  • Account Executive, Star Tribune
  • Technical Writer, PTC/Windchill
Business, Consulting, Marketing & Sales


  • Marketing Intern, Anderson Tours


  • Marketing Associate & Copywriter, Polaroid
  • Director of Marketing and E-Business, T-Chek Systems
  • Account Manager, Carmichael Lynch
  • Marketing and Advertising Coordinator, People's Center Health Services
  • Marketing Coordinator/Copywriter, Modern Survey
  • Executive Development Program, Macy’s
  • Executive Assistant, Alienus Inc
  • Business Development Representative, Sovos Compliance


  • Analyst, 3M*
  • Human Resources Manager, Accenture*
  • Senior Vice President, American Express*
  • Manager, Barnes and Noble
  • Marketing Manager, Bloom Health*
  • Director of Global Marketing, C.H. Robinson*
  • Marketing Communications Manager, Grassroots Solutions
  • Marketing Services Manager, Brother International Corp
  • CEO, The Patient Source*
  • Project Manager, West Companies Inc
  • Analyst, UnitedHealth Group*
  • Training and Development Specialist, Target Corporation
  • Human Resources Trainer, Pepsi-Cola Co.
Government, Law, Public Policy, & International Affairs


  • Party Affairs Intern, Minnesota DFL
  • Congressional Office Intern, Senator Harkin
  • Intern, Legal Rights Center
  • Legislative Intern, Office of U.S. Senator Al Franken
  • Immigration Services Intern, The International Institute of Minnesota
  • Research and Marketing Associate, openGlobalRights


  • Legal Assistant, Park Nicollet Health Services


  • Public Service Director, City of Saint Paul*
  • Judge, U.S. District Court*
  • Lawyer, California Department of Justice*
  • Lawyer, Metropolitan Council*
  • Graduate Programs
  • Humphrey School of Public Affairs (MPA)


  • Program Coordinator, College of Liberal Arts at the U of MN
  • Branch Manager, St. Paul Public Library


  • English as a Second Language teacher, self employed*
  • Teacher, Anoka Hennepin School District*
  • Professor, Bemidji State University*
  • Administrator, University of Missouri*
  • Assistant to Vice Provost & Dean of Undergraduate Education, U of MN*
  • Librarian, Union College*
  • Teacher, Minnetonka School District*

Graduate Programs

  • MLIS from St. Catherine
  • MLIS from Univ of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • M.A., International and Comparative Education, U of M
Nonprofits, Human Services, Social Justice


  • Grants Directory Intern, Minnesota Council of NonProfits
  • Inclusion and Community Engagement Intern, Minnesota History Center


  • Community Volunteer, Peace Corps
  • Program Staff, YMCA
  • Program Assistant, Fraser


  • Director of Communications & Engagement, Pollen
  • Communications Program Manager, the Bush Foundation
  • Director of Communication, Greater MSP
  • Director, Teach for America
  • Social Worker, St. Paul Public Schools*