5 Careers for English Majors

“So, what are you going to do with that English degree?” How many times are English majors asked this question? The assumption is often that there are no jobs for English majors or that English majors have no choice but to become teachers. However, English majors learn a number of valuable skills including writing, communication and analysis. This opens up many career fields to the ambitious graduate.

English Majors

Management Training Programs

The research and writing English majors do teaches them to synthesize and explain complex ideas in an understandable way. This makes English majors good candidates for positions as trainers including working in management training programs. Management trainers develop training materials and lead leadership seminars and may work for a company or as independent consultants. It can be an interesting and lucrative line of work.

Online Freelance Writer

There are many opportunities for English majors to become a freelance writer online. Companies need copy for websites, blogs and social media. One popular form of writing is product and service reviews. Online magazines need article writers and fiction. With “content” as a growing buzzword in the marketing world, opportunities are booming. Wages vary a great deal, but writers can command higher rates with more experience. One of the advantages of working as an online freelance writer includes the freedom to work where and when its convenient.


Many editors were English majors. Its a job that requires a good background in literature and an understanding of what makes strong writing. There are different types of editors; contrary to what many people believe, not all English majors have strong skills in grammar and proofreading, but those who do can look to careers as copy editors. Content editors focus on shaping a piece in terms of story and characters. Both are excellent choices for English majors.

Curriculum Development

Curriculum development is a field that combines writing and teaching skills. Basically, it involves developing and writing material to be used in the classroom. Some jobs in curriculum development want writers with a background in teaching, but this is not always necessary. As with management training work, English majors who can effectively explain difficult concepts in an interesting and compelling way will excel in this line of work.

Public Relations

People who work in public relations write press releases, work on social media and produce newsletters and other types of copy for companies. Past the entry level, they work on creating strategies for promoting the public face of a company or organization. Public relations exists in so many different industries that jobs in this area remain relatively plentiful.

English majors also have a good foundation for going on to further study in fields such as law and may thrive in every area from politics to management to advertising and beyond. In fact, once one begins investigating the possibilities for English major, it quickly becomes apparent that far from being a field of study that leads only to the career of teaching, English is one of the most versatile majors a student can choose.