Being an English major is not easy. Discussing Augusto Monterroso with your friends makes no sense, because they have no idea who he is. Those who’ve heard of him already forbade you to bring his books and even mention his name in their presence. Your secret mission to free the world from dangling modifiers failed, because every time you point it out you hear ‘I am not taking an exam right now’. Others find you weird and boring. Well, of course they do, as you’re just tired of explaining your elaborate jokes to those fools — they will not get allusions anyways! On the other hand, a phrase ‘I’m an English major’ works perfectly as an excuse to almost everything, so all in all you are satisfied with your choice.
At first sight, teaching at high school and writing books is your only destiny if you happened to choose English as a major. I have even heard rumors that English majors can only work as cashiers at McDonald’s. You’ll be happy to know that it’s not true, and there are several positions that will be of major interest to English-degree holders. A unique set of skills and abilities that these people possess is very much desired in jobs related to reading and interpreting various data. It is because they are able to formulate sound arguments, that are backed by detailed research, while multitasking. English majors know exactly how to be adaptable. Lots of businesses have alr eady recognized their talent and discipline.
1. Sales and marketing
What does it have to do with English?” you may ask. The truth is, it is one of the biggest industries that offers hundreds of opportunities for those who know how to use language as a weapon. In sales, as well as in marketing, the main thing is communication, delivering a particular thought to a recipient, planting it, and watching it grow. Therefore, there are millions of jobs available for you if you are a true philologist in heart.
- SEO-Marketing. The most popular at the current job market is a position of SEO content writer. SEO refers to search engine optimization, which can be defined as a special area in online marketing. It combines traditional marketing principles with online components. That is why SEO content writers are one of the most demanded specialists in online business industry. A combination of creativity and strong analytical skills is required here. However, this industry is relatively young, meaning that having a basic understanding of SEO principles combined with a strong desire to learn, you can become top specialist and a valuable worker.
- B2B Content Marketing (Business to Business Content Marketing). Marketing goods and services in bulk to other businesses is not easy, but definitely interesting and worth trying. Firstly, your customers are big and serious companies which are usually quite picky and not easy to please. Secondly, a B2B campaign is aimed at establishing long-lasting and stable relationship with a customer, as loosing one leads to a catastrophic loss of income. Thirdly, marketing 1 ton of steel to a big company is very different from marketing soap, so it requires a lot more preparation and time. English majors, who are intelligent and are able to close any deal with their sharp mind and disarming arguments, are surprisingly well-suited for this job.
- Marketing Research. A field with truly exciting opportunities for English majors. As a market researcher, you would need to analyze how people think and why they make certain marketing decisions. It includes collecting information on customers’ opinion, conducting researches, working with statistics, analyzing reports. All this in order to then come up with an action plan to market your product in a more efficient way. Sometimes being a market researcher means travelling a lot, sometimes it’s an office job. In any case, you will have a chance to grow both professionally and personally.
- SMM Management. Life without social media is something nobody can imagine these days. Have you ever wondered who is in charge of building online reputation and presenting certain products on Facebook or Instagram? These people are called Social Media Managers and they do spend their working time on social networks, communicating with people, creating content and participating in social media campaigns via Twitter and Facebook. English majors have excellent grammar and spelling skills in order to write meaningful posts in social media. Thus, if you are outgoing and active, this is a perfect job for you.
- Copywriting. Another position that English graduates may pursue is copywriting. This is a symbolic bridge between advertising and creative writing, and there are several types of it. Indirect-response copywriting does not require any actions from customers at a given moment of time, as it is merely aimed at drawing attention. You would need to write compelling and gripping texts that should stand out and attract as many customers as possible. Another type is direct-response copywriting, that calls for immediate action from customer’s side (like emails with discount coupons or fundraising campaign letters). It’s up to you to decide where to apply your ability to create emotional texts, but this is truly one of the best jobs for English-degree holders.
2. Media and PR
Outstanding writing skills combined with creativity and liveliness will help you make a career in a sphere where you’ll never get bored — media and PR. And yes, you can find a position even if you’re an English major.
- News Reporter. Though stressful sometimes, news reporting is an appreciated and well-respected occupation. Tasks generally include taking interviews, investigating and observing, writing stories to share them with public. It is not easy to find a job, as competition is extremely high, but with certain persistence and a proven ability to produce high quality work you’ll get your stories printed on the front page.
- Public Relations Specialist. To continue, public relations is another field that welcomes English majors, who have a solid background in database maintenance and research. People holding a degree in English know how to convince and persuade others, as well as write speeches for public speaking. You will be the one shaping public opinion about certain company and building its business reputation.
Yes, many businesses actually need skilled writers to help them in their development. The best thing about it is that you can find a position in almost any sphere, starting from finance and ending with beauty industry. Here are jobs to consider.
- Technical Writer. English-degree holders may become technical writers who create manuals and supporting documents, as well as communicate technical information in an easy, understandable manner. Such documentation is a must-have for a vast majority of products (gadgets, computer software, cosmetics), therefore, there is always a need for good technical writers. On the other hand, there are many experienced writers out there who are more likely to win contracts, so you need to master your skills and become an outstanding specialist in order to succeed.
- Corporate Blogger. Blogging is not simply a part-time occupation for freelancers any more. Big businesses, such as Starbucks and Mercedes, actually put a lot of effort into their blogs, hiring professional writers and entrusting their brand image to them. It is because blogging these days is a powerful marketing tool, company’s face and soul, a way of promoting its message. Managing blogs like this requires close cooperation with all key departments, extreme attention to detail, and solid understanding of the essence of blogging.
- Event Planner. It has little to do with writing, but requires talent and creativity (which English majors never lack). Conferences, exhibitions, fundraising events, product launches — it can become your life if you decide to take up a position of event planner. If you are charismatic, action-oriented, and always ready to generate fresh ideas, it is a path for you.
Quite trivial, but confess — this is definitely your cup of tea. Come on, you’ve been learning how to write and edit for years at university, so it would be silly to ignore that you are damn good at it. Did you know that you can actually make a decent living simply doing what you can do best?
- Editor. You can work for a magazine or a newspaper, you can help publish books, you can be a freelancer. There’s not much to say here, as you know perfectly how to correct spelling and grammar mistakes, organize information an a readable way and format it properly. With time successful editors in newspapers get to decide what to publish and what is not worth mentioning, so you would need to possess strong analytical skills and be aware of true interests of your audience. Choose your niche and start a career. That’s it.
- Speechwriter. Writing speeches for politicians or other public figures is a dream of many people. However, simply being a good writer is not enough to reach success. Outstanding interpersonal skills are required here, as you would need to learn how others think in order to craft the most appealing speeches. This job also means a lot of travelling and meeting interesting people.
- TV, Radio, Hollywood Writer. Your English degree can help you touch the stars and break through into the world of show business! If deep down you always wanted to be a screenplay writer, definitely try sending your spec scripts somewhere. Figure out the most appealing genre and types of shows you want to write for, never stop mastering your skills, and you’ll be able to compete with the best writers out there.
- TESL. Teacher is probably the last thing you want to be, but consider Teaching English as a Second Language option. If travelling, meeting other people, learning about different cultures and traditions sounds exciting for you — do not hesitate! This experience will open your eyes to a lot of things, and will make you strong and independent. You will work with different age groups, communicate and have fun every day.
In such a way, people graduating with a degree in English are faced with interesting opportunities that are worth pursuing. Blog writing, grant writing, newsletters, ghostwriting, educational writing and articles for publishing in newspapers and magazines are just few examples of what types of work English majors can do.