Are you a recent graduate wondering what to do with that BA or MA in English?
Ignore everyone who told you that you’ll never find a job with that kind of degree. We’ve rounded up ten creative, interesting jobs that are perfect for English majors.
Median salary: $43,300*
A copywriter creates written material that businesses use to market their products. This can range from written ads in magazines to blog posts online to banner ads that show up on websites. They can be found in the advertising department of large corporations, working for independent marketing firms, or running their own freelance businesses.
A copywriter needs to be creative, to understand the emotions that drive people to buy a product, and to have excellent writing skills. You should also have strong communication skills and the ability to work well with multiple clients.
Search Engine Marketer
Median salary: $43,800
Search engine marketing is a new and growing industry, making it perfect for English majors with strong creative writing ability, good communication skills, and a high level of internet savvy.
Search engine marketers help companies plan out their digital marketing strategy using a combination of search engine optimization (SEO), online advertising, and digital analytics. They can work for companies on retainer or as full-time employees.
Public Relations Specialist
Median salary: $42,800
The work in a public relations department can involve press releases, pitch letters, newsletters, company magazines, or news appearances. If you want to enter this industry, it’s important to have strong written and verbal communication skills, as well as a high level of attention to detail.
Public relations specialists are needed by a whole spectrum of organizations, from governments to corporations to non-profit groups, so chances are good that you can find something to fit your interests. Best of all, it’s an industry with room for growth: many PR specialists start out as junior staffers and work their way up to management positions.
Median salary: $72,600
Many companies employ brand managers to oversee the development and launch of new products. This sort of work is both creative and strategic, perfect for the English major with excellent communication and people skills.
Brand managers usually manage a team that includes both those developing products and the people marketing them, so it’s helpful to have some business or marketing background. If you are knowledgable about the internet or social media, that is also a definite advantage.
Median salary: $50,000
If you have an interest in government as well as an English major, this job might be a perfect fit for you.
Communications officers in government are responsible for both internal and external communications to maintain a positive image. This can involve everything from speech writing to press releases to mailing lists. They can be found from local government agencies all the way up to the White House.
It’s important that communications officers have strong written and verbal communication skills, stay up-to-date on current events and news, and work well with a variety of personalities.
Median salary: $46,100
Editors aren’t only found working for glossy magazines. They can work for trade publications, colleges and universities, publishing houses, or private companies. Editors often work non-traditional schedules, and many can be found working from the comfort of their own homes. Many start as junior or assistant editors, then move up the ranks to senior or even editor-in-chief positions.
If you are detail-oriented, love the written word, and can always spot an incorrectly used apostrophe, editing may be a great way to put your English major to use.
Median salary: $68,100
Jobs in publishing require creativity, strong attention to detail, and a love of all things written. In other words, a great fit for English majors, especially those with an MA.
Publishers usually start at an assistant level and work their way up in the office. They are responsible for negotiating contracts, managing publicity and press releases, and overseeing editors. You should have an interest in the business side of writing, not just the creative side, if you want to go into publishing.
Median salary: $52,000
Literary agents work directly with writers to develop and sell their writing. Most start out as interns or assistants before moving to take on clients of their own. Literary agents need to love writing, whether they work with books or scripts, and be passionate about the projects they take on.
Literary agents advocate for their clients with publishers, so it’s important to have a strong sense of the current market, as well as excellent communication and negotiation skills.
Median salary: $42,400
Archivists are responsible for cataloging, preserving, studying, and displaying collections of notable objects and artifacts. They can be found working in university collections, museums, and libraries. Many are also responsible for creating educational programs about their collections.
If you have a passion for historical texts and a strong attention to detail, than archivist might be a great place to use your English degree.
Median salary: $36,200
Not all journalists get journalism degrees. In fact, many of them rely on English degrees and on-the-job experience to help them advance their careers.
Journalists can be found in print, broadcast, and increasingly digital media. They can work on a local, national, or international level, or specialize in certain topics such as parenting or politics. Some work for specific publications while others remain freelance. Regardless of your focus, you need a creative mind, strong writing skills, and the ability to analyze facts and piece together a story.
Know any other great career ideas for English majors? Leave them in the comments!
*All salary statistics found on PayScale.com, rounded to nearest 100