10 Unexpected Professions for English Majors


So, what are you going to do with an English degree?

If you’re an English major like myself, you have probably gotten this question more times than you wish to count. Although a surprise to many, we actually have quite a few options when it comes to choosing our future careers. Creativity and strong writing skills are definitely necessary for authors, editors, and publishers, but these skills can go a long way in the professional world as a whole as well.

Here is a list of 10 unexpected professions that you can succeed in with an English degree:

1. Public Relations

Working in public relations entails writing reports, newsletters, and pitch letters for the company, perfect for someone that enjoys the more professional side of writing. You could even work in PR for the government as a press secretary, where you would help keep the public informed about the progress of different policies and campaigns.

2. Marketing Research

This high paying job requires research skills and the ability to pick up on trends early on. Marketing research is a way to use creativity to solve problems based on the way consumers think and act.

3. Search Engine Optimization

Unknown to some, this is a fairly new industry where you help search engines (such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo) efficiently analyze which web pages show up when something is searched. It requires strong research skills and appeals to people who enjoy situations in which they learn as they go.

4. Social Media Management

Social media as a profession may seem peculiar, but in actuality, there is a very high demand for people who are proficient in popular social media sites and are able to strategically use them to benefit companies. This is a great job for new graduates because a lot of companies are still bringing in entry-level hires for this field, providing opportunities to make connections in the communications sector.

5. Communications Officer

You probably wouldn’t expect an English major to go into politics, but the government requires in-house writers and people who specialize in communication to write materials including press releases and speeches for government officials. This would be a great field to look into if both English and politics interest you.

6. Film Editor

Aside from the technological aspects, at its core, film editing revolves around understanding the importance of a strong narrative. The editor must piece together the footage in order to tell a strong story, one that provokes the desired emotional responses. This is an ideal career for an English major, or someone with a passion for both the visual and written aspects of storytelling.

7. Non-Profit Communication

This position at a non-profit would require communication assistance with the press and media, fundraising, and volunteer relations. This would be a great way to get work experience early on while also making a difference in your community.

8. Advertising

An English major is no stranger to creativity, and advertising requires lots of it. Projects could range from writing commercial scripts and taglines to thinking of unique ideas for product launches or coming up with various printed ads. The best way to break into this exciting industry is to come up with some samples on your own that you could present to a potential employer.

9. Brand Management

Brand management calls for creative people with good communication skills. In this position, you would oversee the development and promotion of different products.

10. Curriculum Developer

There are actually more career opportunities in the education sector for English majors than just your subject. A curriculum developer is like a playwright, and their classroom is the theater — they piece together the course so that it will resonate with their students in the best way.


“Information gathered from James Mulvey’s blog article entitled “35 Awesome Jobs for English Majors“. For more information visit http://www.selloutyoursoul.com/2011/12/19/jobs-for-english-majors/




Written By: Lauren Golden


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