So you’re passionate about reading, writing, and analyzing texts—congrats on choosing to major in English! An English degree builds skills in communication, critical thinking, research, and creativity that can be applied in diverse careers beyond the obvious paths like teaching or editing.
While those traditional roles are great options, don’t limit your outlook. Your versatile capabilities can thrive in fields you may not have considered.
Let’s dig into five surprising careers perfect for English majors, plus insights on leveraging your degree, writing a standout resume, acing interviews, and more!
Key Takeaways for English Majors
- Leverage versatile skills in communication, creativity, analysis, and problem-solving that transfer across fields.
- Research industries and tailor resumes and interviews to emphasize transferable abilities vs. purely literary concepts.
- Demonstrate a passion for new career paths by articulating how your competencies apply.
- Highlight technical aptitude gained through digital humanities coursework.
- Emphasize leadership, collaboration, project management, and business exposure from campus activities and classes.
- Apply early and often to build experience, even if roles don’t perfectly match your background.
- Articulate the value of your English degree’s critical thinking foundation.
Why English Majors Have an Edge
As an English major, you gain a unique set of abilities that make you a strong candidate across industries.
Excellent Communication Skills
Intensive reading, discussion, and writing practice hone your communication talents. You learn to articulate complex ideas clearly and tailor language for different audiences. These skills allow you to connect with coworkers and clients.
Superb Analytical Abilities
Analyzing literature develops critical thinking as you investigate meanings and patterns. This trains you to research thoroughly, evaluate information, and make reasoned arguments—vital skills for solving workplace problems.
Creativity and Storytelling
Crafting narratives and exploring new perspectives fosters imagination. You can apply inventive thinking to develop content, pitch proposals, or address challenges. Your custom writing assignments also showcase your ability to craft stories tailored to specific needs.
Research and Writing Expertise
Extensive projects teach exhaustive research using primary and secondary sources. You also refine your writing through drafting, editing, and proofreading. This enables you to produce high-quality content.
English coursework emphasizes group discussions, allowing you to cooperate respectfully with peers. This collaborative spirit transfers to building relationships at work.
Time Management and Perseverance
Juggling reading, papers, and projects builds tremendous time management and perseverance. You develop grit to succeed under pressure.
With this stellar skillset, English majors can flourish in diverse roles beyond the humanities. Your degree showcases your capabilities, making you an asset.
Now, let’s explore five fascinating careers where English majors can put their talents to use!
Surprising Career #1: Digital Content Manager
Do you love creating compelling stories and connecting with audiences? As a digital content manager, you’ll develop engaging online content for brands.
What Does a Digital Content Manager Do?
Digital content managers oversee content strategy for a company’s online platforms, including their website, blogs, social media, etc.
Typical responsibilities include:
- Developing an editorial calendar to plan content topics
- Leading content production across mediums like articles, images, videos, and interactive media
- Managing a team of writers, editors, designers, videographers, and other content creators
- Optimizing content for search engine visibility
- Analyzing metrics to determine what resonates with audiences
- Collaborating with stakeholders like marketing, PR, and product teams
The goal is to produce high-quality, on-brand content that attracts and retains users. This content can range from blog posts and web copy to social media and visuals.
Why English Majors are the Perfect Candidates to Become Content Managers
With training in communication, creativity, and storytelling, English majors have the perfect foundation for this role. Specific assets include:
- Writing expertise to craft compelling content across formats
- Editing skills for polish and consistency
- Audience analysis to tailor tone and messaging
- Creativity to develop novel ideas and narratives
- Project management, from juggling coursework to coordinating production
- Collaboration thanks to group work translating into facilitating teamwork
English majors also pick up enough technical know-how from digital humanities coursework to execute and optimize digital content. Your skills make you shine managing the online presence of brands, nonprofits, agencies, and more.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers are projected to grow 6 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than average. Leverage your English degree to launch this engaging career!
Surprising Career #2: Technical Writer
Do you love unraveling complex topics and explaining them clearly? Technical writing allows you to use those talents.
What Does a Technical Writer Do?
Technical writers produce instructional materials to explain technical processes, products, or services. These can include:
- User manuals
- Software documentation
- Engineering specifications
- Tutorials and how-to guides
- Project readouts
- Proposals and reports
The goal is to make complex technical information easy to understand and use for end users.
Technical writers must research to grasp unfamiliar subjects quickly. They then employ excellent communication skills to translate that knowledge for broad audiences.
Why English Majors are Great Candidates to Become Technical Writers
The research, writing, and analytical abilities honed as an English major are essential for technical writing. Key transferable skills include:
- Research expertise from extensive academic projects
- Communication skills to elucidate complex details
- Audience analysis to tailor writing for readers’ needs
- Editing chops for concise, polished deliverables
- Information synthesis distilling data into digestible formats
- Collaborative abilities to work with subject matter experts
English majors also have enough technical interest from digital coursework to tackle software, engineering, scientific, and other technical topics. Your skills make you a standout candidate for this fast-growing field.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 7% growth for technical writer jobs from 2022 to 2032—much faster than average. Seize this opportunity to apply your English talents!
Surprising Career #3: Grant Writer
Do you love research and persuasive writing? Those passions make you ideal for grant writing!
What Does a Grant Writer Do?
Grant writers secure funding for organizations through persuasive proposals to:
- Government agencies
- Nonprofit organizations
They research prospects, build relationships, and craft customized grant applications showcasing how projects align with funders’ interests.
Grant writers must demonstrate excellent writing with supporting facts. They also follow up on results and reporting requirements if a grant is received.
Why English Majors are Ideal Candidates in Grant Writing
With their stellar writing chops and research skills, English majors have the perfect toolkit for grant writing. Key assets include:
- Persuasive writing abilities to make a compelling case
- Creativity to develop engaging narratives and concepts
- Research expertise to gather background on prospects
- Relationship building to connect with funders
- Information synthesis to shape details into proposals
- Time management to juggle applications and deadlines
English majors also gain enough exposure to community initiatives and causes through service projects for subject matter knowledge. Your skills make you ideal to win funding for organizations making a difference!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grant writing jobs are projected to grow 19% over the next ten years—much faster than average. Seize this dynamic opportunity!
Surprising Career #4: Human Resources Specialist
Do you love working with people? Apply your communication talents to human resources!
What Does a Human Resources (HR) Specialist Do?
HR specialists handle various aspects of the employee experience, including:
- Recruiting and onboarding
- Training and development
- Payroll and benefits
- Performance management
- Employee relations and engagement
This requires expertise in communication, compliance, negotiation, and relationship management. The goal is to foster a positive workplace culture.
Why English Majors are Ideal Candidates in HR?
English majors gain stellar interpersonal skills analyzing literature about human dynamics. Other assets include:
- Communication expertise for connecting with staff
- Writing skills for job postings, handbooks, and other HR documents
- Creativity for engagement initiatives and training approaches
- Critical thinking to address workplace issues
- Research abilities to stay current on HR trends and compliance
- Ethics knowledge to promote inclusivity and diversity
Your nuanced understanding of relationships from studying narratives and characters makes you stand out in HR roles. English majors have what it takes to support employees!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for HR specialists are projected to grow 7% over the next decade—faster than average job growth. Capitalize on this opportunity!
Surprising Career #5: Management Analyst
Do you love solving problems through analysis and new ideas? Management consulting leverages those strengths.
What Does a Management Analyst Do?
Management analysts work internally at companies or as external consultants to improve organizational performance. Key activities include:
- Assessing operations, structures, processes, and methods
- Identifying issues or inefficiencies
- Performing cost-benefit analyses
- Developing solutions and recommendations
- Collaborating with leadership on change management
This requires research, analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills. The goal is to optimize operations.
Why English Majors are Awesome Candidates to Become Management Analysts
With nimble problem-solving abilities and articulate communication, English majors have vital assets for this field. Advantages include:
- Analytical skills honed through literary study
- Innovative thinking and creativity
- Research expertise from extensive academic projects
- Communication talents to explain recommendations
- Persuasive abilities to gain buy-in for solutions
- Collaborative nature to work across the organization
English majors gain enough business exposure through required coursework to understand the context. Your degree showcases your intellectual talent as an asset for management consulting firms or corporate strategy teams!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management analyst jobs are projected to grow 14% over the next decade—much faster than average. Capitalize on the demand for thinkers who can guide organizations forward.
How to Leverage Your English Degree
By now, it’s clear English majors have versatile skills for surprise careers. Here are tips to leverage your degree while job searching:
Highlight Transferable Skills
Your core competencies like communication, analysis, creativity, and relationship building are assets across fields. Emphasize these on your resume and in interviews instead of purely literary concepts.
Show Critical Thinking
Discuss how analyzing literature honed problem-solving, research, logic, and cognitive flexibility. These demonstrate intellectual rigor.
Prove Technical Potential
Even if you don’t have direct experience, highlight technical coursework or online learning. This proves you can tackle the required technical knowledge.
Express Business Acumen
Business, marketing, and other supplemental courses build commercial awareness. Discuss insights from these classes.
Project management, fundraising, or mentoring for student organizations provide examples of people and project leadership skills.
Apply Early and Often
Don’t wait for the perfect posting. Leverage English skills to apply for roles in promising fields regularly to build experience.
With strategic positioning, you can open doors to exciting new career paths!
Crafting Your Resume
How do you translate an English degree into a compelling resume? Follow these tips:
- Optimize With Keywords
Incorporate keywords from the job post throughout your resume to get past applicant tracking systems.
- Summarize Succinctly
Your resume summary (or profile) is a real asset. Use 3-4 concise, powerful sentences highlighting your value. Quantify achievements when possible.
- Focus on Transferable Skills
Emphasize versatile abilities over literary concepts in your skills section. Curate it based on each role.
- Structure With Relevance
Organize resume content in order of relevance to the target employer. Put vital info higher up.
- Add Optional Sections
Consider sections like “Projects” or “Technical Skills” to highlight valuable experiences or knowledge.
- Trim Irrelevant Details
Keep details tied directly to the target job. Cut unrelated clutter about hobbies or old jobs.
- Cite Specific Examples
Back up-skill claims with real examples of application, quantification, and results.
With a focused, well-structured resume, you can impress employers in any industry as a highly skilled English major.
Acing the Interview
Interviews allow you to make a personal case for how your English degree prepares you. Master these tips:
- Practice Articulating Skills
Plan concise explanations for how your competencies apply. Prepare stories of using top skills.
- Brush Up on Role Knowledge
Research the role, company, industry, challenges, and vocabulary to show interest.
- Prepare Questions
Smart questions show your curiosity. Ask about growth opportunities, training, culture, or challenges.
- Highlight Cultural Fit
Discuss how you embody company values like collaboration or innovation. Give examples.
- Show Passion
Share why you’re truly excited about this career path and company. Enthusiasm is contagious!
- Watch Your Verbal and Nonverbal Cues
Mind your tone, pace, posture, and mannerisms to show project confidence and interest.
With preparation and practice, you can confidently convey the well-rounded talents your English degree brings to any role or company! Your English major equips you with the skill and grit to land fulfilling roles across diverse industries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have questions about leveraging your English degree? Here are answers to common queries:
What types of entry-level jobs should I target with an English major?
Great options include content coordinators, technical writers, HR assistants, project coordinators, account associates, and research assistants. Look for roles emphasizing communication, writing, analytics, and problem-solving.
How can I gain more transferable skills as an English major?
Develop technical abilities through digital humanities coursework. Build leadership and collaboration competencies via student organizations. Take electives in business, marketing, psychology, or design for versatile perspectives.
Should I do internships outside of the humanities?
Absolutely! Seek diverse internships in fields like marketing, PR, HR, analytics, or IT. This expands your experience for full-time roles.
What types of master’s degrees help English majors shift careers?
Degrees in technical communication, HR management, business analytics, public policy, marketing, and IT can open new doors along with MBAs. Choose programs with internships.
How can I assure employers my English major provides business value?
Discuss analytical rigor, critical thinking, creativity, communication, and problem-solving. Share business coursework, activities demonstrating leadership, or projects with measurable results. Highlight adaptability.
Should I minimize my English major on my resume?
No! Feature it proudly while emphasizing transferable abilities gained. It showcases your communication talents, work ethic, and intellect.
How can I stand out compared to other English majors?
Cite measurable achievements and results. Share proactive learning outside courses, like online certifications, industry-related books, or publications. Discuss diverse campus leadership. Convey unique personality and passion.
What types of English assignments best showcase my skills?
Point to research papers demonstrating your information synthesis abilities. Highlight creative writing as imagination and storytelling. Share team presentations proving collaboration talents.