English majors read, discuss, and write about literature. Literary works include poetry, prose, and drama but may also be drawn from film, journalism, and television. Study focuses on the critical, historical, linguistic, and cultural contexts of these works. You also practice and learn to critically evaluate your own speaking and writing, developing your ability to express thoughts and feelings coherently.*

Sample Occupations

  • Writing
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Freelance Writer
  • Publisher
  • Technical Writer
  • Speech Writer
  • Media
  • Reporter
  • Broadcaster
  • Entertainer
  • News Producer
  • Advertising/PR
  • Account Executive
  • Advertising Salesperson
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Business
  • Marketing Representative
  • Manager
  • Sales Trainer
  • Investments Counselor
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Education
  • Teacher
  • University Professor
  • Librarian
  • Law
  • Lobbyist
  • Attorney

Types of Employers

  • Publishers
  • Broadcast Networks
  • Corporations—All Industries
  • Public & Private Schools
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Colleges & Universities
  • Test Prep Companies
  • Libraries
  • Law Firms
  • Software Publishers

Preparing for your career in

Education: Volunteer with Big Brother/Sister programs, summer camps, YMCAs, etc. to gain experience working with students, gain leadership and teaching experience, obtain appropriate state certification for public school teaching, earn a master’s or doctorate degree for postsecondary teaching

Writing: Volunteer to tutor students in a writing center, write for campus publications or departmental newsletters and develop a portfolio, become familiar with the proposal writing and submission process involved in freelance writing, demonstrate patience and persistence in starting a career in creative writing, attend writers’ workshops to learn from professionals, develop strong clerical/administrative skills as many entry-level positions in book publishing are in administrative support roles (called editorial assistants)

Advertising/Public Relations: Gain knowledge of various media, contemporary tastes and trends, demonstrate talent, persistence, assertiveness, and enthusiasm, participate in sales and promotions for campus organizations or departments, complete an internship in a marketing or advertising firm, create a portfolio showing originality and imagination for creative positions, take electives in psychology to better understand decision-making and motivation theories

Business: Get part-time work or an internship in an office or corporate setting, take electives in business, secure leadership roles in student organizations, serve as treasurer or financial officer of campus organization

How do I know if its right for me?

ASSESS: Take a career assessment, such as PathwayU, to see how your interests, values, and personality fit with majors and careers.

RESEARCH: Research the careers on this WCIDWAMI and thousands of other careers using O*Net Online, The Occupational Outlook Handbook or FirstHand.

EXPLORE: Learn more about a career field of interest by job shadowing, attending a career panel, or participating in a Career Trek. Further your exploration while gaining valuable skills by completing an internship, co-op, volunteer, or research experience.