English Majors Develop Skills Needed in Today's World

An English major is among the most desirable courses of study for today’s college students. The reason why is because an English major is flexible, adaptable, and reliable for equipping students with advanced skills and competencies that are highly sought after in today’s world. 

The most obvious example of a desirable career competency is a command of language. In college, English majors refine their ability to use written and spoken language to communicate effectively. In a job market where employers consistently rank skill in verbal communication, both written and spoken, as the most desirable attribute in a potential candidate, students who choose the English major put themselves in a strong position to deliver what employers want and what a healthy democratic society needs: People who can

  • interpret, analyze, and synthesize complex information
  • formulate complex ideas in ways other people can understand
  • think critically about literature, media, culture, and public discourse
  • imagine creative ways to frame and solve problems
  • appreciate how literature, culture, and society are related
  • understand how narrative and symbolism give shape to social life
  • display ethical self-awareness in social interactions and contexts

What Can You Do With the English Major?

Some critics may say you can’t do anything with an English major besides teach English or write books. No one with a degree in English will say that, though. It is a perspective often based on an expectation that there needs to be a direct connection between the name of the major and the name of the future job, profession, or career. This kind of expectation illustrates a way of thinking that an English major attempts to overcome. Because every walk of life needs people with a command of language, the English major equips you for a range of creative, imaginative, and rewarding opportunities that may be more diverse than any other field of study.

Graduate School

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
    • English and Language Arts
    • Education
    • Communication Studies
    • Film, Media, and Culture Studies
    • Gender Studies

Professional School

Professional schools will require some appropriate preparation, but they love English majors:

  • Business School
  • Divinity School
  • Law School
  • Medical School

Writing, Editing, and Language Arts

  • Creative Writing (Poet, Playwright, Novelist)
  • Documentation Specialist
  • Digital Content Producer
  • Technical Writing (For Grants, Law or Medical Journals, Public Relations, Speeches)
  • Publications Research
  • Publishing (Editor, Literary Agent, Publicist, Publisher)
  • Print Journalism (Columnist, Editor, Reporter)
  • Radio and Television Journalism (Commercial Writer, Continuity Writer, Editor, Newscaster, Reporter)
  • Digital Journalism
  • Screenwriter
  • Film Producer
  • Playwright
  • Novelist
  • Documentary Production
  • Web Design and Management
  • Speechwriting
  • Movie Critic
  • Literary Agent
  • Copyediting

Business and Entrepreneurship

  • Advertising (Copywriter, Executive)
  • Corporate Communications
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Human Resources
  • Management
  • Public Relations
  • Fundraising
  • Grant Writing
  • Copyediting
  • Travel Agency
  • Quality Inspection
  • Career & Training Advisor
  • Property Management
  • Public Relations
  • Software Design and Testing
  • Technical Writing (Editor, User Documentation Writer)
  • Television and Film (Agent, Director or Producer, Publicist, Screenwriter)
  • Technical Consultation (Training Specialist)
  • Translation
  • Web Design and Management

Professional Fields

  • Paralegal
  • Judicial Clerk
  • Attorney
  • Biomedical Researcher
  • Healthcare Consultant
  • Ministry

Public & Innovative Service

  • Charity Management
  • Fundraising (For Charities, Education, Political Candidates, Social Causes)
  • Environmental Research
  • Campaign Executive
  • Issue Advocacy
  • Congressional Researcher
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Public Administration (City Manager, Urban Planner)
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Activities Director
  • Lobbyist
  • Public Office
  • Social Work


  • Teacher
  • Professor
  • Researcher
  • Journal Editor
  • College Recruiting
  • Student Life Coordinator
  • Academic Dean
  • Institutional Assessment
  • Program Director
  • High School Teacher
  • Curriculum Design
  • Educational Research
  • Education Program Specialist
  • Tutor
  • Reading Specialist
  • Library Science
  • Museum Curatorship