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What to do With an English Degree Besides Teach: 7 Unconventional Suggestions

Erin Duchesne

If you’re wondering what to do with an English degree besides teach, then keep reading because we have seven career path suggestions (and sub-suggestions) you may not have considered yet!


So you’ve just graduated university with a degree in English.

First of all, congratulations!

But now you may be facing the inevitable dilemma of figuring out what to do next.

You may be asking yourself, what can I do with an English degree besides teach?

Whether you’ve decided that teaching isn’t for you or it was never in your plan—have no fear! There are plenty of things you can do with an English degree besides teaching.

Benefits and Strengths of an English Degree 

As an English major, you have undoubtedly become used to fielding questions and comments like “what are you going to do with your degree?” and “there are no high paying jobs for English majors.”

What these people don’t realize is that having an English degree doesn’t just mean you know your way around Shakespeare. More importantly, it means you’re a master of communication, critical thinking, and creativity. 

These are sought-after skills in the job market and it’s now your responsibility to put these skills to good use!

You have the skills to market yourself effectively and demonstrate to potential employers or clients that your English degree is your greatest superpower.

If you're wondering what to do with an English degree besides teach, then keep reading because we have seven career path suggestions (and sub-suggestions) you may not have considered yet!

What Can I Do With An English Degree Besides Teach? 

So you’re not interested in teaching.

No problem! There are lots of different jobs you can do with an English degree.

Whether you’re looking for something remote, low stress, high paying or entry level jobs for English majors, you can certainly find your perfect match.

Let’s go job shopping!

Traditional Jobs for English Majors (Besides Teaching)

Marketing and Advertising Copywriter

There are many options for high paying jobs for English majors in the marketing and advertising industry. One that you may want to consider is becoming a copywriter.

As a copywriter, you get to put your English degree to good use by crafting compelling and persuasive written content to engage target audiences. Good copy is stirs up emotions and ultimately steers audiences toward taking desired actions, such as making a purchase, signing up for an email list, or engaging with a brand.

Publisher

If you’re a bookworm, you might want to look at jobs in the publishing industry.

As a publisher, you play a pivotal role in bringing written works to the masses. Some of the duties of a publisher are to acquire and review manuscripts, negotiate contracts, oversee editing, design, and production, as well as marketing and distribution.

If you like to see a project from start to finish then publishing could be just what you are looking for. 

Securing a job in publishing may take persistence and networking. To get your foot in the door, some other job titles to look for are: editorial assistant, production assistant, marketing assistant, and literary agency assistant

Editor

Do you have a keen eye for detail and a mastery of grammar and conventions? Perhaps you don’t want to wear as many hats as a publisher but still want to be involved in publishing. Editing could be just what you are looking for.

Editors work in book publishing as well as in industries such as journalism, magazines, digital media, advertising, and more. 

An editor is not simply there to proofread for spelling errors—there are so many fine details that an editor looks for to make sure each piece is perfect before publication.

Depending on the type of editor, they could look at spelling, punctuation, grammar, formatting, structure, tone, or tense. Editors also assess the overall consistency and quality of a piece, fact-check information and citations for accuracy, and make sure the piece aligns with their publication’s style guide.

Editors work collaboratively with authors throughout the editing process using good communication skills to give constructive feedback to arrive at the optimal finished product. 

Writer

If you love writing you may want to consider a career as a writer!

There are plenty of entry level jobs for English majors for different types of writing across many different industries. Here are a few suggestions to get the wheels turning. 

  • Content writer: Specializes in web content such as articles and blog posts 
  • Copywriter: Creates catchy taglines, product descriptions, and engaging audiences to take action
  • Technical writer: Ability to make complex and technical information accessible for instruction and user manuals
  • Grant writer: Prepares proposals to secure funding by articulating the goals and impact of a project
  • Journalist: Researches and conducts interviews to write articles for newspapers, magazines and news outlets
  • Textbook or curriculum writer: Writes educational content that is accurate, aligned with curriculum standards and facilitates learning 
  • Speechwriter: Crafts compelling speeches for politicians, public figures and executives 
  • Ghostwriter: Writes novels, articles or other content on someone else’s behalf

Corporate Trainer

A low stress jobs for English majors that is often overlooked is corporate training. Being able to communicate complex ideas effectively is the perfect skill for learning and development jobs. 

Maybe you enjoy teaching others but a traditional classroom setting is not for you. Corporate training allows you to design and deliver training programs within an organization. The role of a corporate trainer is to provide professional development by delivering information to enhance the knowledge and skills of employees and ultimately improve performance. 

Non-Traditional Jobs for English Majors

Freelance Writer

If you love writing and have good self-discipline but you don’t want a traditional job then freelance writing might be perfect for you!

As a freelance writer, you determine your specific niche based on your skills, your interests, and the market needs. You use your networking skills to find clients who are willing to pay for your expertise without the overhead of being an employee or having a hierarchal corporate structure.

Freelance writing is one of the best remote jobs for English majors because it allows the freedom to choose clients and projects that appeal to you, set your own schedule, and work from anywhere.

Becoming an in-demand freelancer can take a lot of trial and error, perseverance, and hard work—especially starting out. But by being consistent and producing excellent work, you can scale your business and attract high-paying clients. 

Social Media Manager

If you already use and love social media, why not make a career of it? Social media management may be relatively new and non-traditional, but it’s definitely a real job!

Social media is now one of the main ways that celebrities, influencers, businesses, and organizations interact with their audience and it can be a driver for engagement and sales.

This means that there is a big need for people to manage these accounts by creating captivating copy, staying on top of trends, maintaining consistent branding, and engaging with followers. 

Companies with in-house marketing employ social media managers, but small businesses often don’t have someone dedicated to it yet.

Freelance social media management is another route for people who want more flexibility and control over their schedule, clients, and earning potential.

I hope this has shown you that there are many options when you ask “what can I do with an English degree besides teach?”

Your specialization presents many opportunities for those willing to look for them. By leveraging your unique mastery of language, communication, critical thinking, and creativity you will prove to be an asset in whatever industry and job you choose.

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