A common misconception you hear is that majoring in English won’t land you a good career and that the options are limited. But employees need English majors more than we realise, and it’s 2019 – time to break free from stereotypes. Many jobs value strong writing, speaking and critical thinking skills, and English majors, in particular, learn how to apply these skills during the course of their studies.
Here are seven of the many career paths English majors can accomplish to look out for:
Public relations specialist
Public relations practitioners need to tell compelling stories for clients in order to set them apart and capture an audience’s attention. English majors will have a refined sense for storytelling and the creativity and writing skills to convey these messages. As the main point of contact between an organisation and the public, a PR specialist connects with internal and external stakeholders on a daily basis, so if you have honed your speaking skills during your major, this might be the career path for you.
This shouldn’t be surprising as we know that earning English degrees requires intensive writing, but it also requires critical thinking and analysis to form clear arguments and communicating them. Journalists must be able to identify stories, conduct interviews, analyse facts and convey their findings into an easily digestible format. And with the always-on trend of modern journalism, the job-role is also evolving with digital skills much sought after by employers as well.
This might come as a surprise, but with the heavy amount of reading and analysis required when studying law, some English majors will be well-suited to the type of work and will be one step closer to this career. To be successful as a lawyer, you not only have to think of the best strategies to solve a difficult case but master the art of public speaking and writing. On top of distilling and translating complex information, making strong, persuasive arguments is key to winning cases. Students who graduate with an English degree should be equipped with these skills as most literature classes are discussion-based.
Content marketing manager
Content marketing managers have the challenging task of promoting a business through content and stories. Apart from being stellar writers, they need to be able to manage creative resources and find the most effective ways to use words as a promotional tool. This role requires a brand publisher mindset, and like English majors, must know their audience and strategise content that will appeal to and engage with their readers.
Technical writers, also called technical communicators, develop instruction manuals, how-to guides, and other supporting documents to communicate complex information more easily. This requires the ability to read analytically, and to take in information and reframe it so that it can be understood by others, which makes it very suited for English majors.
English majors showcase excellent communication skills, which are essential for more jobs than we realize. To close a sale, those outstanding communication and persuasion skills you learned in school will come in handy – and help you work your way up to becoming a top sales manager. Sales managers job responsibilities can include setting sales goals, analysing data, and developing training programs – which requires presenting information and communicating it easily to your team.
Human resource manager
Human resource specialists manage all aspects of HR work, including recruitment, employee relations, training and the implementation of HR policies and programs. Communication skills are essential when explaining these, sometimes sensitive policies to employees. They also need to be skillful in developing training materials for staff development and be creative on recruiting new talent which English majors critical reading and analytical skill sets would be much needed, especially when reviewing résumés and evaluating employees.