After four years of pretending to understand the meaning of Moby Dick, you’ve successfully got your English degree! Congratulations! O captain! My captain! Now comes the really hard part: finding out what you want to do with the rest of your life.
Just because there’s a cliche that English graduates always become teachers doesn’t mean you have to follow that path. If you think pursuing a career in education will make you unhappy, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of awesome jobs you can do! When it comes to assessing what you gained from your undergrad experience, it’s important to view things abstractly. It’s not about what you read or wrote, it’s about what you learned to do.
As an English major, you didn’t just read a bunch of books, plays, and haikus, you studied the meanings hidden behind these texts and how to articulate your thoughts. All those late nights in the library cranking out essays has probably made you a fantastic writer with top-notch critical thinking skills. It’s now up to you to find a job that will put these useful skills to work!
So, what can you do with your degree if you don’t want to be a teacher?
1. Freelance Writer
As a freelance writer, you can write about a wide-range of topics, spanning from pop culture to politics to technology. Do you have an insightful opinion about Kylie Jenner’s makeup business? Blog about it! Who knows? If you work hard enough, maybe you will end up writing for the best blog of all time!
It’s no surprise that a large number of English graduates turn to law school after graduation Honing in on critical thinking and reading between the lines is exactly what you need for a successful law career I mean, with Elle Woods as inspiration, who wouldn’t want to be a lawyer? Just be prepared for obscure family members to come out of the woodwork asking for “legal advice”!
Have you ever watched The Matrix? Do you ever dream of creating an elaborate computer simulation for your friends and family? I have the perfect job for you! Surprisingly, coding actually involves a lot of skills you learned in your English classes like analysis, creative thinking and editing. A number of English graduates go into the software engineering world.
Four years of reading and writing essays have given you impeccable communication skills! There are a plethora of marketing jobs in which being a great verbal communicator is incredibly useful. For example, as a copywriter, your knowledge of writing clearly and concisely could be critical to your success. You can also become a brand manager and advise companies on their mission statements. Not only do they pay well, marketing jobs are fantastic for creative people who are seeking a consistent way to practice their talents.