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Career Paths for English Majors

Writing and Editing

  • Creative Writing
    • Books
    • Poetry
    • Plays
    • Screenplays
    • Scripts
    • Greeting Cards
    • Lyrics/Jingle Writing
  • Journalism
    • Writing/Reporting
    • Editing
  • Technical Writing
    • Science and Medical Writing
  • Freelance Writing
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Broadcast media companies including television, radio, and the movie industry
  • Trade, professional, or consumer publications
  • Internet sites
  • Large corporations
  • Government agencies including:
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of State
    • Veterans Affairs
    • National Archives and Records Admin.
  • Universities and university presses
  • Technical industries
  • Self-employed/Freelance

How to Prepare for Writing & Editing Careers

  • Select elective coursework in a particular area of interest.
  • Write for campus publications such as college newspapers, magazines, or departmental or program newsletters.
  • Volunteer to assist or tutor students in a writing center.
  • For technical writing positions obtain a concentration in technical writing. Take science and/or computer courses to gain knowledge about technical areas and trends.
  • Become familiar with the proposal writing and submission process involved in freelance writing.
  • Gain as much experience as possible through volunteer positions, internships, or part-time jobs.
  • Demonstrate patience and persistence in starting a career in creative writing.

Education Careers

  • Teaching
  • Administration
  • Student Affairs
  • Academic Advising
  • Information/Library Science
  • Non-classroom Teaching
  • Tutoring
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Public schools
  • Private schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Language institutes, local and abroad
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Private learning centers
  • Test preparation organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations involved with literacy

How to Prepare for Education Careers

  • Obtain appropriate state certification for public school teaching. Earn certifications to teach multiple subjects or age groups for increased job opportunities.
  • Earn a master's or doctorate degree for post-secondary teaching. Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations for graduate school.
  • Plan to attend graduate school in college student personnel or information science for those fields.
  • Seek volunteer experiences working with children through Big Brother/Sister programs, tutoring, summer camps, YMCA's, etc.
  • Participate in activities such as debate or literary clubs, campus publications, or student government.
  • Get involved in roles of leadership such as resident advisor, peer mentor, student adviser, etc.

Publishing Careers

  • Editing
  • Advertising
  • Sales
  • Circulation
  • Production
  • Publicity
  • Marketing
  • Promotion
  • Administration
  • Trade publishing
  • Special interest magazines
  • Trade magazines
  • Association magazines
  • Sunday newspaper supplements
  • Educational publishing
  • Religious books and magazines
  • Professional and scholarly publishing
  • University presses
  • Independent publishers
  • Alternative media publishers including:
    • E-books
    • Audiobooks

How to Prepare for Publishing Careers

  • Obtain an internship in the publishing industry.
  • Participate in a summer publishing institute.
  • Develop word processing, editing, and desktop publishing skills; build additional technical skills if working in an online environment.
  • Gain experience by writing for student publications such as the newspaper, creative writing magazines, the yearbook, etc.
  • Conduct an informational interview with or shadow a professional in the publishing industry.
  • Look for positions with local dailies and alternative weeklies in the community.
  • Volunteer to write or edit publications with local nonprofit organizations to gain experience.
  • Develop extensive grammar and language skills.
  • Be prepared to relocate to cities with a publishing presence. A large majority of opportunities exist in New York City.
  • Research the publishing industry to learn more about career ladders.

Advertising Careers

  • Creative Services
    • Copy Writing
    • Art Direction
  • Account Management
  • Media
  • Account Planning
  • Production
  • Advertising agencies
  • In-house agencies of large companies

How to Prepare for Advertising Careers

  • Demonstrate talent, persistence, assertiveness, and enthusiasm.
  • Be prepared to start in an entry-level position.
  • Obtain strong statistics background for market research positions.
  • Create a portfolio of writing showing originality and imagination for creative positions.
  • Gain knowledge of various media, contemporary tastes, and trends.
  • Obtain experience with campus newspaper, TV, or radio.
  • Participate in sales and promotions for student organizations or private businesses.
  • Complete an internship in a market research firm or advertising agency.
  • Supplement curriculum with courses in business (marketing, economics, mathematics), art, or graphic design.

Public Relations Careers

  • Account Coordination
  • Writing/Editing
  • Media Relations
  • Account Management
  • Public relations firms
  • Advertising agencies
  • In-house public relations departments
  • Trade associations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Government agencies

How to Prepare for Public Relation Careers

  • Obtain internship or other relevant work experience to break into this field. Be prepared to start at the bottom and work towards higher levels.
  • Develop strong research skills, public speaking ability, enthusiasm, and interpersonal skills.
  • Supplement curriculum with business courses.
  • Become an effective team member by working on group projects for campus organizations.
  • Volunteer to write publications for nonprofit or student organizations.

Business Careers

  • Management
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Insurance
    • Claims
    • Underwriting
  • Business organizations including banks, real estate agencies, insurance firms, and large and small corporations
  • Retailers including department, grocery, drug, specialty, variety, and book stores

How to Prepare for Business Careers

  • Obtain a business minor.
  • Gain relevant experience through part-time jobs, internships, or volunteer work.
  • Secure leadership roles in campus organizations and student professional associations.
  • Seek experience as a financial officer or treasurer of a campus organization.
  • Develop strong analytical and computer skills.

Law and Legal Careers

  • Law Assistance
  • Prosecution
  • Defense
  • Contractual
  • Corporate
  • Nonprofit or Public Interest
  • Government
  • Mediation
  • Lobbying
  • Law firms
  • Government agencies
  • State and local government
  • Corporations
  • Public interest organizations
  • Private practice
  • Colleges and universities

How to Prepare for Legal Careers

  • Participate in a debate or forensic team to hone communication skills.
  • Develop strong research skills and attention to detail.
  • Take courses in and gain experience with mediation and conflict resolution.
  • Get involved with pre-law organizations.
  • Obtain a summer or part-time job in a law firm.
  • Plan to shadow an attorney to learn more about the field and various specialties.
  • Complete special training requirements for paralegal positions.
  • Attend law school and earn a JD to become an attorney. Maintain an excellent grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations to gain law school admittance. Plan to take the LSAT.

Departmental Social Media

College of Arts & Sciences