Whether you’re nearing graduation or have been in the workforce for a while, you may be wondering how to best leverage an English degree. In a world of Tweet-length messaging and automated spell check, the need for traditional writing may not seem as high as before.
Yet despite what you may have heard, a bachelor’s degree in English is useful for various entry-level positions in the working world! We have some useful advice for any lover of words, who’s wondering how an English degree can propel you into a successful career.
What Can I Do With An English Degree?
Knowing the ins-and-outs of the English language means you’ll probably be the most qualified individual in a room to edit. While spell check programs like Grammarly may catch a lot of common grammar slip ups and typos, there’s ton left for the human eye to catch. Editors can revise for readability, voice, style, and more advanced grammar that technology can’t catch.
Moreover, jobs in editing can exist across industries, not just in publishing companies. If you’re looking to gain more experience before going pro, there are several opportunities to get freelance work online. Work on a project-to-project basis or find dedicated work editing with a company like Scribbr.
Average copy editor salary: $46,700
Copywriting is another solid job for an English degree. You can easily create a profile on sites like Upwork to start getting paid to write copy freelance. To take it a step further, apply for a creative position within a company’s creative or marketing department. Do you have an eye for creativity and a knack for words? That’s all you need.
Copywriting tends to combine creative writing and advertising. It involves proofreading and editing copy, writing articles and blogs, drafting emails, and engaging in social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.
Check out these other sites with freelance copywriting and editing jobs:
Average junior copywriter salary: $53,000
Technical Writing For Businesses
Still asking what to do with an English degree? Well, have you wondered who writes the instruction manuals for products and appliances? With technology constantly evolving and the demand for consumer goods rising, technical writing offers a field where many English majors can pursue a lucrative living. Technical writers create those instructional booklets, how-to guides, and communicate complex information in a simple-to-understand way to consumers. Consider this role on the job hunt!
Average junior technical writer salary: $53,600
Public Relations (PR)
Public relations offers another excellent career opportunity for English majors. If you have a way with words and people, then put PR on your radar. A background in English or journalism will prosper in this digital-driven field. It requires research, database maintenance and excellent communication skills. PR is thought of as the strategic, marketing-based sibling of journalism. When it comes to your writing skills, PR specialists use the AP Style method to craft company newsletters, press releases and social media posts.
In addition to handling day-to-day company announcements for the public, PR can include crisis management and community management. Communication and people skills are key in this field to truly succeed. However, once you’ve dug into the field, English majors will enjoy a higher than average growth rate in coming years and lucrative salary.
Average public relations coordinator salary: $45,500
Teaching at Home or Abroad
Teaching English to K-12 students or as a second language to adults is probably one of the most well-known options for those with English degrees. While you’ll need a teaching accreditation to teach at public and some private schools, there are several other schools that don’t require official teaching credentials.
For those seeking more adventure, you can also opt to teach English abroad. Because of globalization, teaching English abroad has become increasingly popular with tons of great opportunities both short-term and permanent. If you don’t wish to relocate, you can also explore options to teach students around the world online with companies such as VIPKid or Teach Away.
Average U.S. high school English teacher salary: $48,400
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The wonderful thing about these careers is that you can continue to flex your writing muscle — and also contribute your talents to these in-demand fields. You have plenty of valuable skills to bring to the table with a bachelor’s degree in English. Forget the cliche of liberal arts majors perpetually working as baristas; your qualifications and expertise with writing can take you far.
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