What Can I do With a Degree in English?

The information on this page is designed to help you explore possible careers. Use the links below to navigate to different areas of the page. We recommend working with a career counselor to help you identify careers based on your skills, interests, and values.

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Resources to Generate Ideas for Careers and/or Places of Employment

Careers Reported by English Majors (Recent Graduates) on College/University Surveys

This is a list of jobs English majors have chosen; it does not represent every career possibility for English majors. This list was generated from survey data published by colleges and universities across the United States. Please be aware that internships or other career-related experience may be a prerequisite to finding professional-level employment after graduation. The University Career Center provides this list as a tool for generating ideas for exploration.

  • Account Executive for a provider of social media marketing software
  • Analyst for an investment bank
  • Assistant Editor for a digital publisher
  • Assistant Language Teacher for a cultural exchange program
  • Behavioral Therapist for a public school
  • Benefits Associate for an employee benefits company
  • Broadcast Analyst for a media research firm
  • Buyer for a software development-related nonprofit
  • Campaign/Site Coordinator for AmeriCorps
  • Career Specialist for a school/community partnership
  • Client Services Associate for a communications firm
  • Copy Editor/Designer for a daily newspaper
  • Corporate Marketing Coordinator for a high-tech company
  • Courseware Developer for a computing technology company
  • Curriculum Assistant for an art academy
  • Desk Assistant for a news bureau
  • Editorial Assistant for a publisher
  • Educational Coordinator for a theater company
  • English Teacher for a Japan-based language instruction company
  • English Teaching Assistant for the French Ministry of Education
  • Human Capital Analyst for a consulting firm
  • Individual Gifts Coordinator for an art museum
  • Investment Banking Analyst for an investment banking & securities firm
  • Junior Therapist for an autism treatment center
  • Legal Assistant for a law firm
  • Legislative Aide for a state assembly
  • Marketing Writer for a technical company
  • Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist for a nonprofit serving people with chronic mental illness
  • Policy & Procedure Writer for an apparel company
  • Product Development Coordinator for a sustainable pet products company
  • Production Assistant for a publisher
  • Program Manager for a foundation promoting literacy
  • Project Assistant for a law firm
  • Project Manager for a manufacturer of architectural products
  • Public Relations Associate for a provider of internet-related products
  • Publicity and Promotion Assistant for a publisher
  • Quality Assurance Tester for a video game company
  • Recruiting Coordinator for a provider of internet-related products
  • Reporter for a newspaper
  • Research Analyst for a global consulting firm
  • Research Analyst for an opposition research consulting firm
  • Research Specialist for a neuroscience research institute
  • Research Support Assistant for a literacy nonprofit
  • Residence Director for a university
  • Teacher for a national education nonprofit
  • Technical Writer for a technical documentation company
  • Textbook Manager for a college bookstore management company
  • Tutor for an anti-poverty nonprofit
  • Victim Advocate for a nonprofit
  • Writer for an digital marketing company

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Careers Reported by English Majors on the American Community Survey

The following list of job titles was generated from American Community Survey data. Every year, the federal government surveys over 3,000,000 people. This list shows some of the most-often reported careers for people who majored in English. University Career Center provides this list as a tool for generating ideas for exploration.

  • Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  • Postsecondary Teachers
  • Lawyers, and Judges, Magistrates, and Other Judicial Workers
  • Secondary School Teachers
  • Editors
  • Marketing and Sales Managers
  • Web Developers
  • Writers and Authors
  • Chief Executives and Legislators
  • Management Analysts
  • Education Administrators
  • Financial Managers
  • Librarians
  • Designers
  • Technical Writers
  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Registered Nurses
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Computer Systems Analysts
  • Social Workers
  • Human Resources Workers
  • Clergy
  • Counselors
  • Fundraisers
  • Social and Community Service Managers
  • Computer Programmers
  • Medical and Health Services Managers
  • Software Developers, Applications and Systems Software
  • Personal Financial Advisors
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
  • Psychologists
  • Public Relations Specialists
  • Purchasing Managers
  • News Analysts, Reporters and Correspondents
  • Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
  • Directors, Religious Activities and Education
  • Producers and Directors
  • Database Administrators
  • Community Health Workers
  • Police Officers
  • Training and Development Specialists
  • Archivists, Curators, and Museum Technicians
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Budget Analysts
  • Optometrists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Financial Analysts
  • Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
  • Physical Therapists
  • Advertising and Promotions Managers
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Photographers
  • Training and Development Managers
  • Urban and Regional Planners
  • Computer Network Architects
  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
  • Veterinarians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse Midwives

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List of Employers and Job Titles Generated from Job Postings in PSU Handshake for English Majors

English majors may find employment in a variety of areas depending on their skills and experience. Some English graduates choose to work in writing-related fields including journalism, technical writing, publishing, public relations, and advertising as well as nonwriting-related careers. Career-related internships or part-time jobs are often a prerequisite to finding professional-level employment after graduation in these and other fields.

The following list of employers and job titles was derived primarily from University Career Center's jobs database where the employer specifically requested English majors. This list does not reflect all potential places of employment or kinds of jobs for English majors. This list does not reflect current openings.

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Resources with Descriptions of Writing-Related Careers that may be of Interest to English Majors

English majors work in a variety of roles in every sector. There are many, many, many possibilities in addition to the ones listed here. Most (but not all) jobs on this list require writing, editing, or proofreading skills. English majors may be good at any one or all of these skills and may choose to use these skills vocationally. Likewise, English majors can choose to pursue careers where writing, editing, or proofreading skills are not required. 

English majors have many skills that are highly valued by employers. They can think critically and creatively, read and comprehend complex topics, synthesize information, and communicate well orally and in writing, English majors understand nuance and can appreciate different perspectives; they can problem solve and learn new things.

Occupational Outlook Handbook: From the US Department of Labor.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook describes careers and includes information on educational requirements, earnings, and job outlook.

O*NET (Occupational Information Network)

Includes occupational definitions.

Occupation and Wage Information from the Oregon Employment Department

Occupation Profiles includes current openings, wage ranges, employment outlook and projections.

Government Classification Specifications

Classification Specifications are generic descriptions of jobs in government agencies. Generally, they provide an overview of the job and describe essential duties and responsibilities as well as requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) and educational requirements. Salary ranges may also be included. Classification specifications can be useful in identifying organizations that hire people for roles that may be of interest to you.

English majors work in a variety of roles in every sector. Within government, there are many possibilities in addition to the ones listed here. 

City

City of Beaverton Class Specifications with salary information

City of Gresham Class Specifications with salary information

City of Portland Classification Specifications and 2018-2019 salary information by job classes

City of Tigard Job Classifications with salary information

County

Multnomah County Job Profiles/Class Specifications with salary information

Washington County Classification Specifications with salary information

Community College

Clackamas Community College Job Descriptions / classification specifications with salary data

Portland Community College Job Classifications for Academic ProfessionalClassified, and Management staff:

Regional Government

Metro Classification Specifications

State of Oregon Job Profiles

School Districts

North Clackamas School District - Administrative Job Descriptions (classification specifications)

Portland Public Schools

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Professional Associations

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