Careers for English Majors and Minors

I fully believe the first and most important step toward becoming a good writer is to become a good reader. I went into UCA self-seeking and not terribly interested in learning or changing, all while completely unsure of who I was or what kind of human I wanted to be. And then professors like Dr. Shumaker and Dr. Schaefer, Dr. Gaughan and Dr. Fowler and Dr. Stengel, introduced me to stories and taught me how to truly read. It wasn’t merely introducing me to great writers, it was the transformative process of jolting me out of my own myopic experience and shoving me into a world and humanity that I should care about. What in God’s name could be more meaningful than that?

Graham Gordy, screen writer, producer, showrunner

Careers that stem directly from an English major are divided into three basic areas: teaching, writing, and editing and publishing.


  • Primary level

  • Secondary level

  • College level

  • Librarianship

  • Corporate training and development (e.g., teaching writing to business executives and staff members)


  • Advertising copyright

  • Television broadcasting

  • Writing user manuals for programs and computer companies, systems analyst

  • Commercial writing for:

    • newspapers

    • magazines

    • travelogues

    • political campaigns

    • book and dramatic reviews

    • radio and television scripts

    • religious and young-adult publications

    • government bulletins

    • insurance companies

    • labor journals

    • farm journals

    • science bulletins

    • management and research and development (e.g., writing reports and speeches)

  • Public relations

  • Creative writing (e.g., becoming a novelist)

  • Technical writing


  • Proofreading

  • Editor for…

    • Encyclopedias

    • Dictionaries

    • Trade publications

    • Publishing houses

    • Academic publications

  • Manuscript acquisitions

Other jobs dependent upon an ability to handle the English language effectively include:

  • Business executives and entrepreneurs

  • Curators and archivists

  • Lawyers and judges

  • Managerial consultants

  • Politicians and their staff members

  • Administrators of non-profits

  • Salespeople in various industries

  • Advertisers

  • Human-resources managers

  • Corporate and governmental employees

  • Civil-service employees

Other Resources:

The skills you learn as an English student are valuable and marketable to nearly every employer because you possess the ability to obtain new information, interpret its meaning, and respectfully communicate unique ideas gleaned from the information that can forge pathways of empathy, creativity, and — ultimately– progress. Therefore, I am confident that if I continue to graduate school to become a professor, work in a library system, pursue a publishing career, study law, become a theater-based dramaturg, or an independent author, I will be fully equipped to tackle the challenges of the career.

Darby Tanner, current graduate student