Resources and Ideas

  • Teaching
    • Teaching and research on the college level
    • Secondary schools
    • Primary schools
    • Adult education
    • English to Speakers of Other Languages
    • Teaching English and/or English and American literature abroad
  • Medicine – both writing and interpersonal skills are useful
  • Journalism and the media
  • Publishing
    • Commercial publishing houses (magazine and book)
    • Scholarly publishing houses sometimes connected with universities
    • Trade journals either published within single companies or commercially
    • Web publishing
  • Technical or Business Writing
  • The Arts
    • Performing arts management
    • Museum administration
  • Fundraising – requires written proposals, grant writing
  • Administration – in colleges and schools
  • Libraries
  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Human resources
  • Non-profit organizations – charities, social reform organizations
  • US Government (must take civil service exam)
  • Social work – counseling, drug rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, family planning, and crisis centers
  • Sales
  • Retail
  • Banking
  • Business/finance
  • Insurance companies
  • Service industries – hotel, motel, food management
  • Writing
    • Conceiving a topic
    • Developing it
    • Organizing it
    • Expressing it
    • Persuading an audience
  • Research Experience – gathering data
  • Ability to analyze information – analytic thinking, reasoning
  • Articulate speech – the ability to communicate well orally to individuals and to groups
  • Judgment, wisdom, values gleaned from reading books
  • Knowledge of human nature and behavior
  • The ability to work with people
  • Knowledge of yourself
    • Personal enrichment that makes you a more interesting person also makes you better able to work with both competitors and colleagues
    • Understanding yourself makes you happier with yourself and better able to function in the world
  • Organizational skills
  • Historical perspective
  • Imagination
  • Editing skills
  • Translating jargon into succinct prose
  • Discriminating levels and classes of language for advertising, public relations, speechwriting, etc.

Once you have begun to recognize your skills and abilities, and your personal desires, the next step is to explore the range of possibilities that exists. Here, your research abilities will serve you well. The University Advising and Career Center has resources for you to explore, including the Career Mentor Network, which is comprised of alumni and parents who would be happy to speak with you about their careers. The Dimond Library is also a good place to explore. Our reference librarians are very helpful and can point you in the right direction. You could visit the human resource offices of companies or institutions which interest you. Finally, talking to people — relatives, friends, friends of friends, teachers — is one of the best ways of discovering useful and enjoyable ways of making a living.

Here is a sampling of books that are available from retailers that may also be useful:

  • Great Jobs for English Majors, 3rd ed., by Julie DeGalan and Stephen Lambert, McGraw-Hill, 2006
  • I'm an English Major Now What?, by Tim Lemire, Writers Digest Books, 2006
  • What Can You Do with a Major in English: Real people. Real jobs. Real rewards., by Shelley O'Hara, Cliffs Notes, 2005
  • Careers for Writers & Others Who Have a Way with Words, by Robert Bly, e-book edition, 2003
  • Careers in Publishing, by Blythe Camenson, e-book edition, 2002
  • Careers in Writing, by Blythe Camenson, e-book edition, 2001
  • Career Opportunities for Writers, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Janet Frick, 2000
  • Great Jobs for English Majors, by Julie DeGalan and Stephen Lambert , 2000
  • Jobs for English majors and other smart people, by John L Munschauer, 1986