Tag Archives: English major

How could I leave this one out: Author/writer.


When becoming an English major this is the career that most people think you will go into. For some, however, it is! Writing can be a very successful career for those who are educated, talented, and have a passion for the industry!

Writers produce original written materials for books, magazines, websites and more. There are often two genres in which a writer works: fiction and non-fiction. They then use their genre in the field of authorship they choose: novels, biographies, plays, and more.

Every writer is different; one might enjoy the hectic atmosphere of a restaurant to write in, while others need a peaceful, quiet room. They can often work whatever hours they choose. When an author gets inspiration there is no time schedule to attend to (other than your deadline)!

If you enjoy writing, whether that it creatively or not, this is a great career for you. Every day you will be doing something you love. Start brainstorming for your work today!


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Technical Writing


It may seem horrific for an English major to be unable to use metaphors, descriptive language, or character development, but some people enjoy just writing the facts. Technical writing is just that: being able to describe something in a clear and concise manner.

Technical writers are employed by almost every company that needs brochures, company descriptions, and basic company materials. They essentially work to make sure that the company they are writing for maintains professional in its publications. Technical writers also gather photographs, arrange and edit materials for publishing, confer with co-workers and customers in order to successfully publish the material.

It may be surprising, but the majority of their day is spent learning and educating themselves in the topic they are writing about. If they are incorrect in any way the company is in trouble. Writing is a small portion of their duties, because they first have to find what to write about and then actually publish it, while working with many departments and people to get it done.

This is a career that can be found anywhere and any place. If writing is your thing and enjoy learning and getting information across concisely, this may be the job for you!


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The skills we acquire as English majors…


Thanks, Whitworth English!

When thinking about an English major, people usually think all we can really do is read and write. That isn’t the case, however, because in order to do these tasks successfully, it takes so many other skills.

English majors have:

“…the ability to comprehend, digest, summarize, analyze, and interpret complex discourses; secondly, it requires skills in research, bibliographic control, database management, and effective presentation and publication of reports and documents of all kinds. ” Thanks, GMU.

From my own experience, especially, I have learned how to analyze things thoroughly, whether that is a book, a concept, or an argument. It is easy to read an article or a statistic or what-have-you and believe it because you read it, or believe it is reality without looking into why someone wrote it or presented it. As an English major, you learn to look beyond what is in front of you. This is important in so many different careers. Some careers that we have discussed, like marketing and public relations, are a few examples that use these skills. If you are a marketing manager and see a statistic about how your company is making less money than your competitor, you could either think, “Well, this sucks. They must just be better than us,” or you could think as an English major would and say, “There is a reason behind this. I can fix this if I find the root of the problem.”

There is more to analyzing a text than most people think. We learn about reading between the lines not so we can see the overlaying metaphor of a Shakespearean play, but to use this skill later in life when we are working at a company, teaching, or writing.

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Salaries… important to consider!


I am a firm believer in doing what makes you happiest, no matter the kind of money (or lack thereof) you make. It is important, however, to be informed on the salaries and benefits you can receive from prospective careers.

For now, I will point out the salaries of the careers I have already written about. Of course, these vary by city, degree level, and each specific work place. Here goes!

Public Relations specialist: $53,000 on average. This incredibly when comparing it to the average, $40,000 that it was in 2004. It has steadily increased since then, so it looks like this career is prospering, to say the least!

Paralegals: $58,000 on average. There are many different options within this career which have varying salaries, like paralegal managers who can make up to $85,000, while entry-level paralegals make around $48,000. So if you work your way up, it is well worth it!

English teacher: $53,000 on average. This is with the obvious benefit of vacation time, healthcare, and much more!

Publishers: As we discussed in this post, there are many different areas within publishing, and therefore, many different salaries!

Entry-level:                                                       10+ years:

  • Editorial: $30,100                                           Editorial: $71,000
  • Sales/Marketing: $$34,000                          Sales/Marketing: $93,125
  • Management: $62,500                                   Management: $149,000
  • Operations: $40,350                                       Operations: $65,000

So, if you have the passion for publishing, it will pay off in the end… literally!

Editors: $53,000 on average. Some in New York, however, can make over $100,000!

Marketing coordinator: $50,000 on average. Benefits include, 401K, time off, disability, healthcare, pension, and social security!

Librarian: $58,000 on average (with a master’s degree). This has actually increased 2-3% since 2009! In bigger libraries like Harvard Library or New York Public Library can be over $300,000!

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Marketing… The most “math” an English major can handle

“In addition to well-developed oral and written communication skills, English majors have been noted to have a tremendous capacity for research and critical thinking” Leslie Stevenson (director at University of Richmond’s career development center)–Thanks CareerRookie.com

Marketing is another great option for English majors. Again, a useful double major is communication, as you learn skills for representing and communicating with various industries. However, as many of my fellow English majors will agree, analyzing is an unavoidable task for papers, literature, and other areas, which is inherently linked to critical thinking. Analyzing data and sales is a huge part of a marketing coordinator’s job. You must be able to think big picture while still looking at minute details, which is, essentially, an English paper!

We English majors are also extremely creative. In marketing, advertising is a key component in which they need to think outside the box and get the viewer’s attention. Creative wording, storyline, or appearance is essential.

Planning and organizing meetings and presentations are a huge part of marketing, so if you enjoy public speaking and sharing your ideas, this career may be perfect for you.

I would suggest a double major in Communications, but, in my (biased) opinion, the creativity and skills of an English major are key to being successful in marketing.

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The many options within publishing…

My previous post dealt with publishing as a career, but what many people don’t know is that there are so many different levels within a publishing company that are available.

Editorial is one of them. Within this department, the editors edit manuscripts, meet deadlines, and meet with authors. They often work a lot of overtime in order to finish reading through a manuscript and have meetings around the author’s schedules. However, if you find the right field to be an editor in, like science fiction, non fiction, or textbook information, you may be immersed in information that you love!

Not only do editors work for book publishing companies, nearly all companies require an editor, whether it is in law, science, business, and so many more. All businesses put out information that needs to be edited, whether that is in a newspaper, advertising, informational pamphlets, business handbooks, textbooks, websites, etc.

So, yes, jobs within book publishing may be limited, but if you enjoy correcting and reading other people’s work, the possibilities are endless!

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My Dream Career


With an English degree, a great career path to go into is publishing. There are an array of options like magazines, novels, textbooks, newspapers, pamphlets, advertising, etc. For me, I love to read and would love nothing more than to have a career at Scholastic Inc. If you enjoy magazines, there are countless topics and genres to choose from: architecture, fashion, gossip, science, art, and the list goes on and on. If you love sharing information through the written word, publishing could be for you!

Depending on the size of the company, publishers can copy edit, supervise the many different levels of publishing (graphic design, editing, writing, etc.), manage deadlines, meet with authors and agents, market… Basically, they are in charge. This career relies on communication, writing, reading, and leadership skills.

Publishing is popular in larger cities like New York City, Chicago, London, or San Francisco, but also can be found in smaller urban areas throughout the world. Local newspapers and magazines require a publisher, so don’t think you’ll have to pack up and move to a large city if that’s not what interests you!

The options are endless, so start looking for internships and find out if this is the career for you!

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