What to Do with an English Degree: Top 10 Promising Career Prospects

Everyone wants to know what to do with an English degree, and you’ve probably been asked many times. It’s not your imagination—English degrees are growing in demand.

Trusted by employers for their versatility and ability to communicate clearly, English majors can find fulfilling careers in just about any industry. 

Depending on the job, English majors apply their writing skills differently depending on their area of employment, from business to law, marketing to medical writing.

So, do you have a degree in English and don’t know what to do with it? You’re not alone.

This article will discuss some of the most common options for graduates with a degree in English who have no idea where to go.

1. Become a public relations specialist 

English majors find many career options in today’s competitive job market. An English degree is perfect if you are interested in a career as a public relations specialist.

The job of a PR specialist is to create positive publicity for their employer and reduce any negative press that could arise. 

The best way to do this is to be creative, thoughtful, and strategic in communicating with people. A good public relations specialist has a broad knowledge of people and the ability to communicate effectively.

Politicians, entertainers, and executives who need to get their names out in front of the public may employ public relations strategies.

Public relations specialists can also help individuals improve their public image by organizing interviews with journalists or talks with marketing managers. PR specialists can make about $62,000 to $85,000 per year.

2. Consider becoming a digital copywriter

If you have an English degree, many careers can use your skills. One of these is as a digital copywriter. A digital copywriter works for a company that creates websites and other online media content. 

These jobs are in demand and pay well. A digital copywriter is responsible for crafting words in advertisements, websites, and other digital media. 

Because of the global effect of digital media, this job needs someone who can quickly adapt to changing trends. The ideal candidate for this position has excellent communication skills, can research topics quickly and easily, and has an eye for detail. 

These include spelling, grammar, and tone consistency throughout various platforms.

If you’re strong at writing in English, you’ll be able to transfer those skills to another industry effortlessly. In the United States, a digital copywriter’s average annual salary ranges from $56,000 to $70,000.

3. Teach English as a foreign language 

Teaching English as a foreign language, or TEFL, is a great way to use your skills while traveling abroad.

If you have an English degree, you can teach English in a foreign country as part of a volunteer program or as a paid professional. If you are interested in teaching abroad, use your degree and experience.

Furthermore, teaching English overseas is a great way to experience foreign cultures, earn money, and travel the world.

Teaching abroad isn’t just for college-educated teachers; you don’t need a degree to teach English in Korea, China, or Africa. 

Some programs require you only to be fluent in English and conversational in the target language. Nonetheless, having an associate’s degree can make you more competitive in the job market.

Your degree in English will give you an advantage over other teachers for this job. In high-paying countries, teachers might make anything from $2,000 to $5,000 per month.

4. Become a lexicographer

If you have a degree in English, you may be surprised to learn that several jobs are available for individuals with this knowledge base. Consider becoming a lexicographer.

A lexicographer is an individual who compiles dictionaries for large organizations or corporations or is an encyclopedia editor. 

You may also become a translator, software developer, or even a reporter with your demonstrated ability to interpret and communicate effectively.

Plus, most dictionaries are user-friendly, making them ideal for English majors who want to put their education to exciting use.

To ensure the quality of dictionaries, lexicographers need to be fluent in both written and spoken languages and highly attentive to detail.

If you have an English degree and enjoy editing, this job could be right up your alley. The average yearly salary for a lexicographer is $57,000.

Location, company, and experience all influence the salary. More experience or education, such as a master’s degree, may also result in a higher salary.

5. Consider a career as a magazine journalist

You know how to write compelling prose. You may be able to spin words into gold or make a mundane subject interesting.

Furthermore, you can research and analyze your way around almost any topic and probably write a terrific thesis. 

What could be better than being paid for doing what you love? An English degree can put you on the path to writing for some of the world’s best-known magazines without having to master the latest type of story-mapping software.

The average salary for an entry-level journalist is about $36,000 per year, but this can vary widely depending on where you work and how much education you have.

For example, entry-level reporters working at daily newspapers can make an average annual salary of $35,800. Those working at weekly newspapers can make an average annual salary of $35,700. 

6. Become a private tutor

If you didn’t know, English majors are extremely valuable in the real world. You can use your grammar and English literature knowledge to become a tutor.

Tutoring is a flexible job that allows you to work at home and make money while helping people learn. 

This career option is well suited for those who enjoy teaching others and helping them grow.

Begin by contacting local tutoring agencies, which will advertise your services to families in your community. After that, all that is left is to sit back and wait for the orders to roll in.

The 25th percentile of private tutors earns about $35,000 per year or about $17 per hour. Furthermore, the top earners make about $62,000 per year or about $30 per hour. 

7. Become a librarian

When it comes to job prospects, there’s no need to panic. There are plenty of options for English majors, including working in publishing and journalism or pursuing a graduate degree in creative writing or English literature.

Another viable option is transitioning into a career as a librarian. If you find yourself enjoying research and reading, consider a career as a librarian.

Many library jobs are available and do not necessarily require a degree in English. It may not be the most exciting job, but it’s safe and secure.

Those who major in English may be able to transition into other library positions like technical services or acquisitions.

Librarians make about $59,000 a year. Also, university librarians often make a higher income of about $65,000 per year.

8. Become a college professor 

How about becoming a college professor if you can’t think of another way to use your English degree?

This job allows you to use the knowledge and communication skills you gained in school to help others learn. College professors make up one of the largest areas of employment for English majors. 

A career in academia will allow you to apply the English degree uniquely. As a college professor, you’ll likely teach courses on language mechanics or literature in one or more specific areas, such as writing or poetry.

If you’re looking for a career that combines your love of learning with the ability to help others, becoming a professor may be just the right choice. 

The overall job outlook for professors is good. People who have studied English as an undergraduate degree may pursue advanced degrees in education and become high school or college teachers.

Further, teachers at all levels, from preschool to college, need people who have studied the language and can introduce it to learners. 

According to salary.com, English college professors’ salaries range from about $77,000 to $154,000, with an average base income of $95,000.

9. Become a web content manager

Web content managers are responsible for the content on websites. They are tasked with updating and troubleshooting these sites and managing the information they contain.

If you’re interested in writing, editing, or site management and have an English degree, this might be a good option.

If you’re a writer, check out one of the many online, part-time web content positions available. The best advice you may ever get is to “Just write.”

If you enjoy writing and have an English degree, it may be worth putting some of your writing online. To start small, try becoming a guest blogger on blogs or websites related to your field of interest or expertise.

In the United States, the national average income for a web content manager is between $70,000 and $95,000 per year. Of course, the salary may vary depending on the niche and other factors.

10. Consider freelance writing or editing 

If you have an English degree and want to enter the job market with a fresh start, consider freelance writing or editing.

You can set your hours, work from home, and be your boss. This career path will take time and effort, but it can be rewarding if you enjoy writing.

Freelance writing lets you earn a living from your craft—not just make some pocket money on the side.

To succeed, though, you need to be smart about what market you’re targeting, have a good network in place, and be able to meet deadlines.

A general rule of thumb is to charge around $15 per hour for your services. Despite this, you will find clients who want to pay less than that or more than $15 an hour.

Once you get more practice writing and editing, you’ll be able to more accurately estimate how much money you can make.

FAQs

Is an English language degree worth it?

Yes. An English degree is worth much more than just something to put on your resume. It gives you the foundation for pursuing any graduate degree you want. And it can even help you get a job.

Is it hard to get a job with an English degree?

An English degree is one of the most versatile degrees that a person can hold. If you use your degree correctly, your English degree can open doors for you at top companies, law firms, and media outlets.

How will an English degree help your career?

English degrees allow you to understand and communicate several ideas and concepts while also growing your analytical skills.

You will also gain skills to write clearly and persuasively, think critically, analyze complex texts, and revise to meet specific goals.

Final Thoughts 

To sum up: if you have an English degree or are thinking about getting one, don’t panic. You’ll be fine. Your degree will teach you how to write well, research, and think critically.

Beyond your major requirements, there are plenty of opportunities to learn new skills on your own or through classes outside the English department. 

Pick up a minor in something you’re interested in and expand yourself. Show employers that you aren’t just another good writer—show them that you can take a knowledge base and apply it to another area with just as much success.

The simple truth is that English majors are in demand and will have many options. Though there’s no guaranteed road map, hopefully, this article has provided insight into what you can expect while working toward your career goals. 

It would be best if you also read more about why English appears to be difficult to learn. LMSHERO provides information on job prospects after completing a course and other degrees if you choose to pursue a different major.

For more information, see the degrees section. It will be valuable to you and a couple of your friends.

Thanks for reading.