What Can I Do With An English Major Besides Teaching?

English is a humanities major that focuses on the English language and developing communication, critical thinking, and other highly transferable skills.

Contrary to popular belief, not all English graduates end up being a teacher. An English major rewards you with the ability to read, write, and analyze a wide variety of texts.

The courses you take during your English major will help you further develop your reading, writing, critical thinking, and research skills. These skills are highly transferrable and valuable to employers in several sectors. An English degree will also give you excellent opportunities for post-graduate education.

In this article, we will go over the things that you can do with an English degree besides teaching.

1) Writer

An English degree will allow you to have excellent writing and critical thinking skills.

As a professional writer, you will be working on fictional and nonfictional texts such as novels, poetry, theater/movie scripts, biographies, articles, etc. Writing requires superb communication skills, creativity, and attention to detail.

As a full-time writer, your typical employers would be film studios, magazines, newspapers, video game developers, and the television industry.

Many writers are self-employed, which means their pay varies and is extremely unpredictable. The average writer’s income is slightly below average unless they have successfully published novels.

2) Social Media Manager

In the digital era, almost every company relies on social media for branding, communication, and marketing. Companies have profiles across many social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Graphic designers and writers are the leading employees for companies wanting to establish a digital presence. A social media manager has to promote a company or its products through online marketing strategies, communication abilities, and creativity to generate content that captivates the audience.

Appealing to customers, establishing trust, and making clients aware of the company’s vision are things someone with an English major would excel at.

Many social media managers freelance and work remotely. The early stages of establishing a digital presence for a company are hard work but once you gain some digital traction it becomes easier.

3) Paralegal

Even though being a paralegal is related to law, its prerequisites do not include complete knowledge of the law and you can become one with a few months of research.

A paralegal has to assist a lawyer through skills such as writing, communication, proofreading, deep research, analysis, and comprehension.

Paralegals effectively help present information to win a case. Lawyers are often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of cases and documents to go through. Their work needs a lot of fact-checking, planning, and summarization of documents. In short, a paralegal eases a lawyer’s burden and prepares most of the paperwork.

Paralegals must use their research and reading skills to understand legal terminologies and attain strong knowledge about the law. English majors excel at these skills which makes them perfect for pursuing a career as a paralegal.


Librarians are professionals who aid students, professors, or any inquisitive individual to conduct effective, efficient, and fruitful research.

As a librarian, you may become a specialized librarian with great knowledge in specific fields such as medical, law, government, or science. Alternatively, you may become a public or academic librarian.

English graduates tend to have good judgemental skills when it comes to good pieces of literature. They have a strong ability to identify good writers and books that others would benefit from.

A librarian makes use of their strong research abilities to cater to researchers using the internet, compiled documents, and databases. A librarian’s organization skills are put to the test when they are tasked with keeping the library’s collection of books easy to browse.

An English degree can be a great preparation to become a librarian; however, in some cases, you might need a Master’s degree in library or information science to become a true expert.

5) Journalist

With your writing, investigative skills, and your expressiveness, you can delve into the world of journalism. Journalists research real-life events and share their findings through written work.

As a journalist, you may report on multiple topics such as politics, sports, entertainment, and even criminal activities. Journalists are hired by the newspaper, magazine, social media, television, and radio industries.

There is a lot more to do in journalism than just writing. You may find yourself conducting interviews with people linked to the story, attending press conferences, interpreting news, and editing and proofreading the work of others.

Your duties may also include staying in close contact with the police, emergency services, government officials, sports representatives, and other important people to remain caught up with the latest events.

To remain competitive in an industry marked by rapid globalization and quick access to the information you must pay heed to the deadlines and get your article out before the news becomes stale. All this without compromising the quality of your work.

An English major will allow you to hone all the skills that you will need if you plan on pursuing journalism professionally.


An editor works on texts that are on their way to publication. The written material can be of any kind, which includes novels, magazines, online articles, encyclopedias, etc.

After a piece is written by the author, it is sent to an editor for proofreading. As an editor, you may or may not be specialized in the respective topic. You will go through the entire piece and use your comprehension skills and attention to detail to rid the text of any errors.

The errors can be of any kind such as grammatical, spelling, delivery, or even factual errors, which is why research is critical. An editor has complete liberty to change sentences or word choices. However, the edits have to go through the author again before publication.

As an editor, you would be expected to be proficient in writing, and knowledgeable about grammar, communication, and the topic of the written material. Having an English degree will help you become a better editor since you will have a better understanding of the nuances of the English language.

7)Human Resource Generalist

A human resource generalist works in a company’s HR department. An HR generalist is supposed to know the company’s policies through and through and should be able to effectively communicate them to the employees.

As an HR generalist, you will be involved in the company’s recruitment procedures, which include job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet. You will need to use your communication and writing skills to convince people to join your company.

You will also need to put your reading and analytical skills to the test when reviewing resumes to hire the best applicants. You may also be tasked with conducting interviews with potential candidates.

8)Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers work for companies, organizations, the government, or celebrities. Their task is to maintain and develop a good image of their client. As a public relations manager, you will utilize your writing, critical thinking, decision-making, and your communication abilities to gain the public’s support.

A public relations manager will use a variety of means including written correspondence to improve the company’s relationship with its clients. You will write press releases and articles for magazines and newspapers, etc.

You will have to carefully manage and observe the opinions of your client and take the necessary steps to keep them positive.

This job makes excellent use of the skills you develop as an English major.

9) Grant Writer

A grant writer usually works for charitable non-profit organizations. They utilize their writing and interpersonal skills for fundraising.

As a grant writer, you will have to conduct thorough research on funding agents and past grants. You will also have to investigate other cases that have been funded by your target funding agent to make your application more effective.

Afterward, you will compose a grant proposal for the funder in which you will make use of your creative and artistic writing to inform the funding agent about your goal, needs, and causes.

To get successful funding, you will have to make an inspirational and moving case for your organization. Grant writers possess extraordinary ways with words and persuasive skills that make an organization successful.

10) Technical Writer

A technical writer is someone who can explain complicated things so that a wider audience can understand them. As a technical writer, you will have to compose instruction manuals, user guides, advertisements, and articles about complex topics.

With the help of precise vocabulary and language, you will have to reduce the complexity of anything you write about to the point where the information is in its simplest form. You will have to utilize the strong research and critical reading abilities that you obtained in your English major.

A technical writer may also work in tech companies to help people familiarize themselves with products that are difficult to use. This requires the writer to fully understand the complications behind the products through great comprehension prowess and communicate them in a way that attracts customers.