Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

So You Majored in English?

English is the stereotypical unemployable degree. “What do you do with a B.A. in English?” you may have been asked. Well, as we English majors know very well, you can do all kinds of things. Put your superb communication, organization and critical thinking skills to use in these jobs- and feel a little smug about proving all those nay-sayers wrong in the process.

Social Media Coordinator
This job is perfect for recent English graduates, especially if you have any experience in marketing. Your writing skills will make social media campaigns vibrant and effective—this is one job where your awesome blog will be a big asset!
Apply at: Tech-savvy companies

Communications Consultant
You could work everywhere from nonprofits to consulting firms with this job title. However, the latter is something you should really check into. Companies hire people who can write well to draft everything from professional correspondence to benefits explanations.
Apply at: Consulting firms. Even check out actuarial companies—really!

Content Writer/Editor
This job title came up last week, but be sure to check out both writing and editing options as an English major (or Journalism, for that matter). You know all the millions and millions of internet pages out there? A lot of them were written by English majors—the well-written ones, anyway.
Apply at: Any company that gets a significant portion of its business from online traffic

Editorial Assistant
Is this job slightly clichéd? Perhaps. However, remember to apply at all kinds of companies for this position. Check out editorial work for websites, educational publishing companies, and colleges/universities. Not all editors have half-moon glasses and run around with a red pen.
Apply at: Online companies, colleges/universities, publishing companies

Marketing/Communications Specialist
A lot of marketing involves good communication skills! On your application, be sure to emphasize any experience you have with marketing, even if it seems small. Did you help make the posters for your local animal shelter’s open house? That counts, and can help get your foot in the door for one of these positions.
Apply at: Basically everywhere could use some help with marketing and communications!

Project Coordinator
I put off doing this post for a long time, because since I’ve been writing for Spark Hire I have been an unemployed recent grad with a B.A. in English. Update. I am writing this post from the desk of my new, as-yet-undecorated, office at a higher education publishing company (on my lunch break!). I took a job as a project coordinator, and will be using my communication and organizational skills to bring book projects to life. I’m pretty excited.

The project coordinator title is pretty broad, so be sure to apply for this position at companies you admire. Play up any projects you might have worked on that would give you excellent organizational and management skills. My experience working on my college literary magazine was what got me in the door, I’m sure!
Apply at: Companies that have a product that you admire

Now, let’s take a look at some dream jobs for English majors. Here are some famous people who majored in English, who have done some extraordinary things—but not necessarily in the fields you might expect.

Sally Ride
Yep, Sally Ride majored in English. She also majored in physics, but one certainly does not preclude the other.

Conan O’Brien
So did Conan. His senior thesis title? “Literary Progeria in the Works of Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner.”

Paul Simon
You think great songs just write themselves? Paul Simon received a degree in English Literature from Queens College. Art Garfunkel holds an M.A. in mathematics.

What major should we look at next? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by ilovememphis

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.