What You Can Do with an English BA
It takes a simple Google search to see just how many people search what to do with an English degree. For the most part, people already think that the arts is more of a hobby than anything else, English included. Apparently, reading is for the bath and long commutes. “What are you going to do with that?” “Are you planning on becoming a teacher?” “You know, English majors don’t really get anywhere.” “Only one in a million writers make it.” You don’t even need to be an English major to hear these things; just the thought of it welcomes unsupportive opinions.
Well, as an English major, I’m here to tell you that that there are plenty of things you can do with an English degree besides being a teacher. If you have some inkling as to where you’d like to go for university of college, they usually have a list of jobs available for each program. For example, I graduated from the University of Toronto and if you head over to their website, they have a list of career options available for my degree. Some of the job suggestions include print journalist, fundraiser, editor, marketing researcher, director, insurance broker, lawyer, and librarian. The list includes dozens of suggestions.
There are also plenty of people who have written about their experiences online to give you some inspiration that yes, it’ll be tough, but you also won’t be unemployed and wishing you had done what your parents suggested. Selloutyoursoul.com is a great blog that has been updated recently to include more positions for those enrolled or recently graduated from the humanities. News reporters, copywriters, public relations, and corporate blogger are just a few of the suggestions available. The suggestions also come with good tips for breaking into specific fields. So, if you’re looking at journalism, the blog suggests: “before getting a job you need to understand the principles of journalism. And being a smart writer with interesting ideas for articles helps. Be sure to get some writing samples together.”
It may seem a little disheartening to know that so many people have researched what to do with an English major, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a career with a degree in English. A lot of people before you have wondered the same thing, which is why there are so many options available for researching your future career path.
It’s important to do your research. It’s important to speak to someone to who has the experience not only in your field but also as an English major. One piece of advice I would give is that you should get some experience in as early as you can. I was on my student paper for five years and it may not seem like much but it’s such a great stepping stone for bigger things. You don’t just learn journalistic practices either. You learn marketing, team management, event planning, administrative techniques, and copy editing. Even if you were to volunteer with a club on campus that’s designed for writers or English majors, you’re bound to learn something from them as well like how to work well with a team, plan events, coordinating events, and being a part of a community that has similar interests.
But, hands down, the most important thing is to do your research. Speak to someone who graduated from an English program. Speak to someone in the field. Read about people who made something of themselves. You might surprise yourself with how many options are available.