Your career in English

Career opportunities

Our English graduates have found career satisfaction in a varied range of professions. The critical thinking skills acquired through writing and literary comprehension provide a sound logical basis for students who choose to maintain long-term academic commitments such as law and medicine, as well as students devoted to acquiring the skills necessary to obtain teaching certification. Language skills provide the basis of effective communication; in consideration of this fact, careers available to English majors include a wide array of positions within both the public and private sectors.

“There’s no real limit to what you can do with an English degree because it’s not directed career training. Rather, as an English major you learn the skills for all kinds of environments. You can succeed in any number of fields,” according to Dr. Kate Drowne, interim dean and vice provost of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business and professor of English and technical communication.

Self-reporting indicates that teaching is the most popular career choice of our English alums, with 22 percent employed in secondary education, and 13 percent holding positions in education at the university level. A full 25 percent are employed in business, while 13 percent are currently self-employed. Another 4 percent are working in the government sector, and the remaining 6 percent are either pursuing graduate studies or working in publishing or libraries.

Getting started

We are committed to your success beyond academic studies. To begin this "parallel education," you must take advantage of the resources available on campus. In Norwood Hall you will find two important resources: the Career Opportunities Center (COC), located in Room 304, and the Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD), located in Room 204. The COC provides instruction in resume writing, interview skills (with mock interviews), career-seeking advice and a library of job ads and resources from which to begin your job search. CPPD will help you to determine your interest and abilities, enabling you to set appropriate career goals. You will find that CPPD also has information regarding graduate school tests such as the GRE, LSAT, and MAT.

How does the English department fit in?

Department Chair Kristine Swenson also serves as a career advisor for the department. You can contact her at her office in 224 HSS, by phone at 341-4684, or by email at (You should, of course, already be working closely with your academic advisor regarding appropriate coursework.)