What Can I Do with a Major in...English

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AREAS

WRITING/EDITING

Creative Writing- Books, Poetry, Plays, Screenplays, Scripts, Greeting Cards, Lyrics/Jingle Writing

Journalism- Writing/Reporting, Editing

Technical Writing- Science and Medical Writing

Freelance Writing

EMPLOYERS

Newspapers

Magazines

Broadcast media companies including television, radio, and the movie industry

Trade, professional, or consumer publications

Internet sites

Large corporations

Government agencies including: Department of Homeland Security,
Department of Defense, Department of State, Veterans Affairs, National
Archives and Records Admin.

Universities and university presses

Technical industries

Self-employed/Freelance

STRATEGIES

Select elective coursework in a particular area of interest. Write
for campus publications such as college newspapers, magazines, or
departmental/program newsletters. Volunteer to assist or tutor students
in a writing center. For technical writing positions obtain a
concentration in technical writing. Take science and/or computer
courses to gain knowledge about technical areas and trends. Become
familiar with the proposal writing and submission process involved in
freelance writing. Gain as much experience as possible through
volunteer positions, internships, or part-time jobs. Demonstrate
patience and persistence in starting a career in creative writing.

AREAS

EDUCATION

Teaching

Administration

Student Affairs

Academic Advising

Information Science

Non-classroom Teaching

Tutoring

EMPLOYERS

Public schools

Private schools

Colleges and universities

Language institutes, local and abroad

Libraries

Museums

Private learning centers

Test preparation organizations

Nonprofit organizations involved with literacy

STRATEGIES

Obtain appropriate state certification for public school teaching.
Earn certification to teach multiple subjects or age groups for
increased job opportunities. Earn a master's or doctorate degree for
post-secondary teaching. Plan to attend graduate school in college
student personnel or information science if those are areas of interest.
Gain volunteer experience working with children through Big
Brother/Sister programs, tutoring, summer camps, YMCA's, etc.
Participate in school activities such as debate or literary clubs,
campus publications, or student government. Get involved in roles of
leadership such as resident advisor, peer mentor, student advisor, etc.
Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty
recommendations for graduate school applications.

AREAS

PUBLISHING

Editing

Advertising

Sales

Circulation

Production

Publicity

Marketing

Promotion

Administration

EMPLOYERS

Trade publishing

Special interest magazines

Trade magazines

Association magazines

Sunday newspaper supplements

Educational publishing

Religious books and magazines

Professional and scholarly publishing

University presses

Independent publishers

Alternative media publishers: E-books, Audiobooks

STRATEGIES

Obtain an internship in the publishing industry. Participate in a
summer publishing institute. Develop word processing, editing, and
desktop publishing skills. Gain additional technical skills if working
in an online environment. Gain experience by writing for student
publications such as the newspaper, creative writing magazines, the
yearbook, etc. Conduct an informational interview with or shadow a
professional in the publishing industry. Look for positions with local
dailies and alternative weeklies in the community. Volunteer to write
or edit publications with local nonprofit organizations to gain
experience. Develop extensive grammar and language skills. Be prepared
to relocate to cities with a publishing presence. Research the
publishing industry to learn more about career ladders.

AREAS

ADVERTISING

Creative Services- Copy Writing, Art Direction

Account Management

Media

Account Planning

Production

EMPLOYERS

Advertising agencies

In-house agencies of large companies

STRATEGIES

Demonstrate talent, persistence, assertiveness, and enthusiasm. Be
prepared to start in an entry-level position. Obtain strong statistics
background for market research positions. Create a portfolio of writing
and ideas showing originality and imagination for creative positions.
Gain knowledge of various media, contemporary tastes, and trends.
Obtain experience with campus newspaper, TV, or radio. Participate in
sales and promotions for student organizations or private businesses.
Complete an internship in a market research firm or advertising agency.
Supplement curriculum with courses in business (marketing, economics,
mathematics), art, or graphic design.

AREAS

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Account Coordination

Writing/Editing

Media Relations

Account Management

EMPLOYERS

Public relations firms

Advertising agencies

In-house public relations departments

Trade associations

Colleges and universities

Nonprofit organizations

Government agencies

STRATEGIES

Obtain internship or other relevant work experience to break into this
field. Be prepared to start at the bottom and work towards higher
levels. Develop strong research skills, public speaking ability,
enthusiasm, and interpersonal skills. Supplement curriculum with
business courses. Become an effective team member by working on group
projects for campus organizations. Volunteer to write publications for
nonprofit or student organizations.

AREAS

BUSINESS
Management

Sales

Marketing

Human Resources

Insurance: Claims, Underwriting

EMPLOYERS

Business organizations including banks, real estate agencies, insurance firms, and large and small corporations

Retailers including department, grocery, drug, specialty, variety, and book stores

STRATEGIES

Obtain a business minor. Gain work experience through part-time jobs,
internships, or relevant volunteer work. Secure leadership roles in
campus organizations. Join student professional associations and seek
leadership roles. Develop strong analytical and computer skills. Gain
experience as financial officer or treasurer of a campus organization.

AREAS

LAW

EMPLOYERS

Law firms

Corporate legal departments

Government agencies

Public service agencies

STRATEGIES

Develop strong organizational skills and attention to detail. Become
skillful in debate and public speaking. Organize campus events,
speakers, or political rallies. Obtain summer or part-time work in a
law firm. Plan to shadow an attorney to learn more about the field.
Complete special training requirements for paralegal positions. Attend
law school and earn a JD to become an attorney. Maintain an excellent
grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations to gain
law school admittance. Plan to take the LSAT.

GENERAL INFORMATION
A major in English can be good preparation for continued graduate or
professional training in areas such as English, law, political
science/government, public administration, psychology, counseling,
communications, and religious studies (i.e., seminary).

Develop a specialty area of interest via additional coursework
and/or work experience for greater marketability within that specific
career field.

Save samples of written work to be used for a portfolio.

Be prepared to be proactive, determined, assertive, and confident
in order to secure freelance writing opportunities. Writers typically
experience many rejections for each piece that is accepted for
publication.

Cultivate other career opportunities in order to supplement a freelance writing income.

Obtain additional areas of expertise such as journalism, broadcasting, technical writing, or politics for specialized positions.

For careers in advertising or public relations be prepared to begin in an entry-level position.

A bachelor's degree in English is sufficient for many entry level positions in business and industry.

Appropriate teacher certification is required for public school teaching.

A graduate degree is required for teaching at the college or university level.

Conduct informational interviews or shadow professionals in careers of interest to learn more about their jobs.

 

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The
University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (1992, Revised 1999, 2004, 2006)
UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

 

Contact Career Planning

Carol Cullinan, Director
ccullinan@medaille.edu

Kimberly A. Partyka, Secretary
kap338@medaille.edu

Career Planning
Medaille College
18 Agassiz Circle
Buffalo, New York 14214
(716) 880-2210

 

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