As an English major, you will develop highly valued skills in oral and written communication, and the ability to think creatively as well as analytically.
In addition to more traditional careers in teaching and library science, English majors are valued by law schools and MBA programs for being articulate and for their broad understanding of the humanities.
Representative Job Titles and Area of Specialization
- Acquisitions Editor *
- Advertising Copywriter
- Assistant Editor
- Bureau Chief *
- Communications Specialist
- Continuity Writer
- Copy Editor
- Developmental Editor *
- Editor *
- Editorial Assistant
- Editorial Researcher
- Editorial Writer *
- Grant Or Proposal Writer
- Journalist *
- Managing Editor *
- Media Analyst
- Production Assistant
- Professor/Instructor/Teacher *
- Program Director *
- Public Information Officer
- Public Relations Assistant
- Scenario Editor
- Senior Editor
- Staff Writer
- Technical Writer
* See Training section
Nature of the Work
Career options for English majors are varied and broad. Here are just a few examples that require communication and analytical skills:
- Production assistants answer phones, proofread copy and check manuscripts for readability and style.
- Editorial assistants perform research for writers and verify facts, dates, and statistics. Sometimes they read and evaluate manuscripts submitted by freelance writers or answer letters about published or broadcast material.
- Copywriters write advertising copy for use by media to promote the sale of goods and services.
- Technical writers put scientific and technical information into readily understandable language. They may prepare engineering manuals, catalogs, parts lists, instructional materials and engineering reports.
Places of Employment
- Advertising Agencies
- Book Publishers
- Communications Industry
- Computer Software Industry
- Energy Industry
- Federal, State and Local governments
- Manufacturing Industry
- Nonprofit Organizations
- Public Relations Firms
- Radio and Television Broadcasting
Many of the jobs listed above may be obtained with a bachelor's degree depending on the type of coursework you completed and experience you gained as an undergrad.
Those job titles designated by an asterisk generally require specific education and/or experience beyond the bachelor's degree.
If you are considering a writing career, you should have practical writing experience and be able to express your ideas clearly and logically. Other valuable skills include creativity, intellectual curiosity, and a broad range of knowledge, self-motivation, and perseverance.
As a technical writer, you should have some coursework in engineering, computer science, or applied science, as well as knowledge and experience in the craft of writing.
Get a head start on your writing career while you're still in school. Work for a campus publication or look for summer or part-time jobs at your local newspaper, Offer free writing services to an area nonprofit organization.
For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951) 827-3631.
The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.