According to a study by Burning Glass Technologies, writing is one of the top skills requested in job postings.
What can someone with a BA in English do for a living?
Students graduating with an English Studies degree possess an unusual number and variety of skills, both subject-specific and general in nature. These “hard” and “soft” skills render English graduates highly desirable job candidates in a wide variety of careers and professions.
Jobs that require the skills English majors have:
Graduating with an English Studies degree opens up your professional options to a wide variety of careers. Careers in publishing, mass media, education, law, marketing, copywriting, editing, and technical writing—one of the fastest growing fields in the country—are common for graduates with this degree. But one of the chief benefits of an English degree is not being tied to any single field. The flexible skills you’ll develop will make you valuable in almost any industry.
Subject-specific (“hard”) skills
An English Studies graduate’s subject-specific skills include detail-oriented and balanced critical approaches to texts and spoken language; an understanding of the power of language and the ways in which it is used to create meaning, to influence, to persuade, and to inform; the ability to read for and articulate explicit, implicit, and hidden meanings in a text; an understanding of the distinctions in register and tone that can be found in written texts and how they are typically perceived by various audiences; sensitivity to the role circumstance, authorship, audience, and readership play in shaping, disseminating, and receiving a text or oral communication; an awareness and appreciation for, and the ability to articulate, how social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning and influence our judgment of texts both oral and written in nature; an ability to conduct research and apply it to a better understanding of a given text or effort to communicate; and the ability to read, distill, summarize, and communicate large amounts of text or other forms of information in a relatively short period of time.
General (“soft”) skills
An English Studies graduate’s general skills include effective development and presentation of an argument or other communication whether oral or written; time-management and prioritization of tasks; the ability to plan, develop, and deliver by deadline a project or presentation both individually and as part of a group; the ability to view a problem from multiple perspectives before arriving at an answer; the ability to think critically and independently about a problem and to apply multiple theories and to research possible solutions as needed; the ability to consider and critically determine the relevance, significance, or credibility of a variety of sources and other materials; and the technological and informational skills required for a typical university student, such as word processing, Excel/spreadsheets, using databases, communication via multiple Internet platforms, and presentation software and platforms (PowerPoint, Prezi, Google Slides).
Want to know more about careers for English Majors?
Lindenwood University’s Career Services can help you find the right job – and even the right internship – to match your skills and interests. Beyond one-on-one meetings with Career Strategists, many resources are available online. Visit Career Service’s Student Resources page to explore What Can I Do with This Major? as well as other databases and widgets to help you find your dream job.