Careers for English Majors

You did the smart thing by majoring in English. See an overview of the careers you can pursue with an English degree. Research by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce on the Value of College Majors shows English majors performing just as well as their peers in other fields. The key to finding a successful career, however, lies not just in your degree, but also in what else you bring to your resume. 

Areas Employers Strategies


  • Creative
  • Consumer Researcher
  • Digital Media Consultant
  • Market/Marketing Researcher or Coordinator
Advertising agencies and in-house agencies of large companies  

Do an internship or participate in cooperative education in a market research firm.

Earn a Creative Writing Minor and/or Studio Minor

Demonstrate talent, persistence, assertiveness, and enthusiasm; be prepared to start entry-level. 

Obtain solid statistics background for research. 

Creative portfolio of writing/ideas showing originality and imagination for creative department. 

Gain knowledge of various media, contemporary tastes and trends. 

Obtain campus newspaper, TV or radio experience. Participate in student- run or personal business involving promotion and sales and/or join the MSU Marketing Association


  • Credit Lending
  • Operations
  • Retail
  • Systems
  • Trusts

Commercial banks

Regional banks

Savings & Loan associations

Credit unions

Do an internship or participate in cooperative education 

Earn a Certificate of Entrepeneurship, a Professional and Public Writing Minor, and/or Business Minor

Develop strong analytical and computer skills. 

Obtain cashier, teller, or clerical experience. 

Gain experience as financial officer/treasurer in campus organization


  • Communications Coordinator or Specialist
  • Management
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership Consultant
Business organizations 

Do an internship or participate in cooperative education and gain work experience through part-time jobs and related volunteer work

Get a Business Minor and/or a Professional and Public Writing Minor

Acquire computer skills.

Secure a leadership role in campus organization. 

Join student professional associations for future networking. 


  • Teacher
  • Professor
  • Instructor

Public schools

Private schools

Colleges and universities


Apply to the Teacher Education Program

Gain volunteer experience with Big Brother/Sister program, tutoring, sports, summer camps, teen counseling, child care centers for special populations.

Participate in school activities: debate, literary club, student publications and government, alumni and admissions work.

Obtain graduate degree for post-secondary teaching. Master's required to teach introductory courses. Doctorate required for full-time professorships 


  • Paralegal
  • Attorney

Law firms

Corporate legal departments

Government agencies

Public service agencies 

Do an internship or participate in cooperative education 

Get a Criminal Justice minor and/or a Professional and Public Writing Minor

Library Science

  • Librarian

Public, school, and university libraries


Private collections

Do an internship or participate in cooperative education

Get a part-time job in a library

Pursue a master's degree secondary secondary and information science 

Public Relations

  • Research

  • Writing/Editing

  • Media Liaison 

Public relations firms

Advertising agencies

In-house public relations departments

Trade associations

Colleges and universities

Nonprofit organizations

Government agencies 

 Do an internship or participate in cooperative education 

Get a Business Minor and/or a Professional and Public Writing Minor

Develop strong research skills, public speaking ability, enthusiasm and good interpersonal skills. 

Become an effective team worker by working on group projects for campus organizations.



  • Magazines/Books/Newspapers/Editorial
  • Advertising/Sales
  • Circulation
  • General Books Coordinator
  • Production
  • Publicity

Special interest magazines

Trade magazines

Associational and organizational magazines

Sunday newspaper supplements

Mass-market paperbacks

Educational and professional books

Religious books and magazines 

Do an internship or participate in cooperative education 

Get a Journalism Minor and/or a Professional and Public Writing Minor

Develop word processing and editing skills

Join The Normal Review and/or The Montclarion

Develop word processing and editing skills

Work on student publications


  • Store Management
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Human Resources: Assistant Events &/or Outreach, Receptionist, Recruiter 


Department grocery, drug, specialty and variety store chains

Online retailers


Do an internship or participate in cooperative education

Earn a Certificate of Entrepeneurship, a Business Minor, and/or a Professional and Public Writing Minor

Gain experience through part-time jobs


  • Digital Media Consultant
  • Instructional Consultant
  • IT Specialist
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Technical Consultant




Universities and schools

Do an internship or participate in cooperative education

Get a job in the Office of Information Technology at MSU

Earn a Computer Science Minor


  • Book Critic
  • Business Writer
  • Creative Writer
  • Content Manager
  • Copywriter
  • Documentation Specialist
  • Journalist
  • Freelance Writer
  • Literary Assistant
  • Manuscript Reader
  • Speech writer
  • Technical Writer

Newspapers, magazines, broadcast media, script writing

Trade, professional, or consumer publications

Advertising agencies, corporations, government agencies, colleges and universities

Any organization or publication with technical focus or technical areas 

Do an internship or participate in cooperative education 

Get a Creative Writing MinorJournalism Minor, and/or a Professional and Public Writing Minor

Select a wide variety of electives

Join The Normal Review and/or The Montclarion

Develop speaking/debate skills; write and edit reports

Take basic science/computer courses; gain knowledge about technical areas and trends


  Based on a document prepared by Career Planning staff of Career Services at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The Center for Career Services and Cooperative Education can help you craft a resume for one of the above professions, and lists vacancies in these and other fields.

Beverly Ververs (Dickson Hall 437, 973-655-4374) is the designated Career Adviser for English majors:

Do you need more inspiration? Check out or Alumni page