Photo of NYC Skyline from MSU


English is the most practical major you can find. English majors become writers, publishers, editors, lawyers, journalists, teachers, entrepreneurs, world travelers, policy analysts, public relations executives, public servants and much more. They succeed in media, tech, publishing, education, government, marketing, advertising and non-profits.

This is because as an English major, you acquire the reading, writing, and thinking skills that allow you to thrive in a rapidly changing job market. You become an expert communicator who can take complex ideas and frame them plainly and concisely in your own words. You learn to conduct research, to support an argument, to approach a problem from multiple perspectives. You ask questions that are not obvious and not easy to answer; you find multifaceted and real solutions in a multifaceted, real world.

These higher-level, transferable skills are the skills that the modern workforce needs, and those that a successful civilization requires of its citizens. With your training as an English major, you increase both your marketability and your chances for promotion after you land that first job, when employers recognize your higher-level skills. You cannot be downsized, outsourced, offshored or disrupted. Just as importantly, you also equip yourself to be an informed citizen of a democracy and member of a multicultural society.

Here’s what our current majors have said they value about studying English:

“The exchange of powerful, meaningful, and relevant ideas.”

“Truly wonderful literature from people of color and women discussed and introduced in various classes.”

“The direct study of narrative at its core: the ability to tell stories is what makes us human.”

Your English degree will not only stand on its own but is also an exceptionally versatile foundation for a number of graduate disciplines including education, law, business, information science and public policy.

You did the smart thing by majoring in English and there are many resources to help you find your path. Listed below are:
  • Career paths that English majors pursue
  • Examples of employers in these areas and
  • Specific strategies to further enhance your resume for these fields

Career Areas


Creative, Consumer Researcher, Digital Media Consultant, Market/Marketing Researcher or Coordinator

Employers in this area

Advertising agencies and in-house agencies of large companies

Strategies for starting a career in advertising


Credit Lending, Operations, Retail, Systems, Trusts

Employers in this area

Commercial banks, Regional banks, Savings and Loan associations, Credit unions

Strategies for starting a career in banking


Communications Coordinator or Specialist, Management, Sales/Marketing, Human Resources, Leadership Consultant

Employers in this area

Business organizations

Strategies for starting a career in business/industry


Teacher, Professor, Instructor

Employers in this area

Public schools, Private schools, Colleges and universities, Libraries

Strategies for starting a career in education

  • 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 in post-secondary teaching. Master’s required to teach introductory courses. Doctorate required for full-time professorships.

Paralegal, Attorney

Employers in this area

Law firms, Corporate legal departments, Government agencies, Public service agencies

Strategies for starting a career in law

Library Science


Employers in this area

Public, school, and university libraries, Museums, Private collections

Strategies for starting a career in library science

Public Relations

Research, Writing/Editing, Media Liaison

Employers in this area

Public relations firms, Advertising agencies, In-house public relations departments, Trade associations, Colleges and universities, Nonprofit organizations, Government agencies

Strategies for starting a career in public relations


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

Employers in this area

Special interest magazines, Trade magazines, Associational and organizational magazines, Sunday newspaper supplements, Mass-market paperbacks, Educational and professional books, Religious books and magazines

Strategies for starting a career in publishing


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

Employers in this area

Bookstores, Department grocery, drug, specialty and variety store chains, Online retailers

Strategies for starting a career in retailing


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

Employers in this area

Businesses, Libraries, Nonprofits, Universities and schools

Strategies for starting a career in the technical field


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

Employers in this area

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

Strategies for starting a career in writing/editing

Take advantage of our college’s career services team. You can make an appointment with a career coach, attend career workshops, and even meet prospective employers at on-campus career fairs.

Students at Montclair State can also access a comprehensive career guide produced by the University of Tennessee Center for Career Services. Highlights are listed below.