What I Plan to Do with an English Degree — Real Students’ Stories
This article is based on first-person accounts from Brooke Elkjer, a junior at the University of Southern California; Katie DiFrancesco, a senior at Princeton University; and Moriah Kofsky, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
In this post, we explore the many potential jobs that you can pursue with an English degree.
Careers for English Majors
Brooke: Since I’m a junior, I still have time to stress about this. Right now, I’m more focused on working on my skills. I think that after college, I’ll spend time living a vagabond lifestyle, maybe waitressing during the day and writing at night. When I think about five years from now, like many English majors, my dream job is writing editorials for The New Yorker. But I think that the main thing about being an English major is finding satisfaction in perfecting your skills and taking little steps that bring you closer to your dream.
USC is the best film school in the world, so many of my English major peers are looking to go into entertainment, studying screenwriting as a minor. I’m personally more interested in pursuing a PhD, but I’m currently undecided. The beautiful thing about studying English is that I feel prepared to take on multiple possible career paths.
Katie: I’m in a completely different world. No one around me wants to pursue entertainment. Many of my peers are pursuing copyediting or publishing. If I go into entertainment, I’ll probably work on the production side, reading scripts and deciding which ones should get made.
An English major shows that you have passion and can communicate and analyze well. It doesn’t put you in any sort of box. English is a small major here at Princeton. There are about 30 English majors in my grade, and they are all doing so many different things. I think the biggest takeaway is how versatile the major is.
When I was considering English, I asked my career advisor, “What do English majors do?” One of the answers was that many English majors pursue marketing because it’s financially stable but also creative. Studying English can give you a creative edge in many industries that other people don’t have.
Moriah: Many English majors do go into marketing. When I graduated, I was offered a marketing position that would have paid me a decent amount of money, but I just knew that it wasn’t right for me. I chose to pursue a different path rather than commit to a job that didn’t feel aligned with my goals and objectives. To me, that looked like finding a job I enjoyed that would also give me some sense of stability and income, which is what I have at CollegeVine. I also do freelance writing, mostly within the realm of music. I’m currently thinking about attending graduate school. There are so many ways to use English and critical thinking in your career, whether on a more traditional path or in your own unique way.