What can I do with an English degree?

English students have a lot to offer prospective employers, with more experience working in an inter-disciplinary capacity than colleagues from some other degree backgrounds.

While they may worry that their degree will be seen as a vague choice, in practice it will have given them a broad understanding of how to interpret texts that is potentially valuable in the careers market.

This guide should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.

Specific skills you will have gained include;

  • critical and evaluative thinking
  • self-management
  • excellent written communication
  • oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • research and analysis skills
  • ability to work independently

Though pay levels for English graduates may not be as high as those in other areas, many of the career opportunities it opens up can be particularly rewarding. Typical roles include publishing, academia or working with heritage and culture.

English graduates are suitable for many roles in the business sector, where they will be able to use their analytical and articulate thinking. What is more, their interpersonal skills should set them up well for a role in management. With some additional training, they could also consider jobs in teaching, journalism or acting. Other options include:

  • advertising account executive
  • advertising copywriter
  • arts administration
  • public relations
  • broadcast journalism, research or production
  • intelligence
  • sales and marketing

If none of these options appeal to you, there are plenty of other paths available. Consider the following famous people, who all had English degrees;

  • Quentin Blake
  • Danny Boyle
  • Mark Knopfler
  • Emma Thompson
  • Natasha Kaplinski
  • Tommy Lee Jones
  • Chris Tarrant

Find out more about careers that suit you using our career planning tool.