What can I do with an English degree?

What can I do with an English degree?

English students have a lot to offer prospective employers, including well-developed communication skills, the ability to work independently, flexibility and adaptability.

English graduates enter a broad range of professions, including education, marketing, journalism and public relations. Their analytical and communication skills are potentially in demand in management roles both in business and the public sector.

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 their ability to sift the evidence and present arguments will help them to succeed. What is more, their interpersonal skills should set them up well for a role in management. Employers in areas such as finance and IT often have vacancies such as customer-facing roles that are not technical, or where it is not a requirement for applicants to have a numerate degree: these are among the options open to English graduates.

With some additional training, English graduates could consider jobs in teaching, journalism or acting, or the following areas:

  • 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
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