5 Jobs For English Majors That Lead To Satisfying Careers

“What can you even do with that?”

It’s a question English majors get on an everyday basis. Especially as you move towards graduation, the constant discussions at family gatherings about the career possibilities of graduates with English degrees can become monotonous.

And yet, there is a reason you studied English in the first place. Few degrees are more fulfilling, especially if you love the intricacies and history of the English language and its literature. When you decided on your college major, you may have been told that you were trading off career prospects for personal fulfillment. In reality, you may not have made that trade-off in the first place.

Top Jobs For English Majors

More companies than you realize are looking for the skills and knowledge you acquired while studying English. Knowing where to look can help you get started on a successful career within an industry you may not have initially considered. There are career possibilities that go beyond teaching or graduate studies in the field. Here are 5 jobs for English majors that can set you on your way to a successful career:

1. Interpreter

The translation industry is always looking for talented professionals, and English majors are near the top of the list. That’s because as an interpreter, you need to know exactly how to construct sentences that are grammatically correct, while simultaneously being able to read between the lines and infer meaning from the entirety of the content.

Of course, any translation job is only possible if you know more than one language. But don’t worry about being a native speaker in both; generally speaking, your expertise should lie in the language into which you are translating the content. As a Spanish-to-English translator, for example, your English skills will matter more than your Spanish skills (though both are important, of course).

A particularly intriguing aspect of becoming a translator or interpreter is the profession’s positive job outlook. According to the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the industry will grow by 29 percent within the next ten years, which is much faster than the national average. More than 17,000 new jobs in the field will likely become available within that time span.

2. Technical Writer

The world is full of instruction manuals, how-to guides, tutorials, and other types of functional materials that explain the world around us and its products. Creating these materials requires not only skills in the English language, but also the ability to explain complex concepts and situations in terms that are easily understandable for a broad audience.

If you have spent your undergraduate years researching English literature and explaining the connections between literary concepts, you may be better prepared for this career path than you think. Employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in journalism or English who have shown the ability to pare down complicated, jargon-filled subject matter into everyday, concise language. Beyond your English degree, an additional specialization, such as engineering, medicine, or IT can be a lucrative benefit.

Because of these additional requirements, becoming a technical writer may seem daunting. But once you get your foot in the door, the benefits become obvious: the median pay for technical writers is almost $70,000, and the Bureau Of Labor Statistics predicts a 10 percent growth in this profession by 2024.

3. Sales Account Manager

Granted, your first instinct when thinking about potential career paths as an English major was probably not to go into sales. But depending on the industry you choose, this job can actually be fulfilling; especially at a nonprofit organization, you may be able to help a good cause while putting the skills you learned in your classes to good use.

Monster lists sales account management as its top job for English majors, and for good reason. This position requires outstanding oral and written communication, qualities that English majors learn throughout their college years. Critical thinking and creativity in solving problems are other requirements that match well with the typical English curriculum.

Becoming a sales manager requires a couple of steps in your early career, most notably experience as a sales representative, to learn the intricacies of customer interaction first hand. But opportunities are plentiful, as more than 375,000 sales-manager positions currently exist within the United States. A median salary of more than $110,000 makes this position particularly attractive.

4. Marketing Copywriter

If you want to go into writing, but you don’t quite have the patience (or specialized expertise) to become a technical writer, marketing copywriter should be your next choice. All industries need marketing to stand out from the competition, both in the digital space and in print publications. And even though many of these marketing materials depend heavily on visual imagery, none of them can succeed without experienced copywriters putting their pens to paper and writing compelling text.

Particularly within advertising agencies, copywriters can find both entry-level and senior positions with similar titles, which explains why the average salary for this career path varies so wildly. But all of the positions rely on a combination of creative thinking and strong writing skills, which is why many English majors who don’t go into teaching choose to become copywriters instead.

The broad spectrum of copywriting becomes especially evident when looking at the amount of freelance positions available within the field. Even if you don’t choose to pursue this career path full-time, you will have plenty of opportunities to earn some money on the side through activities such as writing blogs for businesses. Most executives, particularly in small businesses, simply don’t have the expertise or time necessary to write regular, high-quality content for their digital presence. Freelance blogging can help you decide whether this is the career path for you while simultaneously keeping your options open.

5. Museum Curator

Curators not only choose the right pieces to exhibit in a museum space, but — especially in smaller museums — also take care of promoting exhibits, organizing opening receptions, and much more.

In a way, museum curators combine many of the skills needed by the above professions. You will need technical writing to explain pieces in the collection, customer relations experience for working with donations, and copywriting skills when promoting the exhibit. But above all, you need a passion for the past, which many English majors share with their History-major colleagues.

Let’s be honest: you won’t get rich as a curator, but you can earn a respectable salary, up to $66,000, for your work in displaying past works and pieces of glory. That, along with a healthy seven-percent projected job growth through 2024, make this field surprisingly valuable.

At your graduation party this year, you may be able to brag about the job interviews you already have lined up, because the skills you gained in English classes match up perfectly with many different high-growth fields. As it turns out, becoming an English major was worth it — both personally and professionally.

Originally published at www.blogmutt.com.

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