I don’t know about you, but finding jobs after you graduate college can be very confusing, especially as an English major. After all, many people might tell you that having an English degree is essentially pointless and that you’ll probably just end up working as a barista at your local coffee shop. However, there are plenty of wonderful jobs out there for you to either make a lifelong career out of or to simply use as your first job.
Unlike what others may think, there’s a variety of jobs that you can get with an English degree. Sure, when you think of English majors, you tend to think of English teachers, writers, librarians, or bookstore owners. Though those are common careers for English majors, your options don’t stop there. If you’re an English major and you don’t know what you want to do now that you’re done (or almost done) with school, fear not! The world is your oyster and there are exciting job opportunities out there for you.
- Product namer
Chances are if you’re an English major, you may be creative and witty. If you feel like that applies to you, you could have a career as a product namer. Whether it’s food, cosmetics, clothes, toys, accessories or drinks, everything needs a product name. Most of the products we look back on fondly are memorable because the names are catchy. If you constantly makes your friends laugh or can make pop culture references off of the top of your head, being a product namer is a unique way to let your creative side out.
According to Glassdoor, the average yearly salary of a product namer is $62,025 per year, as of February 2023.
- SEO specialist
If you don’t want to work as a journalist, you can work as an SEO specialist. In a way, these two jobs go hand in hand. SEO specialists have the responsibility of changing a website so that it will rank higher when searched into Google by finding the most popular and relevant keywords used in search engine queries and insert them into websites so that search engines find those sites and display them to web users. You’ll also have to analyze and test different SEO options, so you’ll have to know your way around a computer. SEO is used for many different news outlets.
Maria Serra, Her Campus’s SEO specialist, wants English majors to know that they can find success in the SEO field. She says, “SEO is all about learning to rewrite long paragraphs, use passive voice, add transition words and the like to make articles and other info more accessible to readers. Obviously, having an English degree would set you up for success when making these edits to maintain the integrity of the copy and share pieces successfully.” If you’re tech-savvy and familiar with what keywords people are using nowadays, you’d probably succeed in working as an SEO specialist.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average yearly salary for an SEO specialist is $57,609 a year, as of Feb. 24, 2023.
Being a secretary is an entry-level job that an English major may enjoy. As a secretary, you’ll typically be answering phone calls, welcoming people into the office (if you work in person), and taking notes whenever necessary. As an English major, your ability to take notes and have a way with words will benefit your job as a secretary. If you’re able to get a secretary position at a newspaper, magazine or publishing company, that may also help your career because you will already have a foot in the door. Regardless of where, though, working as a secretary will have you putting what you learned as an English major to the test.
According to ZipRecruiter, the national average hourly wage for a secretary is $16.17 an hour, as of March 10, 2023.
- Audiobook narrator
As an English major, you’re bound to read or own lots of books. As you know, books also come in many different formats. Being an audiobook narrator would allow you to be a part of a book without actually having to write one yourself. Being an audiobook narrator is a good idea for a job if you enjoy reading books out loud and are good with voice inflection. Audiobooks allow many people to have access to their favorite books, and you can contribute to someone’s reading experience.
According to LinkedIn, beginning audiobook narrators get a wage of $10 to $100 per finished audiobook hour, and experienced narrators can get $100 to $500 per finished hour.
- Social media manager
Though you may think the skills of a social media manager don’t apply to you as an English major, they actually do. As a social media manager, you’ll be in charge of making social media posts for the business or notable figure whose social media you’re running, so it’s important that you know proper grammar. As a recent college grad and member of Gen Z, being a social media manager is great because you’ll be familiar with what’s trending among online audiences and can ensure that the brand is using the right buzzwords to catch their interest.
Though Her Campus’ social media manager, Ellie Kinney, was not an English major, she does have information for aspiring recent English grads. “One of the biggest parts of running social accounts is writing engaging copy that makes people want to click, follow, engage, etc. And as an English major, you’re probably a star at creative writing!” she tells Her Campus. If you know everything about your favorite brand or notable figure, being a social media manager gives you a unique but exciting way to use your English degree.
According to Glassdoor, the average yearly salary of a social media manager is $51,688, as of March 2023.
Directing media, whether that’s short films, feature films, or TV shows, can be an excellent use of your English degree. While you associate directing with film majors, that doesn’t mean it’s not a role that could suit you (though you may need experience as a film editor, actor or an assistant to an established director). As an English major, you have an understanding of stories in a way that some film majors may not since you’ll have taken classes analyzing works of literature. In those classes, you probably learned how important themes and symbolism are, and how to utilize them effectively.
In fact, many big-name directors have degrees in English, including Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, and Greta Gerwig. As a director, those lessons will pay off because you can use themes, symbolism, and foreshadowing on your film or TV show. If you’re someone who loves to write and spends your free time consuming media, working as a director could be right up your alley!
According to ZipRecruiter, the national average yearly salary of a film director is $72,125, as of Feb. 24, 2023.
- Event Planner
If you were organized in college and always on top of your academic responsibilities while juggling your personal life, you may be a shoo-in for the role of an event planner. As an event planner, you’ll be responsible for organizing and coordinating conferences, meetings, and parties for your clients. Being an English major will come in handy because you will have to have an eye for detail and be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. If you’re an English major and love to have everything under control, there may be a client out there looking for you to be their event planner!
According to Indeed, the national average annual salary of an event planner is $49,164.
Much like a career as a director attracts film majors, working as a psychologist is often a job you see from people with a psychology or sociology degree. However, it’s still possible for you to work as a psychologist if you have an English degree, although you may need to get a master’s or doctorate in psychology. While you may not have taken all the behavioral human classes as others going into the career, you do have the ability to empathize with others.
Because of all the books you’ve read, you’re more exposed to the world around you and have read books that follow characters from different walks of life. While reality is different from the literature we read, you could take what you’ve learned from those books and apply them to your career as a psychologist.
According to ZipRecruiter, the national annual salary of a psychologist is $116,009, as of Feb. 24, 2023.
- Tour guide
If you live in an area that attracts a lot of visitors and know the town or city like the back of your hand, you can spend your days giving tours. I believe that every city has something notable about it, so if you live near a major landmark or neighborhood, this is your perfect opportunity to use that expertise to your advantage. As an English major, you have a way with words and will be able to romanticize your town or city the best. If you absolutely love where you live and want to share that love with everyone else, you can work as a tour guide.
According to ZipRecruiter, the national hourly wage of a tour guide is $16.64, as of Feb. 24, 2023.
- Podcast host
In the past couple years, podcasts have been gaining popularity. Whether it’s a rewatch, celebrity gossip, or lifestyle podcast, there’s a podcast out there for everyone. That also means that there’s a podcast out there that you can create. Unlike a blog, podcasts allow your audience to get a better understanding of who you are as a person and feel closer to you since they can hear your voice and possibly see what you look like.
Being a podcast host will also allow you to work remotely and be your own boss so you can make your own hours, but you do also have to be the one to hold yourself accountable. If you’re an English major and have a particular topic you can talk about for hours, grab yourself a microphone and record your own podcast.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of a podcast host is $73,300, as of Feb. 25, 2023.
Hopefully, this has given you some sort of peace of mind or a direction of where to go as an English major. However, if none of these apply to you, that’s OK, too. At the end of the day, you’re the one that knows what career is best for you. No matter what you decide to do, as long as it makes you happy and feel fulfilled in life, that’s all that matters.