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Five Less-Obvious Careers for English Graduates, by Ana Langmuir, Student, The University of British Columbia

When asking the question, “What can I do with my English degree?” the first careers that typically come to mind often include writers, librarians, or teachers. While these are great options for many English graduates, they only scratch the surface of possible careers available to someone with an English Degree. The broad and transferrable skills (such as communication and critical thinking) developed as an English major means that English graduates are prevalent in almost every industry.
 

So, what can you do with an English degree? This article will break down five less-typical career paths (with salaries) that you may want to consider as an English major. 

 

       1. Marketing Executive 

  • If you have a creative flair and found yourself enjoying the research-based, analytical side of your major, then you may want to consider a career in marketing. 
  • As a marketing executive, you will need to produce creative, eye-catching content to help campaign for and promote a product or service, such as videos and blog posts. Ultimately, the goal is to help develop and create more awareness of the company’s brand and ethos. 
  • Other responsibilities involve conducting market research, writing/proofreading marketing copy for campaigns, and building customer relationships. 
  • To succeed in this role, you will need to be creative and analytical, have strong interpersonal abilities to liaise with customers and clients effectively, and possess a well-rounded commercial awareness. 
  • Median Salary: Marketing Executive: $51,202, Marketing Manager: $64,065 

 

        2. Human Resources 

  • An HR Officer’s overall goal is to look after employees by providing adequate training opportunities and dealing with workplace grievances. 
  • The responsibilities of a human resources officer include promoting diversity and equality, enforcing workplace policies, recruitment, and ensuring the welfare of all staff. 
  • As a human resources assistant, effective communication (both written and verbal) is critical - an area where English majors shine! You will also need strong interpersonal skills, as employees will need to feel that they can approach you to discuss personal, confidential, and, often, sensitive issues. 
  • Median Salary: HR Assistant: $41,500, HR Manager: $70,721
     

       3. Events Manager/Planner 

  • If you find yourself thriving in a fast-paced environment and have a strong set of interpersonal and organizational skills, then consider a career in events management. 
  • An events manager’s primary responsibilities involve producing proposals for events, researching venues, and negotiating with clients and suppliers, managing staff, and all-in-all making sure that the event in question runs smoothly and within budget. Events managers are usually hired by corporations such as hotels, charities, and business associations, but some are self-employed, working on a project-by-project basis. 
  • Excellent communication and attention to detail is the key to success in this role. An events manager must also have strong organizational skills, problem-solving abilities, and experience managing projects. 
  • Median Salary: $53,462 

 

       4. Paralegal/Legal Assistant 

  • Though some English graduates go on to complete a three-year graduate degree on their journey to becoming a lawyer, there are other routes into the legal realm that are less timely (and less costly)! If you are an English major interested in pursuing a career in law but are unsure about pursuing a graduate degree, then you might want to consider a career as a paralegal. 
  • As a paralegal, responsibilities vary greatly depending on the type of employer. Still, they typically include drafting and proofreading legal documents, interviewing clients and witnesses, analyzing legal data, and providing support in the courtroom at hearings and trials. 
  • To succeed in this role, you will need to be detail-oriented and technologically savvy. Effective communication (much like within the other roles we’ve discussed) is also critical. 
  • To become a paralegal in Canada, you will need to complete a paralegal diploma, which can be completed in as little as 12 months. 
  • Median Salary: $53,409 

 

        5. Public Relations (PR) 

  • If you’re quick-thinking, adaptable, and can cope well under pressure, then maybe consider a role in public relations.  
  • In general, a public relations officer uses all forms of communications and media to manage the image and reputation of their client. These clients can range from businesses to public bodies. 
  • Responsibilities within a role in public relations involve planning and implementing PR strategies, researching and distributing press releases to targeted media, monitoring media opportunities, and managing social media platforms.  
  • To succeed in this role, you will need excellent interpersonal and writing skills, organization, and creativity.  
  • Median Salary: $65,908 

 

If you have an English degree, you will be a strong candidate for roles in various industries. If none of the above careers interest you, there are many alternative opportunities to consider. Other possibilities include multiple careers in psychology (with additional studies), media and journalism, publishing, freelance writing, and translation.  

 

All information on median salaries sourced from payscale.com