We at SBC's English Department believe that the insights derived from reading and writing are as invaluable to students in the natural and social sciences as they are to those in the humanities.
The attributes and skills listed here represent some of the reasons that your English degree will be valuable to employers.
Willingness to work toward a deadline
Fondness for writing and/or speaking
Desire for recognition and to influence others
Background of general knowledge
High proficiency in reading, writing and speaking
Comprehensive command of grammar and vocabulary
Good listening, clarifying, questioning, and responding skills
Ability to concentrate for long periods of time
Ability to read articulately and analytically
Capacity to work well under pressure
Ability to make critical observations and appropriate decisions
Ability to conduct and clearly explain research results
Traditional Career Options: Certain more traditional career paths leading from an English major require a great deal of training and planning, both under- and postgraduate, so they are elaborated on below.
Direct Career Options: The skills required for the jobs listed here are so similar to the skills acquired in studying English that a degree in the field will usually serve as a credential for getting the job.
Less Direct Career Options: The fit between the academic training in English and the job skills is still very close. However, knowledge of English may be less pertinent to these positions, and a degree in English itself may or may not serve as a credential for employment.
Indirect Career Options: At first glance, the jobs listed may not appear to have much to do with the study of English. Yet there is a connection. The primary skills required in these jobs overlap substantially with some of the skills an English major normally acquires. For instance, a Public Affairs Coordinator will use communications skills to promote programs, and most advertising support functions require excellent writing.
Sources: College Majors and Careers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
100 Jobs in Words, Scott. A Meyer
Great Jobs for English Majors, Julie DeGalan & Stephen Lambert
Careers for Bookworms and Other Literary Types, Majorie Eberts & Margaret Gisler
Book Publishing Career Directory, Ronald W. Fry
"Making a Major Decision" videotape, English
These pages offer lists of related jobs and first jobs for English majors, ideas about how the skills you are learning as an English major transfer into the professional world, and outlines of the benefits from a liberal arts degree. They also offer lists of several related sites.