“What are you going to do with a degree in English?”
As a former English major myself, I’m no stranger to the anxiety this question provokes. Although an English degree may not directly prepare you for one particular role, the skills you gain from it — excellent written and verbal communication, critical thinking, persuasive reasoning — are transferable to a number of different fields, many of which pay quite well.
Want some ideas to get you started? Check out the following roles!
Average Base Pay: $69,935
Number of Open Jobs: 5,565
Description: Copywriters typically write short-form content like website/product text, advertising slogans, emails and more. They may work at advertising or digital marketing agencies and write for multiple clients, or in-house for one particular company.
Average Base Pay: $54,455
Number of Open Jobs: 5,679
Description: Content Writers, on the other hand, typically write longer-form content like blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, case studies, etc. Starting out as a Content Writer may open the door to titles like Content Marketing Manager, Content Editor or Editorial Director.
Average Base Pay: $67,225
Number of Open Jobs: 60,288
Description: Account Executive is one of the most common job titles in the sales field. Account Executives often spend their days identifying potential clients and managing relationships with current ones. This might involve email outreach, cold calling, scheduling meetings and closing deals.
Average Base Pay: $55,076
Number of Open Jobs: 29,720
Description: Marketing Coordinators support marketing departments with a wide range of initiatives. This might include asset creation, project management, reporting, research or administrative tasks.
Average Base Pay: $52,363
Number of Open Jobs: 47,071
Description: Although you will often need a certificate, majoring in English prepares you well for a career in teaching. Excellent writing and mastery of grammar will come in hand whether you’re planning lessons, grading papers or lecturing.
Average Base Pay: $66,848
Number of Open Jobs: 1,991
Description: SEO Specialists optimize websites and digital content in order to ensure that it ranks highly on search engines. This may involve activities like content creation, keyword research, link building campaigns, site audits and more.
Average Base Pay: $52,162
Number of Open Jobs: 2,525
Description: Although the journalism field as a whole has shrunk in recent years, there is still a need for talented reporters with top-notch writing, editing and investigative skills. Journalists spend much of their time identifying buzzworthy topics, researching their assigned subjects, interviewing sources, writing, proofreading and, increasingly, leveraging reporting tools to analyze the performance of their content.
Average Base Pay: $47,098
Number of Open Jobs: 9,499
Description: Social Media Coordinators are tasked with amplifying their employer’s brand on social media channels. Daily tasks could include writing and scheduling social media posts, planning social media campaigns, responding to follower queries and reporting on metrics.
Average Base Pay: $58,100
Number of Open Jobs: 5,647
Description: Paralegals serve a supporting role to lawyers in an organization. A paralegal often performs clerical tasks, like conducting research, filing paperwork and reviewing documents. You may need a paralegal certificate in order to find a job, although this is not always required. While being a paralegal is a career in its own right, many people work as paralegals before or while studying to become a lawyer.
Average Base Pay: $37,221
Number of Open Jobs: 94,827
Description: Customer Service Representatives are dedicated to helping customers and clients with whatever needs they might have. This frequently involves leveraging their expert knowledge of their company’s products/services in order to respond to queries that come in via phone, email and social media. Customer Service Representatives may go on to become Customer Success Managers, a role which is more closely linked with sales.
11. Proposal Writer
Average Base Pay: $60,021
Number of Open Jobs: 5,704
Description: Proposal Writers are responsible for drafting documents that persuade a potential client, stakeholder or partner to do business with or financially support their organization. This might mean drafting RFPs, pitch presentations and grant applications, among others.
Average Base Pay: $42,715
Number of Open Jobs: 1,643
Description: Editorial Assistants, often employed at magazines, newspapers and other publications, help manage the content production process. Common tasks include researching, fact-checking, writing, proofreading and performing administrative work.
Average Base Pay: $60,474
Number of Open Jobs: 14,320
Description: Public Relations Coordinator is an entry-level position in public relations, a field dedicated to generating a positive buzz around companies. A day in the life of a Public Relations Coordinator might involve pitching reporters, creating and maintaining a media list, drafting a press release, fielding inbound inquiries and tracking news coverage.
14. Technical Writer
Average Base Pay: $70,577
Number of Open Jobs: 5,838
Description: As the name suggests, Technical Writers are in charge of drafting technical documents. A few examples of technical documents are instruction manuals, tutorials, reports and product guides. Technical Writers must be able to clearly and concisely explain complex information, and possess a thorough understanding of whatever subject matter they write about.
Average Base Pay: $78,819
Number of Open Jobs: 48,867
Description: Consulting firms like Bain, Deloitte, EY & others are always on the lookout for talented Associate Consultants, who identify areas of improvement in organizations and come up with solutions to overcome those challenges. Many students mistakenly believe that only Business Majors are qualified, but the truth is, consulting firms often love to have candidates from varied backgrounds as long as they are analytical problem solvers.
16. Copy Editor
Average Base Pay: $50,820
Number of Open Jobs: 4,651
Description: Often employed at publications, Copy Editors review text to make sure that it is clear, correct and compelling. An eagle eye for spelling and grammar are required, as are proficiency in fact-checking and a deep understanding of narrative structure.
Average Base Pay: $61,932
Number of Open Jobs: 27,913
Description: Executive Assistants support high-level business leaders through administrative tasks like scheduling, paperwork, travel coordination, running errands and answering phone calls. Organizational skills, time management and the ability to multitask are critical for this role.