To be employed or not be employed?
Employed it seems for English graduates, thanks to the flexible skill set gained during an English degree. Grads end up in careers spanning a multitude of sectors, according to recent Higher Education Careers Services Unit data. Primary School Teacher, Broadcast Assistant at the BBC, Recruitment Consultant and Community Organiser are just a few of the diverse range of roles English grads ended up in 6 months after graduation.
Whilst the skills gained in Literature versus Language differ slightly, all English graduates leave university with an understanding of writing and language that's second to none compared with other degrees. This, combined with other transferable skills like analytical thinking, creativity and having a keen eye for detail, make English grads an great asset to any workplace.
If you're not sure which direction to head in after graduation, here's a few ideas that might pique your interest.
Key skills you've gained
- Analytical thinking
Whether you were critiquing texts or analysing the workings of the English Language during your degree, your ability to read between the lines and think analytically is an essential skill that you can apply to many situations at work.
- Time management
Any degree requires you to manage your time effectively, but the sheer amount of reading and writing involved in an English degree compared to others means that time management is vital. Your ability to organise your time to increase efficiency and productivity is a great asset for any job that requires multi-tasking.
- Attention to detail
Picking out themes in a text or subtle changes in language over time requires a meticulous eye for detail. If you point this skill out on your CV it'll stand you in good stead for jobs that require you to be thorough and accurate.
- Written communication skills
Every degree involves writing to some extent, but the heavy focus on essay writing in an English degree makes grads excellent at articulating their thoughts, constructing coherent arguments and using a broad range of vocabulary in their work.
- Skills specific to English
From email to social media, the wide variety of forms and styles of written communication we use nowadays is like never before. As an English grad, your ability to grasp the tone of different texts is an essential skill that will make you stand out from others, and is relevant to lots of jobs.
Typical jobs you could do with an English degree
Many English graduates aspire to break into Journalism and whilst it's a competitive industry, the broad range of areas you could specialise in make it an exciting area to work in. Whether you're reporting the news for a broadsheet newspaper or reviewing the next hit film, this role will definitely flex your writing skills.
As a copywriter, you could work in a number of industries. You might be tasked with writing copy to advertise a product or service, work digitally to create engaging content that drives visitors to a website or create short, snappy content for social media. Your understanding of the different tones of voice that can be used in writing is essential for this career.
- English Teacher
Arguably one of the most rewarding careers out there, teaching requires patience, understanding and enthusiasm. If you love English and want to inspire the next generation of best-selling authors, why not pass down your wisdom? There's also the option to teach English abroad if you're interested in travel - check out opportunities like this one, available on our website.
More suited to English Language graduates, as a Lexicographer you'll scour thousands of sources to identify new words, research meanings, create definitions, and ensure dictionaries are up-to-date. Your meticulous eye for detail is essential in this role, as well as having a real passion for language and how it evolves over time. Who knows, you might be responsible for discovering the Oxford Dictionary's next Word of the Year.
Not-so-typical jobs you could do with an English degree
- Public Relations
Most industries are extremely competitive nowadays so building and maintaining a good reputation is essential for a company's success. In a career in PR, you'll develop strategies, create press releases and liaise with stakeholders to ensure a company's relationships are upheld. You'll need strong communication skills and time-management in this career, as well as lots of confidence. Sound interesting? Opportunities like this one on our website are a great place to start.
- Social Media Executive
The demand for individuals who are social media savvy and know how to create relevant and engaging content is high. Virtually every company has, or wants, a social media presence and being young, literate, and creative means English grads are hugely appealing to employers. If you think you've got what it takes to create the next piece of viral content, there's plenty of opportunities out there.
- Media Researcher
Use your analytical thinking and keen eye for detail as a researcher. No day will be the same in this career, as you'll provide all the background research for TV, film or radio to ensure the planning and execution of programmes runs smoothly. Roles can be precarious as you're often hired onto specific projects rather than on a long-term, permanent basis, but there's no denying that the job is varied and exciting.
If you're business minded and don't necessarily want a job that deals with words, the skills required of an Analyst parallel those gained in an English degree more than you'd think. English grads are accustomed to finding patterns and themes in amongst large volumes of information and pinpointing important details - this analytical mind is essential for an analyst role. Have you considered a job as a Social Media Analyst? Check out this opportunity if you're interested.
If you're feeling inspired and ready to start looking for a graduate job, sign up here for tailored alerts.