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What Can You Do With an English Degree?

An English student smiles while reading a book outside

The power of the written word is not lost on students earning an English degree at St. Thomas University. Students working towards their Bachelor of Arts in English get to develop their knowledge and critical thinking skills in many ways. They think deeply and have a commanding grasp on the written word. 

While some may believe that English majors are just bookworms who enjoy writing essays, the truth is that English majors have many career options to take them where they want to go. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do with an English degree from STU.

Choose Your Focus

There are three different paths that English majors can choose from at STU. These three options allow you to focus on what parts of the English degree excite you and set you up for your future career.

Literature Specialization

Those students who love reading and literature often choose the literature specialization path. Not only does this option dive deep into different literature greats from different cultures, but it exposes students to different genres as well.

JD Law School

Research and persuasion are a significant part of what students learn as an English major. These tactics are especially useful when students desire to work in the field of law or attend law school after graduation. Choosing the JD Law School 3 + 3 pathway allows English students to take 90 credits in English courses with the remaining 30 credits in law study. 

This unique program is a great way to prepare students for a successful career in law.

Writing Specialization

There is power in the written word. Those students who love to write essays and find that they communicate better when writing often choose the writing specialization path. This option focuses on the student’s love of writing to hone skills needed to write for a wide range of topics and genres in their professional career.

Future Career Options

The future is bright when it comes to what you can do with an English degree. There are so many different options that you can choose from in your career. The skills that you learn with an English degree can be used across multiple sectors and industries after graduation.

Freelance Writer

Our world is increasingly becoming more of an independent world. Freelancing is a growing industry where many writers and creatives have written their own rules for their career. Freelance writers with a degree in English can be their own boss and work for a wide range of different clients. They set their own hours and can work from literally anywhere in the world while still bringing in a solid paycheck. While freelancers do experience busy and slow periods, there is tremendous freedom available.

A male freelance writer wearing a yellow shirt sits in a cafe while writing on his laptop

Job Outlook

The freelance industry is expected to grow to over 90 million freelancers by 2028. In a gig economy, more and more English majors are choosing to start their own business as a freelance writer. Freelancers can work for clients directly or apply for jobs on Upwork and other freelancing sites. Freelancers set their own prices and hours, so the amount of income can vary widely. However, most freelancers can easily earn $30.00 per hour to start and quickly scale upward.

Secondary School Teacher

Sharing a love for reading and writing is a common choice for English majors. You can choose to teach secondary school classes after earning a teaching certificate. High School teachers are needed all across the country and in every community.

Job Outlook

High school teachers earn an average of $60,000 per year, and the sector is expected to grow an average rate of 4%. Teachers enjoy time off work for holidays and summertime as well. Every school district is different, and many teachers find jobs close to home or within driving distance. Teaching is also a family-friendly profession for those students with or wanting families.


Those English majors working towards a career as a professor will need some further education to do so. Professors often have graduate or doctoral degrees to teach other high education students about the overall field of study. However, it is possible to start teaching as part of your graduate course in English.

Professor giving a lecture to the students

Job Outlook

Postsecondary teachers make an average of about $78,000 per year. The need for professors is expected to grow at a fast pace of 11% through 2028. This is an excellent opportunity for those English majors who want to stay on their current campus or move to another school.

Public Relations

The ability to speak and write well is a shared love of those English majors who enter the Public Relations field. You’ll not only write a lot of content for your company but also may need to speak in front of large crowds as well. Public relations specialists enjoy making things clear through the power of the written word. 

Job Outlook

One of the perks of becoming a Public Relations specialist is that you can choose what kind of company you want to work for. Every company, both large and small, needs someone who can accurately communicate with customers. Public relations specialists make an average of $60,000 per year, and the industry is expected to grow an average rate of 6% through 2028. 


While some companies may want to hire marketing majors, English majors are also a good fit for marketing departments all across the country. Working in the field of marketing is exciting and also requires a good understanding of words and how they are interpreted. You’ll write ads, press releases, email blasts, and communicate persuasively to the end customer as a marketing professional.

Job Outlook

Marketing is another one of those fields that opens many doors for English majors. You can choose the kind of company that you want to work for and represent. English graduates often enter the ground floor of the marketing department with plenty of room to grow. As your career progresses, you may enjoy a salary of about $130,000 as a marketing manager. 

Knowing what you can do with an English degree is a huge part of deciding on a major at STU. Not only will a degree in English open up opportunities for different career industries, but it will also expose students to a wide range of classes and world-class professors. 

Enjoy literature, writing, literary criticism, and creative writing classes to expand your knowledge of the written word. Contact our admissions office today for more information about starting your English degree.


Michelle Tulande

Author Michelle Tulande

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