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5 Best Careers for Literature Majors

Gone are the days when people thought that studying literature only leads to unemployment. Nowadays, there are many well-paying job opportunities for literature majors.

If you have strong writing, speaking, or research skills, you can explore various industries that value these abilities. Being a literature major doesn’t limit you to one specific job.

For example, you could work in the public relations department of a law firm or be in charge of marketing communications for a popular beauty brand. So, studying literature can open doors to exciting and diverse career paths.

What types of employment should English literature majors search for?

After years of reading literature, analysing texts for meaning, and making conclusions from your writing, you may be wondering how to best utilise your expertise in the job. While the work you do after graduation may not seem the same as while you were studying, you will surely apply the finely refined abilities you’ve learnt in your future role.

During your English literature studies, you most certainly became an expert in all things writing and rhetoric. Most English literature majors have prior experience articulating their ideas and communicating effectively. Reading analytically, thinking critically, and communicating are fundamental skills that can help you pursue careers in a range of disciplines, including publishing, media and journalism, academia, law, marketing, and public relations.

List of Career Paths for Lit Majors seeking jobs:

1. Copy Editor

Copy editors are responsible for revising all written copy by checking for grammatical and spelling errors, ensuring consistent formatting and creating and enforcing superior editorial standards. Copy editors are required in any industry that produces written content such as blogs, white papers, opinion pieces and research reports for clients. Since literature graduates spend a considerable chunk of their time producing and analyzing reports, research studies and papers, the work of a copy editor would be second nature to them.

Find Copy Editor jobs here.

2. Research Assistant

The typical job description of a research assistant may not sound very glamorous, but it does employ several skills possessed by a typical literature graduate – namely data collection, analysis, compilation and formatting of reports. Other duties involve summarizing the findings of the research project into a compact presentation to be delivered to senior executives, which can be easily handled by lit majors. The technical aspect of research-based jobs should not throw off aspiring candidates as it can be picked up on the go.

Find Research Assistant jobs here.

3. Sales Manager

The word “sales manager” may bring to mind images of a sharply dressed executive delivering a number-heavy presentation to clients or making cold calls to potential partners. While this is not far from the truth, there is a surprising amount of content that comes with the territory of a sales manager. Given that the role involves client-facing, it is imperative that the sales manager possesses superb communication skills and acute emotional intelligence.

Find Sales Manager jobs here

4. Media Relations/Marketing Communications Officer

Literature degree holders are likely to gravitate towards these careers given their natural predisposition to be content-heavy. The media industry is diverse and encompasses everything from television to internet blogs. A marketing communications officer will use a variety of media to disseminate information regarding company strategies and activities, organize media events, prepare evaluation reports and develop marketing strategies and campaigns. Both roles involve a good deal of liaising with the press and developing and maintaining media contacts.

Find Marketing Officer jobs here

5. Technical Writer

Ever wondered who writes product literature and instruction manuals for electronic items? A technical writer’s job is to work with complex chunks of information and make them palatable for the average consumer. Researching, editing and producing a library of technical literature, writing operational scripts and analyzing complicated documents is another day at work for the technical writer.

Find Technical Writer jobs here. 

Make the most of your English degree: 8 tips

Now that you understand what you can accomplish with an English degree, the next step is to look into entry-level and progression prospects. 

Here are eight techniques to increase your professional opportunities:  

  • Sign up for elective classes that introduce you to various areas, such as business or foreign languages, and you may learn about related work chances.
  • Look for internship, volunteer, or non-salary positions that will allow you to utilise your degree abilities in a real-world business setting. Literary agents, for example, who represent writers and get a commission on book sales, frequently begin their careers as interns under an experienced agent at a well-known agency. 
  • Look for jobs that require or prefer English as a degree. Consider applying for jobs that include communications, marketing, journalism, or “degrees in related fields,” as these firms may be willing to hire someone with an English degree.
  • By accepting freelance assignments that emphasise the responsibilities mentioned in the job descriptions you discover during your searches, you can assemble a portfolio of your expert work. These could include jobs doing fact-checking, book reviews, tutoring, copywriting, proofreading, sensitivity reading, and event planning.
  • Attend seminars for professionals and networking events. Make it your mission to network with people who can help you find professional prospects and who respect your experience, talents, and past efforts.
  • Join groups for professionals, such as the alumni association of your university. Finding career possibilities and staying current on industry best practices can both be facilitated by becoming a member.
  • Subscribe to your favourite businesses and influencers by email and follow them on social media. Keep an eye out for announcements like, “We’re hiring!” or “Want to work for us?”, particularly for marketing, communications, or writing-related roles.
  • Examine a variety of industries and consider how an English major may contribute to their expansion. For instance, someone with an English degree and experience developing user experiences (UX) could contribute to making cryptocurrency platforms and information more approachable as blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies become more widely used.

Conclusion

Don’t forget to update your CV frequently as you look into different employment options and acquire relevant experience. Don’t forget to customise your resume for each role you apply for, use action verbs to highlight your accomplishments and past employment, and highlight the measurable outcomes of your work.

Additionally, think about pursuing your education beyond a bachelor’s or master’s degree. This might be a fantastic approach to relate the coursework for your English degree to current business needs and developments in the sector. Enrol in writing and editing courses to open up new options, or earn a project management certificate to gain practical abilities.  

FAQ on Career Opportunities for Literature Majors

Q.1 What career opportunities are available for literature majors?

A: Literature majors have a wide range of career opportunities. Some common options include writing and editing, publishing, teaching, journalism, content creation, marketing and communications, public relations, research and analysis, and even working in the entertainment industry.

Q.2 What skills do literature majors possess that make them suitable for various careers?

A: Literature majors possess excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. They have a deep understanding of storytelling, critical thinking, analysis, and interpretation. These skills make them well-suited for careers that require effective communication, research, creativity, and the ability to think critically.

Q.3 Can literature majors work in fields unrelated to literature?

A: Absolutely! Literature majors have versatile skills that can be applied in various fields. Their strong communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills make them valuable assets in industries such as marketing, public relations, advertising, content creation, research, and more.

Their ability to analyze and interpret texts can also be beneficial in fields like law and consulting.

Q.4 How can literature majors enter the publishing industry?

A: Literature majors can enter the publishing industry through various paths. They can pursue internships or entry-level positions in publishing houses, literary agencies, or independent publishing companies. Building a portfolio of writing samples and networking with professionals in the industry can also help literature majors land opportunities in publishing.

Q.5 Are there any additional skills literature majors can acquire to enhance their career prospects?

A: Yes, literature majors can benefit from acquiring additional skills and experiences to enhance their career prospects. They can consider taking courses or gaining practical experience in areas like digital marketing, content creation, copywriting, editing, graphic design, or social media management.

Engaging in internships, freelance writing projects, or joining relevant professional organizations can also be beneficial for networking and skill development.

Also Read :

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