"So you're majoring in English? What are you going to do with that?"
The answer is: Just about anything you want to do!
You may have been asked these questions a
hundred times, but you may have often lacked an immediate answer.
major prepares you for a wide variety of professions, ranging
from law to education, from medicine to business, and practically
everything in between.
Marquette English graduates
have pursued careers in
- advertising and public relations
government and public service
- human resource management
- information systems
- marketing and sales
Within each of these
categories, multiple possibilities exist. Consider advertising,
for example: if you like to write, you might want to be an advertising
copywriter. If you are imaginative and persuasive, you might want
to be a part of an advertising design team. If working with people
and meeting deadlines are your strengths, perhaps the role of
an account manager, the person responsible for planning the overall
strategy of an ad campaign, might appeal to you.
In short, the
critical thinking, analytical abilities, and writing skills you
have acquired in your English classes will serve you well in nearly
every job you pursue.
The key, of course, is
deciding exactly what that job might be. William Zinsser, a writer,
editor and teacher, claims that what we want to do, we will do
well--and that what we don't want to do, we won't do well. The
possible careers for English majors are truly limitless, so your
first goal should be to put your research and analytical skills
to work to determine what it is that you might want to do—and
then learn to do it well.
Below are some steps to help you begin this
process. But this is only a beginning. We encourage you to use
the resources on campus and to consult the many guides available
as you enter into this exciting new phase of your life!
(1) Assess your own likes and dislikes, strengths
(2) Explore possible careers for English majors
(3) Make yourself more marketable in your chosen
Find a summer job in the field
- Sign up for an internship or take an internship class for 3 credit hours
- Write corporations about pre-professional /executive training programs
- Conduct informational interviews with community contacts
(4) Enroll in supplementary courses related to
your career interests (e.g., business, communications, computer
word-processing and design, education, government, journalism,
marketing, technical writing, or writing for the professions)
(5) Minor in a career-related field
(6) Contact professional schools (law, education,
medicine, journalism, business, etc.) about application procedures
and admission requirements
(7) Tutor in local schools
Free your imagination,
use your research skills, and trust your instincts.
when you know what it is you want to do, go and do it well!
Services: Provides career counseling,
workshops on how to write job letters and resumes, and
instruction on interviewing techniques. Also provides extensive
- Counseling Center: Provides assessment exercises to determine your interests, skills,
and abilities. Also provides counseling and library materials.
Department: Provides a list of former majors
and community contacts whom you may call for informational
interviews about careers in law, editing, teaching, publishing,
executive training, etc.
- Graduate School: Provides information about graduate school programs, application
processes, fellowships and other financial aid, graduate entrance
exam test dates, and deadlines. Consult with them ASAP, but no
later than the early fall of your senior year.
For more about
Marquette University's available resources, see our campus resources
Search for these books from Marquette's
Raynor Memorial Library home page:
- Anzalone, Joan, ed. Goodworks: A Guide to
Social Change Careers . NY: Dembner Books, 1994.
Betsy. Getting Work Experience: The
Student's Directory of Professional Internship Programs .
NY: Dell, 1985.
- Bolles, Richard Nelson. What Color is Your
Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters & Career
Changers . Berkeley: Ten Speed, 2008.
- Career Directory
Series. Hawthorne, NJ: 1989/90. Contains eight volumes: Advertising, Book Publishing, Business
and Finance, Magazine Publishing, Marketing and Sales, Newspapers,
Public Relations, and Travel and Hospitality.
- Rushing, Brian C., ed. Internships: 50,000
On-the-Job Training Opportunities for Students and Adults.
Princeton, NJ: Peterson's Guides, published annually.
Lauren. Taking Off: Extraordinary
Ways to Spend Your First Year Out of College . NY: Fireside,
- De Galan, Julie and Stephen Lambert. Great Jobs for English Majors. Lincolnwood, IL: VGM Career Horizons, 2006.
- Gould, Christine A. Consider Your Options:
Business Opportunities for Liberal Arts Graduates.
Washington: Assn. of American Colleges, 1983.
Rosemary. Career Opportunities for
Writers. NY: Facts on File Publications, 2000.
John L. Jobs for English Majors
and Other Smart People. Princeton: Peterson's Guides,
- O'Brien, Mark. High-Tech Jobs for Non-Tech
Grads. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc. 1986.
- Orange, Linwood E. English: The Pre-Professional
Major. New York: MLA, 1979.
- Peterson's Job Opportunities for Business
and Liberal Arts Graduates. Princeton, NJ: Peterson's
Guides, published annually.
- Shinkman, Christopher J. Public and Non-Profit
Sector Employment for Liberal Arts Graduates. Washington:
Assn. of American Colleges, 1982.
- Warren, Russell G. New Links between General
Education and Business Careers. Washington: Assn. of American