Once you have discerned your interests, finding the right career path that aligns with your skills and values may seem like an intimidating task. However, the University’s English undergraduate program prepares you for a variety of career possibilities following skills you will gain in critical thinking, creativity, and in the ability to process, interpret, and provide information to a wide range of audiences. These flexible skills that the English B.A. from UL Lafayette provides prepare you to adapt to an ever-changing job market. Though continuing your English studies in graduate school, Law school, or in other areas (e.g., library research, business, humanities, social sciences), as many do, may broaden your career opportunities.
If you pursue an English degree, you will have a number of opportunities to develop skills and abilities valued by employers. Careers no longer follow a clear path, but develop as you demonstrate how your particular knowledge, skills, and abilities fit particular roles. An English degree prepares you for a number of jobs by providing you with opportunities to develop core writing, research, analytical, oral communication, collaboration, project management, and critical thinking skills. We want to prepare you for exploring career paths post-graduation. For more information, advice, and job postings to help you with your post-graduation professional job search, contact the Office of Career Services.
Career and Job Opportunities
For the moment, explore the following positions open to English majors, including those that UL Lafayette Alumni with degrees in English are working in. Most of these positions are entry-level, which means that they may serve as a first step for you to gain experience and define your career path. To succeed in these positions, English graduates are expected to translate the following skills and abilities: leadership, written and oral communication, editing, research, management, teaching and training, and customer service. A degree in English extends your opportunities to:
- Media and Communication
- Business and Industry
- Arts and Culture
- Sales and Marketing
Copyeditor, Intern, Editorial Assistant. If you are creative and attentive to detail, you might find an opportunity in the publishing industry. To break into a career in publishing you will have to build relevant experience. You could intern with a publisher, take on a number of roles with a small press, or work as a freelance editor to gain necessary experience to secure a publishing job. Take courses in editing, publishing, and grammar, and volunteer to work for the Southwestern Review to prepare for a career in publishing.
Content Writer. If you like to research new topics and write about them, you could be suited to be a Content Writer. You could write blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, or other research-based content. Starting out as a Content Writer can lead to a job as a Content Marketing Manager, Content Editor, or Editorial Director. Take a course in technical writing or professional writing to prepare to be a content writer.
Editorial Assistant. If you are detail-oriented and attentive to language issues, you could be suited to work as an Editorial Assistant. You could help manage the content production process by conducting research, fact-checking, writing content, and proofreading. You can find these positions with magazines, newspapers, and other publications. Take courses in editing and grammar to prepare for a position as an editor.
Editorial Director. If you have demonstrated leadership and editing experience, you could be an Editorial Director. You could help mentor and manage in-house writers, manage content calendars, and develop content strategies. Editorial Directors must have exceptional writing and editing skills and enjoy delivering and receiving constructive feedback. Starting out as an Editorial Assistant can lead to a job as an Editorial Director.
Internal Communications Specialist. If you can write well and organize information effectively, organizations need you to manage their internal messaging. You could produce communication like emails, newsletters, training programs, websites, social media content, presentations, and speeches.
Technical Writer. If you can clearly and concisely explain complex information, you could be suited to be a Technical Writer. You could compose manuals, tutorials, frequently asked questions, website help sections, and other product or service-related documentation. Because Technical Writers must thoroughly understand the subject matter they write about, they are often candidates for sales and managerial positions. Take courses in technical writing and professional writing to prepare for a technical writing job.
UX Writer. If you have a knack for explaining things in simple terms, you would do well as a UX Writer. UX Writers write with the user’s experience in mind. They are the “wordsmiths” on a team of designers, and as a poet, they must be attentive to every word they produce. Work as an editor can lead to a position as a UX Writer.
EFL Teacher. If you are interested in traveling, consider working in a language school. International language schools and government programs like the Peace Corp or the JET Program (Japan) hire English majors to teach English as a Foreign Language (EFL). UL Lafayette English majors have traveled the world teaching English. Take courses in linguistics to prepare to teach EFL.
High School Teacher. An English degree provides you with an understanding of literature and academic writing that some high schools value. You can find private schools and education corporations like Teach for America that will allow you to begin teaching without a state certification.
Higher Education Support Staff. If you have a BA in English, you can find staff positions on university campuses. A number of university offices are in need of workers who can communicate effectively.
Community College or University Instructor. If you want to teach higher education, you must get at least a Master’s degree. If you demonstrate you are capable of exceptional work as an undergraduate majoring in English, you will have opportunities to pursue an MA in English. With an MA in English, you can work as an instructor at a community college or in some instances at a university.
Fundraiser, Grant Writer, Event Planner. If you are creative and have strong communication and fundraising skills, there is a nonprofit that wants your services. Nonprofit organizations value workers who can write grants and marketing content, and can plan and organize projects and events. Find a nonprofit you support and volunteer to open the door to a better opportunity.
Grant Writer. If you are a good writer with artistic sensibilities, you could be a grant writer for an arts and culture organization. Grant Writers explain to funding agents the impact increased resources will have on the organization and its mission. Take courses in professional writing and grant writing to prepare for a grant writing job.
Communications Officer. If you can write persuasively and have good oral communication skills, you could be a communication officer for government officials. Government offices need writers and communication specialists to write press releases, develop messages, prepare presentations, and write speeches. You could get started as a communications officer by taking a temporary position in local government or with a political candidate.
Account Executive. If you are organized and have good written and oral communication skills, you could be suited to work in sales or client relations. Account Executive is one of the most common job titles in the sales field. Account Executives often identify potential clients and manage relationships with current ones. Similar job titles: Sales Consultant, Sales Representative, Account Manager.
Copywriter. If you have a knack for telling persuasive stories, you could write the text of advertisements or publicity material. Copywriters work with marketers to craft product and brand messages. You could write compelling copy for brochures, catalogs, and websites.
Social Media Coordinator. If you are a skilled writer and designer, you could create social media campaigns for an organization. Social Media Coordinators support an organization’s mission by creating compelling content for social media channels. You could create a social media plan, write and design social media posts, manage multiple social media accounts, and analyze the results of your efforts.
Paralegal. If you are detail-oriented and interested in the legal system, you may be suited for a position as a paralegal. Paralegals support lawyers by conducting research, filing paperwork, and reviewing documents. Many people work as paralegals before or while studying to become a lawyer.
Lawyer. If you are interested in going to law school, you should major in English. Your English coursework will help you develop the foundational skills needed to excel in legal work. Students who can write well, construct arguments, and analyze complex texts have critical skills needed for law school. Lawyers must be good writers in order to compose contracts, memos, legal documentation, and courtroom arguments.