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I love books. I love to write. But what can you do with a degree in English—other than be a teacher?

We hear this a lot in the English department.

It’s the first question prospective students (and their parents) ask us. And clearly the question is on your mind, too, because, well, here you are.

We understand why you’re asking...

  • Because you’re looking for an answer to that insistent question, “So, what are you going to be?”
  • Because unlike, say, journalism or marketing or architecture, the name of our major—English—doesn’t directly refer to a specific career.
  • Because choosing a major with a clear career trajectory seems like a practical choice.

...but an English major is a practical choice.

You can be a teacher, yes, and so many other things.

The world needs English majors because, no matter how much the economy and technology change, we teach skills that transfer to hundreds of jobs—and to jobs that don’t even exist yet.

The future belongs to those who can tell clear, persuasive stories in a noisy world. And that’s what we teach in English.

According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 93 percent of employers say that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a candidate’s undergraduate major.

So if you’re passionate about books, language, or writing, come study with us. And before you graduate, we’ll show you how you navigate from the academic to the professional world.

What You'll Learn
Skills that aren’t tied to a specific job, but that you can take with you anywhere, that transfer. Such as skills in….
  • assessing an audience
  • perceiving patterns/structures
  • comparing/contrasting
  • synthesizing information
  • summarizing ideas
  • picking a manageable topic
  • framing the argument
  • presenting it effectively
  • establishing hypotheses
  • writing creatively
  • creating persuasive messages
  • using precise language
  • writing concisely
  • drafting documents in accordance with guidelines
  • editing
  • spelling, punctuation, syntax
  • producing clean copy/content the first time
  • setting a schedule for both short- and long-term projects
  • meeting deadlines and managing time
  • managing information
  • gathering information
  • using original sources
  • interpreting data
  • summarizing and presenting information
  • evaluating results
  • analyzing texts and information

  • managing a project from conception to completion—solo and in a group
  • working with others
  • working in a flexible, adaptable manner
  • perceiving the world from multiple points of view
  • view others (partners, co-workers, customers, subjects) with empathy
  • ability to have a healthy debate
  • agreeing to disagree
  • taking constructive criticism
  • reading critically
  • appreciating that there’s no “right” answer
  • treating claims with healthy skepticism
  • thinking independently
  • understanding components of complex problems
  • grasping the nuances of tone in written communication
  • finding solutions to intricate problems

Melissa Glidden

Melissa Glidden

Freelance Writer
Creative Writing

Ace Howard

Ace Howard

Technical Writer
Rhetoric and Writing

Lauren Lutz

Lauren Lutz

Marketing
English Studies

We are frequently asked about the job prospects for students who study English.

The articles below address this question and provide additional links to articles in national publications about English majors and the job market.

How to Navigate

First, major in what you love, and then get involved in any of the following.

Student Organizations

Find your tribe and learn leadership skills. Learn more.

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Immersive Learning

Apply your skills in real-world contexts. Learn more.

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Internships

We’ll help you find a position, which you can apply in your degree. Learn more.

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Speaker Series

Come to the “Stars to Steer By Career Series” and learn how others pivoted from English to their careers. Learn more.
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Career Center

Our Career Center provides excellent programs and career coaches that will help you become intern- and career-ready. Learn more.

Thinking about Majoring in English?

Do you want a degree that will prepare your for any number of careers by giving you the critical skills employers demand?

Explore Our Programs