What Can I Do With an English Major?

Below is a list of job titles and brief job descriptions for which a major or minor in English would provide excellent training. For more information, please see McKendree University’s Career Services.





Advertising Copywriter: Writes advertising copy for display in all media: newspaper, Internet, magazine, billboard, packaging, television, radio.

Corporate Communications Specialist: Writes press releases, speeches, annual reports, and other material to promote a corporation and its image.

Computer Marketing Communications Specialist: Writes brochures, data sheets, and other marketing materials to promote a computer product.

Public Relations/Public Information Specialist: Assesses the public relations needs of an organization, and plans and implements programs to meet them. Distinct from advertising. Makes public appearances, produces special events, and prepares press releases and packets to generate favorable free publicity. Works for professional agencies, businesses, and for nonprofit and social service organizations.


Computer Instructional Designer:
Writes instructional and tutorial manuals and course materials for internal and customer training. Works for manufacturers of computer hardware and software.

Editor/Copy Editor/Copy Reader: Edits printed copy for grammatical and stylistic errors. Works in a variety of settings: book and magazine publishers, newspapers, advertising agencies, web-design firms, in-house publications of business and agency newsletters and releases.

Editorial Assistant: Evaluates manuscripts; reviews and edits copy; coordinates photography, illustrations, and graphics; secures copyrights and permissions to quote copyrighted material. Works for book publishers.

Freelance Writer: Writes for publications on an assignment basis for a negotiated fee, usually after submittal of a query letter proposing ideas for articles or stories. Typically works as an independent contractor.

Radio/Television Copywriter: Writes and rewrites scripts for broadcast media.

Reporter/Staff Writer: Works and writes for a publication on a regular basis. Usually works under pressure of deadlines on general assignments before specializing in a particular area. In addition to newspapers and magazines, employers include corporations and agencies with in-house newsletters.

Technical Writer: Researches, writes and edits publications that communicate scientific technical information to readers with no technical background. Employers include corporations, professional associations, and government agencies.

Test Specialist: Writes test questions for standardized exams.

Education (PreK-12)

Elementary or Secondary School Teacher:
Instructs high school, junior high or elementary school students. Most secondary school teachers teach several courses in a single subject area. Public schools generally require certification; private schools generally do not.

Higher Education





Legal Professions

Hired to inform corporations or individuals what they can or can’t do under the law.

Paralegal: Assist lawyers in the work.


Research Assistant:
Assists researchers in collecting and analyzing data, observing and interviewing people, surveying appropriate literature, and writing reports in order to advise or inform a client. Works for research and consulting firms.

Public Policy

Info Systems/ Technology/ Library

Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials (BLS).