“Are you going to be a teacher when you get older?” is a question that many English students will hear during their time at university.
Whilst it is true that a significant number of English students love the idea of teaching after completing their degree (and there is nothing wrong with that – this is an education blog after all!), there is a variety of potential career paths for English students.
Here are five options for English students to consider:
1. Sales and marketing
Sales and marketing have many different aspects, but overall they have the same aim: persuade people to engage in the product or service being offered.
How do salespeople and marketers do this? A lot of the time by using words to persuade people. Students with a knack for English are arguably the best at this and it has become a popular career path for English graduates.
Salespeople are often extroverts and having participated in debates or amateur dramatics in the past will help project an image of confidence needed to be successful in sales.
Graduate Prospects go into a lot of detail about how writers often are freelancers working unsociable hours for little pay. Whilst this can be true, having a lower salary is not out of the ordinary for a lot of new graduates, no matter what subject they’ve studied.
If you are an English graduate and an aspiring writer, don’t be afraid to go for it. Slowly build up contacts and a portfolio and the clients will come.
If you’re passionate about it, it’s worth it (even if you do have to do a bit of part-time bar work as well). Indeed actually lists a great deal of writer jobs for English graduates, showing just how many prospects are out there.
English students have an appreciation for the written word and actors do not necessary need a degree in theatre studies.
This is great news for English graduates who yearn to tread the boards – their experience with literary criticism and creative writing will help translate a love for the written word to a career in acting.
Start with amateur dramatics at university and see how that progresses. Acting is a tough career path with many potential disappointments but the rewards, both financial and the satisfaction of entertaining others, can be life-changing.
Journalist Alexandra Topping discusses how she thinks that experience is more important than the degree subject. Although she has a degree in journalism now, she started her career as a journalist with an English degree.
Whilst it is true that journalism is a difficult career to get into, being a wordsmith and imaginative English graduate will give you the upper hand.
Writing assignments when studying for a degree is a great foundation for understanding how to write creatively and to a deadline.
5. Teach English as a foreign language
English is one of the most sought after languages to learn across the globe, making the job prospects for English graduates almost endless.
English graduates with extra CELTA or TEFL qualifications are going to be a language centre’s dream candidate.
Teaching abroad has become increasingly popular over the years, but if you’re an English student or graduate who doesn’t fancy moving abroad, there are many opportunities to teach English as a foreign language in the UK too.
The most important thing to remember about thinking about career paths for an English student or graduate is to not put limits on opportunities.
If you’ve seen a posting for a graduate job that you think you could do, but have not necessary studied a relvant subject, there is nothing stopping you from getting it.
Highlight the advantages of being an English graduate (great at written and oral communication, creative, all-round knowledge, adaptable…) and never be afraid to sell yourself.