What can I do with an English major?
This question (sometimes ending "besides teach") is a favorite of both prospective majors and their parents. The answer is: plenty of things. Many prospective employers who do not list "English major" in their job descriptions are delighted to hire employees who are skilled at reading, writing, thinking carefully and creatively, and working well with people--all skills that English majors learn. The world is full of English majors who do a wide variety of challenging and diverse jobs. Bluffton College President Lee Snyder was an English major; and so were all of these:
-Dave Barry, humorist
-Chevy Chase, actor
-Michael Eisner, Walt Disney CEO
-Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, television writer/producer (Designing Women, Evening Shade)
-Jodi Foster, actor, filmmaker
-Joe Paterno, football coach (Penn State)
-Sally Ride, astronaut
-Paul Simon, songwriter, singer
-Steven Spielberg, filmmaker
-Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
-Harold Varmus, Nobel laureate in medicine, Director of National Institutes of Health
-Sigourney Weaver, actor
At Bluffton, a goodly number of English majors complete the education courses and student teaching required to be licensed to teach in public schools. Others pursue a wide variety of interests and careers in law, business, higher education, and elsewhere. One recent graduate is already publishing his science fiction in magazines and anthologies. Others go to graduate school to study many different subjects--not only literature and creative writing, but business, communication, queer theory, sociology, law, and other fields as well.
English department faculty work closely with students as they consider various career options. In addition, the Bluffton College Career Center provides many resources for students seeking employment, applying to graduate schools, and exploring their interests and abilities.
For sketches of some of our recent graduates, see our Meet some recent alumni page.
For more information about career options for English majors, you may want to follow some of these links:
OSU Career Services English page
Northern University Careers in English page
Furman University Careers for English Majors page
University of Missouri-Rolla Careers for English Majors page
Arizona State University Undergraduate Advising page