Careers in English

WHAT CAN I DO WITH A MAJOR IN ENGLISH?

The English Department aims to develop knowledge and appreciation of literature in English and of the various cultures, beliefs and experiences expressed in this literature, as well as the faculty of sound criticism and skill and grace in English expression as a means of personal development and professional preparation. Study in the field of English offers a general humanistic education as well as skills in communication and analysis that are essential in most careers. An education in English teaches students to write, to think critically, to weigh values, and to communicate ideas. A student majoring in English can choose from three areas of emphasis: literature, writing and English education. For help in identifying more information about the occupations listed below, please visit the Career Development Center, Lenfest 103 and 104 (phone: 717-262-2006 or email career@wilson.edu).

CAREER OPPORTUNITES

Human Services Publishing                                                                    
Foreign service representative
Peace Corps/Vista volunteer                                                                
Community relations specialist
Press representative                                                                             
Meeting assistant
Para legal                                                                                            
Program planner
Special concerns advocate                                                                   
Publicity coordinator
Humanities and arts council representative Acquisitions editor                 
Copy editor
Project editor                                                                           
Salesperson
Publicity and promotion specialist                                                         
Advertising coordinator
Production specialist                                                                            
Contracts and permission specialist
Assistant book publicist                                                                        
Communication/Public Relations Business/Industry
Consumer public relations specialist                                                      
University/college relations specialist
Information specialist                                                                           
Public opinion analyst
Press representative (legislator)                                                           
Convention organizer Business/Industry
Manager                                                                                              
Marketing trainee
Business communications/in-house publicationist                                   
Public relations writer
Document and procedures analyst                                                        
Corporate legal assistant
Claims adjustor                                                                                  
Research analyst/associate                               
Personnel relations specialist                                                                
Retail/buyer
Interviewer                                                                                          
Data entry operator
Station manager                                                                                   
Stock broker assistant
Sales promotion specialist                                                                    
Advertising
Copy writer                                                                                         
Sales writer
Editor                                                                                                  
Proofreader
Feature writer                                                                                      
Advertising account executive           
Technical Writing Journalism                                                                                           
Writer
Reporter                                                                                              
Software and software manuals
Grant Writer
Institutional Writer                                                                               
Freelance
Institutional Copy Editor                                                                      
Columnist
Critic                                                                                                   
Teaching
Public or private school teacher                                                            
English as a second language
College administrator

NOTE: Some of the listed career options may require additional education and/or training beyond the bachelor's degree.

GRADUATE/PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL OPPORTUNITIES
Many English graduates do continue to work with their major in graduate school or go to professional schools of business, law, medicine, or divinity.

EXPERIENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES
Summer, part-time, or volunteer work in advertising agencies, newspapers, businesses, and publishing companies.

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HEAR FROM A WILSON STUDENT…

In addition to moving on to a wide variety of career options, many of our graduates head to graduate school. Listen to a few of them talk about how Wilson prepared them for graduate study.

Meg Oldman graduated from Wilson College with a major in English in 2008. While at the college, she completed Honors in the major. Meg went on to earn her Master’s in English at Marshall University, where she earned a full teaching assistantship. Meg is currently in the Ph.D. program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

 

Meg.jpg

Wilson's English Department prepared me for my study in English at Marshall University by holding me to the same standards as the graduate program. My upper level English courses at Wilson challenged my critical thinking and analysis skills in ways that I am finding comparable to my current courses. I was encouraged by my advisor to do both an internship and a thesis which prepared me for a "real world" job and Master's level academic writing. Presentations, which were required in most courses, also made me realize that I wanted to teach at the collegiate level and helped me get my Teaching Assistantship, which is paying my full tuition and affording me a generous yearly stipend. The selection of courses available in the program at Wilson appeals to many tastes, but is also specific enough to allow the student to pursue an emphasis in certain genres and periods of literature. These selections allowed me to find my interest in Medieval Literature, which is what my M.A. will be in, but gave me breadth in several different subjects. I am sincerely grateful for the education and preparation the English Department gave me.

–Meg Oldman BA ‘08

 

An international student from Japan, Satoko completed a second degree in English with a concentration in writing in 2008. After graduation, Satoko completed her MA at Millersville University earned an assistantship at the Children's Literature Center at Millersville University.

My current graduate study program is Social Work, which seems totally different from my second undergraduate program, English. However, my studies at Wilson certainly prepared me for the Master’s of Social Work program. I am demonstrating great ability as an imaginative writer in analyzing scholarly papers and creating social welfare programs to focus on what these programs will accomplish.

satoko_unno08.jpg

Whenever I read a scholarly paper, I imagine what kind of person the author is, what his or her purpose is, and who his or her target readers are. This habit, which was developed while studying at Wilson, helps me understand what the author is trying to say and analyze the author’s ideas. 

            Moreover, when creating social programs, imaginative ability is necessary to meet different client population's needs. A social worker needs to suppose he or she is in each client's place and create the social practice to help the client achieve social justice. 

A social worker needs to be a scientist and an artist. My studies with the Wilson College English department helped me become a thoughtful scientist and an imaginative artist.

–Satoko Unno, BA ‘08

 

Want to learn more about these and other Department graduates? Visit our “See What Our Graduates Are Up To” page to see what they did after graduation.

This information was developed by the Rosary College of Arts and Science Advising Office and the academic departmental offices with adaptations from Liberal Arts and Sciences - Skills - Career Opportunities, Career Planning and Placement Office, University of Michigan, and is reprinted here with much gratitude.