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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
Human Services Publishing
Foreign service representative
Peace Corps/Vista volunteer
Community relations specialist
Special concerns advocate
Humanities and arts council representative Acquisitions editor
Publicity and promotion specialist
Contracts and permission specialist
Assistant book publicist
Communication/Public Relations Business/Industry
Consumer public relations specialist
University/college relations specialist
Public opinion analyst
Press representative (legislator)
Convention organizer Business/Industry
Business communications/in-house publicationist
Public relations writer
Document and procedures analyst
Corporate legal assistant
Personnel relations specialist
Data entry operator
Stock broker assistant
Sales promotion specialist
Advertising account executive
Technical Writing Journalism
Software and software manuals
Institutional Copy Editor
Public or private school teacher
English as a second language
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.
Summer, part-time, or volunteer work in advertising agencies, newspapers, businesses, and publishing companies.
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.
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. 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.