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Helpful Advice for English Majors

A major in English can be good preparation for continued graduate or professional training in areas such as English, law, political science/government, public administration, psychology, counseling, communications, and religious studies (i.e., seminary).

Develop a specialty area of interest via additional coursework and/or work experience for greater marketability within that specific career field.

Save samples of written work to be used for a portfolio.

Be prepared to be proactive, determined, assertive, and confident in order to secure freelance writing opportunities. Writers typically experience many rejections for each piece that is accepted for publication.

Cultivate other career opportunities in order to supplement a freelance writing income.

Obtain additional areas of expertise such as journalism, broadcasting, technical writing, or politics for specialized positions.

For careers in advertising or public relations be prepared to begin in an entry-level position.

A bachelor's degree in English is sufficient for many entry level positions in business and industry.

Appropriate teacher certification is required for public school teaching.

A graduate degree is required for teaching at the college or university level.

Conduct informational interviews or shadow professionals in careers of interest to learn more about their jobs.


Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (1992, Revised 1999, 2004, 2006) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

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