Jobs for English Majors: They Do Exist

The butt of every cocktail party joke – the English major. “Oh, that’s nice that you read Shakespeare. But, how does that get you a job?”

Well, it turns out that wordsmithing just might be the ticket in to today’s job market. According to a survey of HR professionals by global outplacement agency Challenger, Gray and Christmas and quoted in a New York Times article, “Young Workers: U Nd 2 Improve Ur Writing Skills,” the number one skill missing amongst entry-level job applicants is “writing skills.” Huh, sounds like that business degree may not do the trick for getting started in a new career.

In even better news for English majors, according to PayScale’s 2010 College Salary Report, English majors end up in some reasonably lucrative careers post-college. The most popular jobs for English majors and their median annual salaries 10 years out of school are:

Career                   Salary

Senior Technical Writer: $85,100

Director of Communications: $84,300

Senior Copywriter: $75,500

In terms of cash flow, the problems of English majors aren’t exactly solved. Their salary after 10 years doesn’t top the list. But, hey, the English major probably is happier writing the next “Just do it” campaign rather than negotiating where to place the toilets on an airplane – not that ensuring comfortable bathrooms isn’t a worthy pursuit.

To see more jobs for various majors, check out the latest edition of The College Salary Report.