If you’re headed to college to study English, you’ve probably already heard the question: “What can you do with an English degree?” Perhaps your own parents have asked you this, while crunching those tuition numbers.
Tell your parents not to despair. You can land a high-paying job with a bachelor’s degree in English. It’s just a matter of exploring your career options and preparing for a career that pays.
PayScale’s College Salary Report provides estimates of early and mid-career pay for graduates of 2,646 schools, including associate and bachelor’s degree programs. The report also digs into which jobs are most common for which majors. If you’re trying to assess the earning potential of your English or Humanities degree, looking at the jobs at the top of this list can help.
5 High-Paying Jobs for English Majors
- Proposal Manager: In this job, you’ll oversee all aspects of a company’s proposal process, reviewing requests for proposals, learning the client’s expectations, evaluating budgets and deadlines and developing proposal plans. Median Mid-Career Pay: $83,000
- Communications Director: Communications Directors manage media and public relations for companies in the public and private sector. They manage press coverage and serve as spokespeople for their organizations. Sixty-seven percent of workers in this role say that their job makes the world a better place. Median Mid-Career Pay: $80,300
- Content Strategist: If you’re honing your editorial skills — and aren’t afraid of metrics — a career as a Content Strategist might be a good fit for you. Content Strategists develop and implement content plans and set style guidelines, as well as ensuring that content is optimized for search. Median Mid-Career Pay: $71,700
- Content Marketing Manager: Content Marketing Managers write, produce and edit content for websites. They also track metrics and build content marketing strategy. Median Mid-Career Pay: $70,500
- Instructional Designer: Instructional Designers develop educational materials such as training courses. Skills like curriculum planning and project management boost pay in this field. Median Mid-Career Pay: $69,600
Want a Job After College? Start Preparing Now
Of course, choosing a college or university and a major is only one step toward a good job after graduation. To make sure you’re employable, you need to get started on your career path while you’re still in school.
- Use Your Campus Career Center. Your college’s career center is more than just a place to find listings of internships. (Although it’s definitely useful for that, as well.) The staff can help you build your network, develop your interviewing skills, polish your resume, or apply to graduate programs. However, according to one survey, fewer than 20 percent of undergrads reach out to their career center.
- Get an Internship. College doesn’t necessarily prepare you for the world after graduation. To pick up practical skills — as well as some work experience to highlight on your resume — you need an internship. Internships can also help you try out new fields to see if they’re a fit and make connections who will give you recommendations and job leads. You might even wind up parlaying your internship into a full-time job.
- Build Your Network. Networking isn’t just for full-time members of the workforce. The people you meet during your undergraduate years become part of your network. Build connections with your roommates, classmates, professors and advisors. You’ll head off into the working world with plenty of people to write you recommendations and provide references.
For more information, see PayScale’s 2018-19 College Salary Report.
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