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The great news is that the skills you earn with an English degree are going to be extremely important in just about any career path you take. Strong writing and editing, proper grammar, persuasiveness, etc., are vital in the professional world. This is true for any job that includes writing emails, proposals, marketing materials, PowerPoint presentations or a variety of other items. Good writing is not as common as you might think, and if the quality of your writing is high, this will reflect very positively on you as an employee.
Specifically, some careers you may find interesting:
>> Publishing - Reviewing submissions of books or articles, advising and editing submissions, pitching them to get published...
>> Writer - Journalism (seeking and reporting on news), writing books, blogs, newspaper/magazine articles, websites, research papers, poetry...
>> Startup - Startup companies are always emerging, across all industries. Startups, by nature, have a limited staff so it is key that each employee is versatile and can contribute to many aspects of the business - strong writing is certainly important here.
>> Public Relations - Generating positive press for a specific person or company, writing press releases, working with news outlets to share exciting or important information about that person/company.
>> Advertising - Some positions at ad agencies don't require extra schooling, such as an Account Executive. In this role, writing, creativity, organization and ability to manage multiple pieces of a project are key.
>> Speech Writer - There are all sorts of people who give speeches (such as political leaders like mayors and congressmen) and they pay people who are good with words and knowledgable on the given topic to write their speeches (with guidance and thoughts from the speaker).
My degree is in Journalism and I now work in Product Development at a small technology company. I help build online educational programs and simulations and do things like brainstorm, write/review scripts, outline the content that should be covered, and help guide the designers on how the program should look.
Ever consider a career in technical writing? What I love the most about my job is that it s never the same. For the most part I work for the defense industry writing technical manuals on how to use various military technologies. One minute I could be writing a manual for a cargo plane, the next for a tactical fighter, or the next an unmanned aerial vehicle (or UAV, you can check it out on this link: http://www.insitu.com/systems/scaneagle ). The subjects of the manuals are always changing and are very exciting to work with, but for the most part it dealt with maintenance. I would have to write manuals on how to remove and install parts and components, maintain, inspect, or operate the product. The demand for English majors in this field is great.