4 High-Paying Jobs for English Majors

by Ashley Eneriz

Earning an English degree is a rewarding accomplishment that can open many career doors upon graduation. While the degree does equip you to excel as a teacher, there are many other versatile jobs for English majors to consider as well.

The Washington Post reported that since the 2008 recession, English majors have declined over 25 percent due to the rapid growth of STEM degrees and careers. However, English majors are still as necessary as ever—and they even had a lower unemployment rate in 2017 than math and computer science majors.

A degree in English goes deeper than simply honing a love of literature. In fact, upper-division courses equip graduates to write effectively and spot fallacies and flaws within their own work as well as in the work of others. This is a huge advantage in a fast-paced world, where a typo or insensitive message can cost companies millions of dollars.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of careers for English majors! If you’re thinking about majoring in English, here are four high-paying jobs you could pursue.

1. Marketing Manager

Companies depend on marketing experts to develop strategic content and messaging to attract customers and increase sales. A successful marketing manager understands a company’s purpose and effectively communicates it to potential clients. As more attention is being paid to the industry, the demand for marketing managers is growing. The median pay for individuals in a marketing managerial role is $132,620 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

2. Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers—as well as managers in fundraising—enhance the image of their client or company. A successful PR manager can get their company more recognition in the press and smooth over sensitive public issues, such as backlash from customers on social media. According to the BLS, the median pay for PR managers is $114,800 per year, with a predicted growth of eight percent by 2028.

3. Technical Writer

If you are great with words and have a keen understanding of technology or science, then a career in technical writing might be a great fit for you! Technical writers take difficult concepts and turn them into accessible instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents for the everyday reader. According to the BLS, the field of technical writing is expected to grow eight percent in the next decade, and these writers earn a median salary of $71,850 per year.

4. Writer, Journalist, or Author

The written word is powerful—and even though print journalism is not as popular as it once was, the need for content is greater than ever. Every department of a company needs a good writer to help them connect to their potential customers.

Consider a bank’s content needs; a professional writer in this industry is required to create the following content:

  • Engaging copy and landing pages for the bank’s website
  • Informative articles that educate customers and help the bank rank high in a web search
  • Educational and training materials for the bank’s employees to use internally
  • Persuasive advertisements
  • Scripts for online videos and/or commercials
  • Guest or syndicated content that is submitted to news outlets and major websites to help promote the bank
  • Email copy
  • Social media copy

As you can see, it takes a team of writers to help any business succeed, especially in today’s information-driven age! The BLS reported that writers and authors earn a median income of $62,170 per year. Keep in mind that many of these professions are filled by freelance writers who set their own rates.

Choosing an English Degree Program

There will always be jobs for English majors. However, not all English degree programs are designed the same. You can’t just study the greatest writers throughout history and expect to be career-ready when you graduate.

Instead, it’s important to invest your time into a degree program that gives you an advantage in your field. Gaining real-life experience while learning how to apply your strengths can help set you apart. And in the professional world, creativity and strong communication skills will take you far.

This is exactly why Azusa Pacific University encourages students to pursue their passions. At APU, English majors can also pursue a minor—such as marketing or public relations, among others—that coincides with their interests.

Windy Petrie, Ph.D., chair of APU’s Department of English, noted that many alumni have gone on to profit from the lessons they learned on campus. “Our alumni do extremely well in applying to graduate schools and in pursuing careers in writing and editing,” Petrie said. “In fact, APU English majors regularly publish their creative work in national venues before they even graduate from our program.”

Understanding the APU Difference

Of all the jobs for English majors that Petrie has seen graduates step into, she said that one of the most interesting career paths she has seen an APU alumnus take is becoming a speechwriter for a United States ambassador. This is a testament to the quality of instructors within the school’s English department.

“Our greatest strength is our large and diverse faculty,” Petrie said. “In addition to conducting research and publishing scholarship, the APU English faculty includes three novelists, two poets, and four faculty who regularly publish short fiction and creative nonfiction. Our English faculty also edit and publish the premier scholarly journal Christianity and Literature.”