What To Do With An English Degree

A degree in English can open up a lot of doors, but what happens when there are too many doors? It can feel as though there is no solid path after an English degree, and there can be an overwhelming number of options for a degree with so many transferable skills, so here are just a few ideas of where all that reading and writing could take you! 


If you’ve got an interest, you can write about it. Whether it’s movies and TV, gaming, food or fashion, blogs are an online diary that let you share your thoughts and opinions with the world. Setting one up is simple, with sites like WordPress and WIX offering a variety of options and payment plans, so you don’t have to be a computer wizard to do it! You can even use other skills like art and photography or collaborate with others. A blog is a great thing to have on a resume and is also useful to have on hand if potential employers ask for examples of your work. What’s more, because it’s your blog, you can choose the content, the style and the posting schedule, making it fully representative of who you are. 


If you spent semester after semester analysis novel, short stories and poems, why not write your own? Who knows, it could be you that future students are studying! Writing your own novel, whether it’s in your spare time or for your agent, can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Stretching your imagination and skills, telling a story that’s important to you, creating vibrant and rich characters are things that bring a lot of joy. If you’re not sure it’s for you, why not try taking part in NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month takes place every November, and participants try and write a 50,000 normal in a month! It doesn’t have to be limited to November though- you can do this any time!


If you’ve binged everything on Netflix, or are looking for different stories to be told on your screens, why not try your hand at creating your own? Not every course offers script and screenwriting options, but there are plenty of books and courses online to help you out. What’s key is your imagination, and your grasp of characters and dialogue. Can you create fast-moving plots in your head or intricate historical stories? Celtx is a popular software used by script and screenwriters, to help set out your scripts in the correct way.

Furthermore, you can keep asking your friends to volunteer to read your work through virtually, to see how it sounds when spoken aloud. This can be a really fun way of connecting, sharing ideas and gaining feedback that you can go away and work on. Many theatres and arts companies also host writing competitions throughout the year, so check online for any in your area, nationally or even globally. 


You’ve got an English degree, not a medical degree- how can you become a nurse? Transitional degrees like these accelerated BSN programs in Pennsylvania allow graduates with Bachelor degrees to switch industries by building on skills and credits already gained. There are of course some prerequisites, but if you’re itching for a change of pace and a new challenge, these courses are perfect for you. Your empathy and deep understanding of people will be a huge asset in this field, as will your ability to quickly absorb information, analyze data and grasp new theories.

Literary Agent

If you’re great at networking, a literary agent could be the ideal job for you. In the same way that actors rely on their agents to get them auditions, writers also rely on their agents to get their work to the correct publisher. A solid knowledge of the industry is vital in matching works, genres and publisher, as is a keen eye for gaps in the market and new writing talent. You’re responsible for receiving manuscripts and selling them to publishing houses, building contacts and promoting your clients. A great way to get into this industry, or to see if it’s for you is to check for any intern or assistant positions that may be available at established agencies. Not only will this give you valuable, practical insight, but it will also put you on their radar for career development.


TEFL, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language, is a global scheme in which various institutions provide training and job opportunities to teach English around the world. If you are considering a career in teaching, TEFL is a great way to begin this journey. There are opportunities to work from home or travel to different countries, teaching a wide variety of students whilst experiencing different cultures. TEFL acts as a middleman between language teachers and employers, posting vacancies all over the world. They also provide top quality training courses online, and in many locations across the US.


A copywriter has written every piece of advertising to read and hear. Copywriting refers to the creation of material for advertising and marketing purposes- think Mad Men. If you have a great grasp of rhetoric and persuasive writing techniques, a copywriting position could be perfect for you. There are plenty of agencies that hire freelances, allowing you to pick your own hours and work at your own pace. Copywriting is a brilliant way to expand your resume and branch out into other areas of writing. You could write for websites, printed publications, TV adverts- there are so many options to choose from!

This is by no means a definitive list, and the huge variety of skills provided by an English degree makes you a great candidate in many fields. From writing your own work to championing the work of others, there are plenty of routes to go down. It doesn’t even have to be career-related, just taking up blogging or poetry as a hobby can help keep your mind creative, and keep you practicing those hard-earned skills!