Graduate jobs with a degree in English

English degrees are a fantastic indicator of a highly intelligent and talented graduate. English degrees give graduates a plethora of skills that can easily be applied in a professional environment and to great success. Graduates from this subject should be aware that they have more skills and although there is very little in the way of a detailed career path, graduates can be comforted to know their skills are always in demand in many sectors.

What can you do with your English degree?

There are very limited or set career paths for English graduates to follow. Careers in journalism, publishing or politics are extremely limited and almost non-starters without internships or work experience in the field. English graduates should be aware that positions in especially journalism or publishing are not usually advertised like traditional jobs, but rather hopeful journalists or publishing workers need to find their own way into the field. This should not put off English graduates, they have strong and effective skills that can be applied in various roles and sectors.

What can you offer employers?

Analysis – English graduates are able to process large amounts of information, usually in text form or and find the key bits of information and apply that to situations that might be relevant to a company or a firm. English graduates are able to digest and filter information and discover themes quickly and effectively.

Communication – Written and oral communication are key to showing what an English graduate is all about. Being able to write with purpose and accuracy makes English graduates fantastic options for companies. Their command and understanding of language is a skill that should never be underestimated.

Organisation and discipline – Without having organisation and discipline, there would be no English graduates. Arranging the time and concentration to read and understand as many books as it takes an English graduate to complete their degree takes a lot of concentration and organisation and graduates would be wise not to leave this off their CV.

Persuasion – The art of rhetoric and persuasion is a skill in demand. This would lend itself to many fields, but a skill graduates should not underestimate. This ties in well with the communication element of their degree and certain employers look for this to be proven in the application process.

Research – Being able to analyse large amounts of text and report and argue findings would be better sold to employers as research skills. Any English graduate that has written an essay will have applied several research skills without even knowing it. It would be worthwhile thinking about what skills they have used to produce such erudite essays and assignments in the past.

Source HECSU - What do graduates do? 2013.

What employers you can impress?

English graduates have the luxury of being able to turn their hand to many different sectors. There is no normal route to follow and graduates have the chance to look back on their skills and review the opportunities and where they might want to go. To pursue a career actually studying English or working in English, as you would know it at university, would require graduates to undertake further study. This would usually be an Master's or beyond.

The skills and talent that English graduates have accumulated would lend themselves to Media and Advertising and PR. These would utilise a graduates understanding of the written word, writing to persuade and constructing media or text for the purpose of consumption with a particular end in sight or audience in mind. English graduates would be advised to convey to employers that they're more than capable of these requirements and should reference their university essays for evidence.

New avenues are opening especially in the modern internet age for roles like content creation. English graduates are able to produce clean and publishable content for websites, blogs or news feeds. This area of work is growing in popularity as more and more avenues are being created for Marketing opportunities in things like social media and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Other fields that English graduates would be advised to consider could be more business focused fields like Retail, Human Resources, Consultancy or Banking. An English degree, combined with a good grasp of maths to at least GCSE level, would allow graduates to take to these fields relatively easily. Having a good grasp of communication, both written and oral, would allow them to understand how to work in a professional manner and interact with clients, customers or business partners extremely well.