7 careers for the literature major

Posted on April 23, 2018

So you went to university and studied what you love, only to realize that your English degree may have left you with limited job options? Well, think again! There’s so much you can do with this open-ended degree! Remember that while earning your degree, you also gained some essential skills. Not only did you learn how to write well, communicate effectively and think critically, but chances are you’ve also boosted your emotional intelligence.

Here is a short list of professions for English majors. (Your personality will help you determine which one suits you best.)

Literary editor

Are you meticulous? Do you live and breathe grammar? A literary editor reads and assesses fiction and non-fiction works to prepare them for publication. In addition to proofreading and copy-editing, literary editors may also provide literary criticism.

Public relations specialist

If you enjoy writing but don’t want it to be your only task, then maybe consider a career in public relations. While writing press releases and speeches is one part of the job, you’d have a variety of other tasks that would allow you to put your oral communication skills to good use!

Science writer

Were you always fascinated by science? But somehow you ended up with a literature degree instead? Well, now’s your chance to write about scientists and their discoveries! Some basic scientific background will be useful, so make sure to enroll in a few science courses.

Book reviewer

Do you always have an opinion? If you love to read and have great analytical skills, then why not work at a newspaper or magazine as a book reviewer? You’ll be swimming in books, and you’ll know absolutely everything about the book world. Bonus: You’ll likely get invited to some fancy literati events!

Literary agent

If you thrive in business but still wish to indulge your love of literature, then consider becoming a literary agent. Literary agents represent writers and submit their work to publishers or to movie producers on their behalf. They handle the business side of writing, including negotiating deals.


Are you visual? Screenwriters write movie scripts. They create the dialogue, plot and character development. They also know how to incorporate visual elements into their scripts to turn them into must-see movies. Screenwriters work closely with actors and producers and are therefore more involved in the overall film-making process. A perfect calling for anyone who bores easily!

Technical writer

Don’t have an artistic side? No need to fret; there’s something for you, too! A technical writer produces technical materials, such as manuals, project plans and business correspondence for a company. There is no shortage of work in this field.

See, having a literature degree can open lots of doors! All you have to do now is find your strong suit and follow through!

Got career ideas for English majors that we haven’t included in our list? Share them in the comments section below!


The opinions expressed in posts and comments published on the Our Languages blog are solely those of the authors and commenters and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Language Portal of Canada.

Get to know Fatima Rizzo

Fatima Rizzo

Fatima Rizzo

Fatima works at the Translation Bureau, where she happily switches between her terminologist and translator hats. As a writer at heart, she loves how a simple phrase or even a single word can evoke images of beauty and splendour, redefining the way we experience the world.


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