From writing a thoughtful essay to researching a particular type of literary theory, majoring in literature gives you the chance to develop your research and communication skills, while also learning how to think critically. But if you’re an English major, you may be wondering about the best way to apply your skills in the real world. Should you become a teacher or go into the world of publishing?
Here are some of the most common entry-level jobs for literature majors:
Teaching is one of the most popular entry-level jobs for humanities majors and being an English teacher is an especially great fit for those who are majoring in literature. As an English teacher, you’ll help your students gain an appreciation for literature of all kinds while also teaching them how to interpret texts and improve their writing skills.
An entry-level job as a publishing assistant is a great way to get your foot in the door of the publishing industry. In this role, you’ll assist in the book production process and will take on tasks such as emailing authors and book distributors, managing social and media accounts and keeping track of budgets.
The most common type of editorial job for recent grads is an editorial assistant position. Based either at a specific publication, a publishing house or a literary agency, this position will give you great exposure to the many aspects of the publishing industry. From reading article pitches and manuscripts to communicating with writers and editing their work, you’ll gain a lot of experience very quickly while also learning what kind of content works best with your chosen audience.
A copywriter crafts engaging copy for websites, social media platforms and marketing materials. As an entry-level copywriter, you’ll put your writing skills to use by creating various types of content designed to resonate with an audience. Depending on whether you work for a marketing agency or as part of an in-house marketing team, you’ll be asked to create a specific voice for each of the brands you work with, and to maintain that voice in all of the writing you do.
As a social media manager, you increase the visibility of a brand, campaign or event on social media by creating engaging posts, answering customer questions and measuring the results of each campaign. You’ll also use analytics tools to determine what approaches work best and optimize your campaigns accordingly.
As a copy editor, you’ll be tasked with ensuring that the articles you’re editing are free of spelling and grammar mistakes and that they adhere to a specific writing style (such as AP style if you’re editing journalistic articles). Whether you work for a publishing house, a digital media company or marketing firm, you’ll play a crucial role in the day-to-day operation of the editorial department.
Whether you’re interested in journalism, publishing or teaching, a literature major gives you an abundance of skills to land a job that’s right for you.