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Can an English major work in business-related jobs?

As my question says, I'm wondering how successful an English major would be at working in business-related jobs. For example, I'm really interested in the publishing industry. Can you find success working in the publishing industry with only an English degree, or would you recommend double-majoring in business & English (or at least majoring in English with a business minor)? Would you also say that it depends on the specific department that you're interested in working in (e.g. editorial, production, sales, publicity, marketing, etc), or is it better to have an English and business degree either way? I'm interested in hearing from employers and employees with personal experience regarding this type of scenario. Thank you in advance! #business #english #job #career #publishing #work #career-counseling #career-advice #advice #education #major #college-major #choosing-a-major #help #career-planning #career-path #student #student-advice #business-field #english-major #english-degree #business-degree #business-major #career-help #job-experience #work-experience


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Candi’s Answer

Yes!  Effective communication and writing skills are essential in business.  They are not the only skills you will need though.  You should expand your thought process and seek out areas of business that are interesting to you and gain some experience you can leverage to find a business job after you graduate.

Candi recommends the following next steps:

Do informational interviews with people you know in various businesses.
Do research on the different types of roles in business (Marketing, Sales, HR, Finance, Legal, Technology, etc)
Identify classes or ways to get experience in areas that interest you.

Hello Candi, thank you so much for your answer! I do have very strong writing and communication skills, but it makes sense that they might not be sufficient depending on what sector of business I'd want to work in. I really like your suggestions, and I'm actually starting an HR internship in a few weeks, so I anticipate that it will give me some insight into holding that particular type of business role. Catherine T.

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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Catherine! I have an English undergraduate degree and an MBA. I have found that the combination of these two concentrations work very well in the business environment and would imagine that studying these fields would be beneficial in most industries. You're on the right track when you ask about the specific department of interest (e.g. editorial, production, sales, publicity, marketing, etc). There are several great answers here - I hope that you were able to gain a clearer perspective about your future endeavors. Best of luck!!

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

Look for volunteer or internship opportunities that will allow you to experience a particular industry or position without a significant commitment.
Research publishing companies that you are interested in and reach out to employees so that you can get the "inside" perspective at several different organizations.
Look for blogs or websites that cater to the publishing community to gain additional knowledge about your particular fields of interest.

Hi Michelle, I appreciate the advice, and thank you so much for sharing your own experience! Catherine T.

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Lawrence’s Answer

An English degree is very useful in business.  Strong communication and writing skills are useful in the Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, and other business departments.  Even IT, Finance and Accounting department have a need for English majors.     


Thank you for the input, Lawrence! I appreciate you taking the time to write an answer. Catherine T.

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Susan’s Answer

Absolutely!  I have a secondary education degree with a History major.  To my parent's dismay I never worked as a teacher - because I didn't get a job in that field out of college and I needed something to pay the bills.    First think I think of when I think of English major is communication - writing skills.  Do you have good writing skills?  Good communication is critical in the business world and people with those skills are absolutely needed in a business-related job. 


Hi Susan, I really appreciate that you've taken the time to write a response and share your personal experience! It makes sense given your circumstances that you didn't end up becoming a teacher, but I guess I still find that surprising since getting an education degree is commonly associated with becoming a teacher. I'm not sure if you mind me asking, but I do see from your profile blurb that you're an IT manager - I would expect someone working in IT to have a degree in computer science or something similar, so did you eventually pursue another degree or were you able to obtain your current position with your education degree/History major? As for myself, I do believe I have excellent writing and communication skills :) Catherine T.

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