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What to English Lit majors do?

What's studied in an English Lit major course? What is it used for? What kind of jobs can it get you?

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Teresa’s Answer

My brother got his Masters in English literature and Creative Writing from University of California at Santa Cruz and he is a senior technical writer for Google. He has been there for almost 20 years. Writing prepares you for a career in almost anything else -- it is a foundation upon which you can build. You can go into law, teaching, politics, journalism, hi tech -- anything that requires systematic thought and communication. At my previous position at Cisco Systems, our VP of Marketing had a Masters in English from UC Berkeley. He was a creative genius. This is a launching pad for you.
Thank you comment icon thanks for being clear Alessia
Thank you comment icon Fantastic advice, Teresa! Thanks for sharing your brother’s journey — it’s great to hear that this degree can turn into a great career despite what its reputation might be as far as job outlook 💚 Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
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Isaac’s Answer


My sister majored in English Lit - she currently works as a copywriter for a small marketing firm. The best thing she did was get a second major along with her English major (business). It helped her focus her English skills on a certain pathway, and definitely made her more attractive to businesses.

From the description of her classes, I found she was enrolled in a lot of creative writing courses. Past a certain point, your marketability as someone with an English degree depends on how much your writing stands out. What helped her develop a portfolio to stand out was a lot of freelance writing, which ultimately got published in newspapers and magazines.

Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thanks so much! Alessia
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Alessia,

I am an Instructional Designer, which is someone who writes training content that is either taught by someone or is taken directly by a student. A lot of individuals around me are English Literature or English majors. The idea is that from the study of writing that you are also a good writer and storyteller. In many fields, story telling is a valuable way of completing various tasks. In my field, individuals write training in tools as well as creating training videos. The most impressive products have a great narrative. I have seen this major in fields like marketing and education as well. In addition to write skills, there is a layer of verbal communication skills among these individuals as well.

Gloria
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