Great question! I'm not an English Professor/Teacher, but I graduated with a BFA in English Literature and entered the job market right after college.
I think it's always important to consider your career options, whether it's with English or another career. And you're right, English is a popular subject, so there may be a lot of competition in securing those rolls/positions at the High Schools or Universities that you want to teach at.
After graduation, I worked at Apple and now PwC, with the hope that I would eventually pursue higher education when possible. I think you have to just be honest with yourself, and set goals/timelines for what you want to achieve. You don't have to immediately go into English right after graduation, but I think it's important to talk to your English Professors, your Department Head, and other educators to understand their journey. Don't forget, that TA positions are very popular as students are pursuing higher education, and can be a great way to get experience in teaching. Again, this may be something that you can jump into immediately, or you may need other experience to be successful in your field.
Also, your English degree can be applied to many jobs and opportunities, so don't feel like you're potentially pigeonholing yourself by choosing English. I use my English Degree every day with the way I communicate to my team and clients, and I think the perspectives that I gained from what I read/studied/discussed have helped me be a more empathetic leader and team member.
I hope this helps! Good luck with your studies!
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