It is no secret that recent grads with degrees in the arts have more trouble getting good paying jobs than their counterparts with degrees in the hard sciences. Endless jokes are made at the expense of people who get degrees in subjects like English Literature, and it truly is common for English grads to wind up with service industry jobs that they are clearly overqualified for. The image of a Starbucks barista with a masters in Religious Studies is familiar to all of us.
But it doesn’t have to be. An English degree provides students with many skills and benefits that even they may not be aware of. Good writing fundamentals, research skills, analytic skills, and the ability to find connections between disparate ideas are just some of the skills English degrees can give students. Here are some of the kinds of jobs recent grads with English degrees should be applying for:
Social Media Analyst
One of the things you’ve got to do while putting your English degree to work is drop your pretensions. Yes, social media is no beautiful art. James Joyce wouldn’t have analysed tweet performance. But your research and analytic skills line up well with many companies’ needs for better social media performance.
You hardly need to scroll through social media to see that hardly anyone has a good grasp of grammar and spelling these days. Companies in almost every field need reliable copywriters, and as an English grad, you’re fully qualified to perform those set of tasks.
Journalism seems like a field that is closed off to those without specialized training, but that isn’t the case. Anyone with ambition can become a freelance journalist. Come up with some ideas for new and interesting stories and send them to publications to gauge their interest. Or, set up an internship with a news company to learn the ropes in a large newsroom.
Many English grads are interested in writing or publishing in some form. However, it’s very difficult to make a full time living as a writer in Canada, or anywhere in 2017. Luckily, Toronto is home to a high percentage of Canada’s publishing companies, and there are always opportunities within the world of publishing for people with English degrees.