English is not a discipline with a specific career path, and while there are some fields which English graduates may be more inclined to pursue, such as journalism, publishing or politics, they are often highly competitive and may require further study. However, English graduates have a wealth of skills which may be applied to virtually any sector and the options are nearly endless.
The skills learned studying English put graduates in a good position to pursue careers in sectors such as Media, Marketing and Advertising & PR. Strong communication skills, an ability to manipulate language and an understanding of how to reach an audience are all key to the work done in these sectors. New technologies are also opening new avenues of work for which English graduates are well suited, including producing content for websites, blogs or news feeds, and managing social media streams and search engine optimisation (SEO) for companies.
English graduates may also consider working in more business-focussed fields such as Retail, Human Resources, Consultancy and Finance. The communication skills provided by an English degree, combined with a good grasp of maths to at least GCSE level, will enable graduates to succeed in these sectors.
Source HECSU - What do graduates do? 2013.
Taking Stock of Skills
English graduates complete their degree with a large number of extremely valuable skills which can be applied in a variety of fields.
Analysis - English graduates are able to process large amounts of written information to extract the key points to apply to specific situations. The ability to digest and filter information in this way is beneficial many professional situations.
Communication - Written and oral communication are an English graduate's strongest skill. They are able to write with purpose and accuracy, and are able to express their opinion in a clear and authoritative manner both in written and verbal forms.
Organisation and discipline - English graduates have learned to read and understand a great number of written works in a short period of time, and are able to manage their workload to deadline. This level of organisation and concentration is beneficial in virtually any field.
Persuasion - The mastery of rhetoric and persuasion is a skill which is in high demand in many sectors. English graduates know how to construct and support an argument, and have learned to view most issues from a variety of angles. This makes them ideal candidates for many positions in business and creative fields alike.
Research - English graduates have learned to analyse large amounts of texts and assemble their findings into a coherent argument. This requires extensive research and data management skills, which are valuable to many fields.