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EIU Department of English

What Can I Do with an English Major?

More than you might think.

Everyone knows the English major is the place for future English teachers, but what else can you do with an English major? Here are just some of the positions held by alumni of the EIU English major: writer, editor, lawyer, librarian, social media manager, web developer, gaming journalist, mortgage banker, financial services representative, career counselor, recruiter, wedding and event planner, internet marketing specialist, student financial aid coordinator, legislative staffer, lobbyist, advertising executive, screenwriter. (Check out our placement statistics for recent graduates.)

(Still wondering what to say when people make bad jokes about English majors and jobs? Here's a handy list of answers to consider -- and check out the bottom of this page.)

At EIU, the English Department supports career planning by helping you explore options as soon as you join the major, bringing career-related speakers to campus regularly, and offering a career development course for seniors. 

Information and career advice from EIU English alumni 

Professional Writing


Creative Writing


Library and Information Science

College Student Services

Human Resources

Secondary Teaching

College Teaching

Community Service Managers

What to say when people make bad jokes about English majors and jobs

There are sooooo many good answers. Try browsing this list of famous English majors. Or check out these articles about why employers like English majors.

If you want just one easy statistic, try this one: "Statistically, English majors are 3 times more likely to end up working with computers than working in food service." That's according to national data on career outcomes for college graduates that shows that only 1% of English majors nation-wide end up in food service, while 3% of English majors find their way to careers in the areas designated "computer and mathematical." Our alumna Julie Hayes, pictured below,  is part of that 3%. Of course, nationally English majors are even more likely to go into areas like those listed above (and if you're interested, you can see the full national data in a nifty chart compiled by an Prof. Robert Matz from George Mason University, based on statistics from the American Community Survey).

Julie Hayes





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Contact Information

Department of English

600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-2428
Fax: (217) 581-7209

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