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EIU Department of English

What Can I Do with an English Major?

More than you might think.

English majors come to the department with a wide variety of career goals. Some want to be creative writers, others want to teach, while still others plan to attend law school or work in professional writing and editing or as librarians. Some know they want to work in business, but they love English and want to develop the excellent reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking skills that English offers. And some freshmen don't know where they're headed but want to study what they love. So it's not surprising that successful career placement means a lot of different things to English majors.

We could tell you about our famous alumni, like Hollywood writer and producer Craig Titley or Pulitzer-nominated novelist Lee Martin. But if you're a high school or college student, the first thing you probably want to know is, what do those first few years out of college look like for EIU English majors?

Here's the breakdown for our graduates from the classes of 2010-2015.

  • 29% are secondary teachers or employed in other roles in the K-12 education system.
  • 16% work in writing, marketing, social media management, or editing.
  • 15% are in graduate school in creative writing, composition and rhetoric, literature and other fields.
  • 12% are business professionals, with titles like manager, mortgage banker, technical recruiter, or analytics specialist.
  • 6% work in higher education, as either faculty or professional staff at colleges or universities.
  • 4% work at nonprofit agencies, such as the United Way and Harvest Hope Food Bank.
  • The remaining 18% pursue a wide variety of careers, everything from attorneys and librarians to full-time military to professional musicians and comedians.


Below, you'll find more information on some of the most common paths followed by English majors, including EIU graduates.


Related Pages

Contact Information

Department of English

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

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