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EIU Department of English

Career Paths for English Majors:

Secondary Teaching

Kristina GravesHigh school language arts teachers teach writing, literature, and language, but also often speech, drama, journalism, debate, and visual literacy. EIU has a long tradition—since 1895—of preparing excellent teachers for the state of Illinois and across the country.

At EIU, students interested in teaching English at the high school level major in English Language Arts. Some also add additional certifications in other areas or an endorsement in middle level teaching.

Kaleigh McRoberts, EIU English alumna, Lead Teacher, KIPP Nashville Collegiate High SchoolEIU English Language Arts alumni teach at high schools all over Illinois, but also in other states in the U.S.

The employment outlook: According to a report released in May 2013 by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, the unemployment rate for new U.S. college graduates in high school teaching (including English) was 3.6% between 2010-2012, and for general English majors who went on to earn graduate degrees, it was 3.9%.  In both cases, that’s slightly lower than the overall unemployment rate for new college graduates.* According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 there were 1,037,600 people working as high school teachers. The field is projected to grow by 7% through 2020. * 

Does this sound like you?
High school teachers are interested in the intellectual and emotional development of young adults. High school language arts teachers are especially interested in helping young people develop an empowered, knowledgeable relationship to language and communication, both as producers of writing and speech and as consumers (readers, listeners). Language arts teachers spend a great deal of time reading and writing, both in preparation for their classes and reading student work. They also often advise student groups, sponsor activities, and must be able to communicate well with the general public as well as administrators and fellow teachers.

*The overall employment rate for college graduates between 2010 and 2012 ranged from 4.6% to 4.7%, approximately half the rate for people without college degrees.  The full report from the Georgetown Center is available on line: Hard Times 2013:  College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings

 **Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited on this page come from the 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is available and searchable online.

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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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