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EIU Department of English

Career Paths for English Majors:

College Teaching

Willie Morris, Instructor, Harper College, EIU English Class of 2008, MA 2010Teaching at the college level includes a wide variety of settings, from community colleges to four-year colleges and universities and both public and private institutions. Generally, college teachers of English and related fields must earn both a master’s degree and a PhD, but for some community college positions a master’s degree may be sufficient.

Graduates of EIU’s English program who have gone on to graduate school and then pursued college teaching are faculty members at a number of colleges, including Ohio State University, Kutztown State (PA), Rochester Community College (NY), Des Moines Area Community College (IA), Case Western Reserve University (OH), and the College of Dupage (Chicago).

The employment outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 there were 1,313,000 people working as college faculty. The field is projected to grow by 13% through 2024. *

Does this sound like you? To make it through the challenges of a PhD program, graduate students need to be deeply committed to the field they study. They must learn to be effective teachers. In addition, professors at four-year colleges are expected not only to teach but also to be productive writers themselves, conducting and publishing research or creative work. In addition, college faculty typically help to run their colleges and universities by serving on a wide variety of committees that serve students and the public. Finally, the job market for college professors is a national one: professors normally must relocate in order to obtain a tenure-track position.


*All data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited on this page come from the  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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