Last Updated: Jun 5, 2017
If you can write, and you like to, your career options are vast—and maybe even surprising. Here’s a look at some unique jobs for writers and English majors, plus some of the career paths you might take.
Do you love writing, reading, and English? Do you want to spend your days behind a keyboard? Are you considering majoring in English in college? You might have an awesome career as a writer ahead of you!
Here’s the thing: not everyone can write. But basically every company in every profession needs someone on staff who can communicate well. That’s where you, gifted writer, come in! In particular, the skills you learn as an English major are vast and include working under deadlines, effectively communicating, thinking critically, and developing strong grammar and spelling skills. These skills can be used in a range of ways and in various writing careers such as:
- Technical writer
- Public relations (PR) writer
- Grant writer
- Web content developer
If you love writing but don’t necessarily want to be a novelist, you should explore these unique options in more depth below (and follow the links for even more info). Besides, you’re probably going to work on your novel in your spare time anyway.
- Technical writers are the masterminds behind user manuals, instructional materials, and complex documents that companies need for their products. They write and clarify the material so it can easily be understood by consumers. To do this, they ensure the order, style, and terminology is correct and provide diagrams, charts, and other illustrations. If the material needs to be distributed, typed, or duplicated, they might do this too. Your general English skills kick it with the use of language, spelling, etc., but knowledge of communications, Web design, or any technical field, like engineering, helps too.
- Copywriters typically write compelling, catchy, and unique text for marketing and advertising materials such as billboards, e-mails, websites, catalogs, and more to make consumers take action and/or buy a product.
- Public relations (PR) writers take care of news releases, pitch letters, brochures, and much more, such as articles for print and social media. On a daily basis, they have to produce unique content that helps promote a company, website, products, etc.
- Speechwriters prepare and write speeches, briefings, and documents for executives in corporations or governments. They may also be required to write editorials, press releases, and articles.
- Editors aren’t technically full-time writers, but they do need to be good at writing to succeed in the role. And they may do a fair amount of writing anyway. Editors review and revise content for publication in articles, newspapers, or websites to ensure it’s easy for readers to understand. To do this, they check spelling, punctuation, and grammar of the content and verify the facts. They often go back and forth with the original author until the content is ready for publication. They also decide what is worth publishing and what is not. There are various types of editors such as copy editors, assistant editors, and managing editors. Copy editors focus on finding errors within the content and suggesting revisions. Assistant, or associate, editors may cover a specific area such as news or sports. Managing editors oversee the daily operations of a department, often within a magazine or newspaper.
- Grant writers help organizations or individuals receive funding. First they research suitable grants on websites and databases, sorting through the ones that are and aren’t worth pursuing. Once appropriate grants are found, they began crafting a proposal, which comes with many parts such as a cover letter, letters of endorsement, and more. Being a grant writer involves forming relationships with prospective donors and answering the questions they may have about the proposal or organization.
- Web content developers create and organize various types of online content such as articles, newsletters, blogs, and more with the focus of driving traffic to an organization or company’s website. They may be involved in marketing, advertising, editing content, and engaging in discussions on their company’s social media. Through the use of search engine optimization (SEO), they help the written content reach the intended group of consumers or readers.
There are more careers to be found for English majors and writers than those above too—all it takes it a bit of searching. (All those Web content developers and PR writers have stuffed the Internet with resources for future English majors and aspiring writers.)
Are you a writer—or do you want to be one? Do any of these careers speak to you and your little writer’s heart? Are you planning on majoring in English and/or writing in college? Leave a comment and tell us your story.