As an English major, I know how annoying the topic of what you’re going to do after graduation can be. “Oh, so you’re going to be a high school teacher?” is the typical suggestion. While it would be so much easier to say, “I’m pre-med,” don’t worry; there are plenty of jobs for English majors, besides just teaching.

Freelance Writer

As an English major, you know more vocabulary words than the average individual, and there’s a good chance that writing comes naturally to you. There are lots of different writing gigs available, from SEO copywriting, to becoming a regular contributor for your local newspaper. There are plenty of places to find opportunities for freelance writing, so check out Elance, Craigslist, and Guru to find a few ways to get started.

Editor

After all of those MLA papers, you know where commas, semicolons, and apostrophes go, and the proper usage of a hyphen. Luckily for you, most college graduates don’t, and editors of every field need these skills. While there are some tedious aspects of entry-level editing jobs, there’s a growing need for online editors in various fields, and it’s a great way to start out in the world of editing.

Ghost Writer

There are so many people in the world who want to write a book, but can’t seem to string sentences together. They look for skilled and talented writers to help them put their ideas to paper, and this gig normally pays really well. From children’s books and cookbooks to how-to and self-help manuals, there are dozens of different genres for this field. It’s a great way to get some experience in the field of writing, without having to come up with the material on your own!

Publishing Assistant

Somebody’s got to read the dozens of manuscripts that are sent to publishing houses each year, and who better to do it than you? Many people say that this is a dying industry, what with Kindles and independent eBooks all over the place, but at the end of the day, being backed by a reputable publishing company is still the very best way to sell books, both physical and virtual. Try your hand at an internship at a publishing company to work your way into the industry.

Script Reader

This is location-specific, since New York and Los Angeles are the big locations for screenplays, but if you want to spend time reading scripts before they become movies, this is the gig for you. You often have to start as some sort of intern or assistant, but after a few weeks or months, you’ll spend less time fetching coffee and more time reading potential Blockbusters.

Blogger

This is a different beast from the standard writer. Being a blogger is a lot of hard work, and getting your own blog up and running requires several months of unpaid work. However, if you have a niche, a passion, and a desire to be your own boss, this might be the job for you. Start by familiarizing yourself with your own passions, what’s missing from that industry, and blogging software such as WordPress. It doesn’t take much more than that to get started!

English Abroad Teacher

I know I was dismissing the suggestion of teaching, but this is a different lifestyle altogether. Teaching EFL/ESL is completely different than studying to be a regular English major. It will be easier for you to get a job because foreign schools want native English speakers, and your degree is proof of your English competency. Most people don’t consider this a career, since the lifestyle is best for those in their early twenties, but it opens up dozens of opportunities at major international companies, not to mention how great it looks on your resume!

Do you have questions about how to find jobs in one of these industries? Leave them in the comments below!

Image: Oliver Hammond