By: Miranda Malinowski, DePaul University English major ‘20
College can be a confusing and overwhelming time, especially during the first year. As students, there is a lot for us to think about—including the one looming question; how do we figure out what we’re supposed to do with the rest of our lives? Some of us working toward our degree in English already know the answer to that last question. There are some of us, however, who are still trying to figure out what type of career an English degree can provide us, and which specific profession will suit us best.
This career journey can sometimes feel overwhelming due to the endless opportunities an English degree offers. We may find ourselves asking, “Well, what’s going to offer the most money?” However, more importantly, perhaps we should be asking ourselves, “What is going to make me look forward to going to work in the morning?” Key questions you can ask yourself are the ones that pertain to your strengths, weaknesses, passions, etc. Aside from individual reflection, you can lean on resources available to you—including this What Can I Do With a Major in English chart—to further explore career opportunities in English.
Ed Childs, career advisor for DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, offered some insight on the topic, “…I would suggest, to all students, if they want to do some exploration…create a LinkedIn account, and use that [platform] as a way to explore what kind of careers [they] can attain with an English degree…” According to Ed, the advantage of doing career research via LinkedIn is that you develop a realistic sense of how people actually got into their field. LinkedIn is a great mechanism to help demystify the many paths to success and it serves as a tool to connect you with people who potentially have your dream job.
The search for potential careers doesn’t stop there. Ed suggests networking by attending DePaul career fairs to interact with employers who are actively seeking creative employees. Another resource offered by DePaul is Alumni Sharing Knowledge or ASK. ASK is a phenomenal tool that you can utilize to interact and network with DePaul alumni who share similar majors and interests. Ed suggests using ASK to develop a better understanding of the widespread applications associated with a major. As an English major, your degree is applicable in more ways than you can imagine. By connecting with alumni, you can develop a clearer picture of where your degree can take you.
Regardless of which resources you use, you’re bound to expand your knowledge on your chosen degree and future work possibilities. Remember, the Career Center is here to help you hone in on a profession that suits you best. Stop by the Career Center to set up an advising appointment and start your English career journey today.