English literature courses are for those who want to become professors, teachers, tutors, scholars, book critics, authors, poets, politicians, or even saints. These are mostly ideal scenarios. A degree doesn’t make you anything. It just gives you a path, a way to move forward in the directions you want. Why do people want to build their careers? To make money, to earn a livelihood, to take care of their families and, at last, to satisfy themselves mentally – again, ideally, this is the scenario. So, what can you do with a degree in English literature? Honestly, if you are asking this question to yourself or anyone else after completing your degree, sorry, you lost too much time already! However, if you are thinking to enrol yourself for an English literature degree, you are wise. In any case, whether you have a degree or you will be getting a degree, read this article to understand what are the best career options for you.
What does an English literature degree give you?
- Deep understanding of things, ideas, emotions and situations
- A grand grip over the English language – overall
- Wonderful writing skills
- Ability to interpret problems with a broader view
- Great confidence in communicating your thoughts
- A good understanding of literary theories, psychological concepts and philosophical ideas
- Abilities to teach English literature to students at different levels
What career options do you have after English literature degree? What can you do with these strengths or qualities?
- You can teach: Yes, you can get further trained to be a teacher. In India, you can get teaching degrees specifically for primary, middle or higher secondary levels. If you want to teach in colleges or universities, you need to do an MA and then PhD. Teaching is the most suited job for those who can be patient with students and have the abilities to convey their ideas emphatically, in a friendly and effective manner. If you cannot wait for the less-frequent position openings in government colleges or universities, you should apply for private institutions.
- You can become a digital content expert: Yes, if you are interested in the internet, social media and writing for money, you can make a career for yourself in digital content writing. This job requires powerful writing skills, ability to produce attractive, loaded with CTA and persuasive tone. If you have interest in digital space and you are ready to work your laptop, you may have a lucrative career ahead of you just after your BA. However, I will advise you should do your MA before you start working. It will not only give you a cushion in case you choose to start over or switch but also give you a better position to begin. You can also become a journalist for online news portals. This needs expertise in being a news watcher, following topics you are passionate about and preparing the news content for the same.
- You can become a book critic, proofreader or editor: Yes, there is a great scope for a career in the book industry today (called the publishing industry as well). If you have developed an interest in reading, you can think about a career that allows you to read, read and just read. Becoming a book critic will demand a lot of reading from you (which can be adjusted as you grow your brand). You will need to read books, formulate opinions and either write those publically or share them with your clients privately. In the beginning, the job might not pay so well, at times. However, if you work hard and make connections, recognitions or a brand for yourself that others cannot ignore, you can become very successful. Becoming an editor is different. You need to read manuscripts before publication and find out errors – grammatical, style errors, factual errors, narrative errors or any possible errors. As a proofreader, you cannot make changes or make minor changes. As an editor, you can make whatever changes you want and you need to work closely with your client or your seniors.
- You can become an author or a poet: Yes, if you read poets and novelists continuously for about 5-6 years, you may develop a flair for creative writing. If you continue to pen down your poetry on a serious scale, you can think of becoming a poet. You can also become a novelist if you can write outstanding or extraordinary works. However, do keep in mind that it has become too tough to make a living by becoming a writer. So, make this decision very wisely. Keep all the pros and cons in mind. Don’t rush and don’t invest unless you are very sure of what you are doing.
- Do whatever you like: Yes, and this is the last… do remember that degrees don’t limit you in any way! You can do whatever you want to do. You can fly a plane. You can become the president. You can become a scientist. You can become a footballer, a rapper, a dancer and simply whatever you want. Nevertheless, in anything that you decide to do, literary awareness will only help you. A good taste of literature can help you with many tests of life. Whatever you choose with your career, make sure you can make it worth pursuing.
So, this was the article for you. All the best with your career! You can read more articles on our website by going to our articles section: All Articles.
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Written by Alok Mishra