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What Can I Do With an English Education Degree?

by Catherine Kohn, studioD

While obtaining an English education degree, you'll develop many skills that you can use not only in the education field, but in other professions as well. Some of those skills include the ability to give oral presentations, think critically and independently, write and edit clearly and creatively, influence others, problem-solve and manage time and materials effectively. Teaching, publishing, advertising, marketing, public relations, instructional design and technology, and human resources are major career areas that seek this skill set.


Teaching English is a rewarding career for many.

The obvious career path for someone with an English education degree is teaching English at the middle or high school level. If you also have a master's degree, you can teach at the post-secondary level, such as at a community college or four-year university. You may also want to consider specialties, such as teaching gifted or special education, advanced placement, or international baccalaureate classes; becoming a reading specialist; or teaching English for speakers of other languages. ESL and special education teachers are in especially high demand. These specialties may require some additional training. Teaching is a demanding yet highly rewarding profession that provides an opportunity to make a difference in students' worlds.


Newspapers, books, magazines and Web-based publications offer opportunities.

The publishing field offers many opportunities for people who can write well, think critically and speak persuasively. Book, magazine and newspaper publishers need writers, reporters, editors, proofreaders and fact checkers. However, publishing organizations also need people to work in promotions, publicity and sales departments as well, so they also offer jobs such as copywriters, account executives and event planners. In addition to print media, communications jobs are opening up in social media, web-content editing, broadcasting and film. Corporations and government agencies (including school districts) use communications professionals for both internal and external publications. If you're considering going into a media field, you should also obtain further training in technology use, such as computer publishing software, Web, social media and video.

Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations

Advertising and public relations companies look for people with strong social skills.

Teachers tend to be social, articulate and creative -- perfect skills for the advertising, marketing and public relations fields. In addition to advertising or public relations agencies, careers exist at nonprofit organizations, schools, government agencies, political organizations, corporations and more. Some of those jobs include communications directors, promotions managers, publicists, account coordinators, account executives, advertising managers, sales representatives, media buyers, communications assistants, copywriters, creative directors, marketing researchers, media planners, production assistants, social media managers and traffic coordinators.

Instructional Design and Technology

Instructional design involves creating educational materials.

An instructional designer creates educational training materials, such as Web-based courses, videos, manuals and handouts. Similar job titles include instructional technology, educational technology, curriculum design and instructional systems design. Instructional designers work in a wide variety of areas, such as business, industry, school districts, higher education, health care, government and military organizations. The job outlook is very promising in this field. According to Recruiter.com, "demand for Instructional Designers and Technologists is expected to go up, with an expected 36,220 new jobs filled by 2018. This represents an annual increase of 3.52 percent over the next few years."

Human Resources Specialist

Good interpersonal skills are required in human resources.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a human resources specialist needs to have good decision-making skills, be detail-oriented, and have great interpersonal, listening and speaking skills. This is the same skill set developed while pursuing an English education degree. Work as a human resources specialist involves reviewing qualifications and backgrounds of job candidates, recruiting and interviewing, maintaining confidential records and giving strong presentations. The job outlook in the field "is expected to grow 21 percent" through 2020, according to Department of Labor statistics. Jobs in human resources can usually be found at employment agencies, temporary-help services and large corporations.

About the Author

Catherine Kohn is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience. She holds a BA in writing from the University of South Florida and is a certified elementary and secondary teacher. She has taught preschool, elementary, middle and high school. At Morris Communications she was special sections editor, education reporter, news editor and features editor. She is also an award-winning newspaper layout designer.

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