What can I do with a degree in English?
Through their English degree, graduates develop a valuable set of skills that are transferrable to a range of careers, including:
- Analysing complex textual and cultural phenomenon
- Persuasive writing
- Research and computing skills
- Understanding the development and processes of conflict
- Interpretive and analytical thinking
- Problem solving skills adaptable to differing contexts
- Thinking critically, creatively and challenging ideas
- Oral and written communication.
Opportunities to apply your learning outside the classroom through work and other experiences also exist and can deepen your skills set and employability. Work and other experiences can also support and inform learning and skill development in the classroom.
While some English graduates work directly with literature and language, either by teaching English or entering the publishing field, career possibilities are very diverse. The knowledge content specific to English courses is especially relevant to careers in broadcasting, the arts, public relations, diplomacy, teaching, journalism, library and information services.
English graduates find jobs in local and central government, the legal sector, education, teaching, research, arts and design, media, tourism, museums, libraries, IT and telecommunications, social services, management and in the business sector.
UC’s Guide to Job Hunting offers a variety of career resources including employer information.
For more information about UC student and graduate opportunities, go to UC CareerHub
Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs including teacher, author, editor and librarian.
Some of the jobs listed may require further study at postgraduate level. Postgraduate study can contribute to your employability. It enables you to extend your knowledge and skills, indicates your motivation and ability to persevere at a high level academically and can make you more competitive in the job market. Postgraduate study may be a prerequisite for certain jobs.
- Professional writer
- Creates and develops technical manuals and instructional information
- Writes, develops and updates website content
- Assists in writing involved in theatre, television or radio
- Proofreads material prior to publication
- Assists in the addition of graphic elements to written materials
- Meets with writers to discuss required changes
- Public relations officer
- Manages the reputations of clients, in everyday and crisis situations
- Liaises with media
- Organises and manages conferences, press releases, tours and exhibitions
- Policy analyst
- Researches and analyses information to assist in policy planning and development
- Reviews and interprets existing policies
- Prepares and presents reports
- Secondary school teacher
- Prepares and delivers instructional activities and lessons in specialised subjects
- Observes and evaluates performance in order to provide feedback
- Develops and marks tests and assessments
- Teacher of English to Speakers of Other
- Develop students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and their understanding of how English works
- Works as a freelance language teacher working one-on-one with child or adult students
- Teaches local social and cultural norms to new immigrants
- Recruitment consultant
- Manages the recruitment and selection of new talent into the organisation
- Aligns people management practices with business strategy
- Assists in the identification of training needs and the development of human capital
Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly becoming an important part of the world of work and should be considered as a career option. For more information about UC student innovation & entrepreneurship, related internships, scholarships, courses and activities go to Careers, Internships & Employment
For further information on job titles, please see the latest UC Graduate Destinations Survey
As they progress in their studies and into a career, our students and graduates often join professional bodies specific to their area of interest. These organisations offer graduates the opportunity to network and collaborate with others within the same community. Other relevant organisations are also listed.
- Association of NZ Advertisers
- Public Relations Institute of NZ
- Communication Agencies Association of NZ
- The New Zealand Society of Authors
- Publishers Association of New Zealand
Social media networks, such as LinkedIn (including LinkedIn groups), Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues for students and graduates to keep up-to-date with current industry knowledge and ‘best practice’, networking opportunities, industry-related events and job vacancies.
It is possible to study at postgraduate and graduate level in subjects both directly and indirectly related to your degree. For a list of postgraduate and graduate study options, go to Courses, Subjects and Qualifications
English graduates may continue on to the one-year Bachelor of Arts with Honours programme. Students who have completed an honours degree may proceed to the masters or doctoral programmes (PhD), both of which involve thesis work. Many Arts graduates do additional training in teaching, library, journalism or management.
Postgraduate study can also lead to an academic career pathway in teaching and research.
Carefully consider your motivation for study, how it fits in with your long-term career plans and whether it is likely to enhance your employment prospects.