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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Careers & Further Study

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Career Opportunities

An undergraduate degree in Literature or English Studies equips you with many marketable skills. The degree sharpens your critical thinking abilities, helps you develop strong oral and written communication skills, and teaches you how to think independently. The degree opens doors for you in a number of fields and prepares you for continued graduate or professional training in areas such as English, law, political science, religious studies, history, and communications. Possible career fields include journalism, technical writing, free-lance writing, education, editing, advertising, sales, public relations, government jobs and library science.

Recent Graduates

Damola Adeyeye (BA Literature, 2013) works as a sales executive for MicroEdge. According to Damola, “My English degree allowed me to transition easily into the corporate world. I heard in many interviews that they found the degree a strong attribute because of the written communication (emails, executive summaries, proposals, etc.) and verbal communication (presentations, talking on the phone, speaking with co-workers about goals, etc.) skills my degree provided me.” Damola is also pursuing a MBA & MPA degree at Hamline University.



Hannah Ekran (BA Literature, 2010) is currently working in publishing as an assistant/junior book scout at Mary Anne Thompson Associates in New York. According to Hannah, “Critically analyzing a piece of literature and then being able to articulate my thoughts, both verbally and in writing, is invaluable to my day-to-day responsibilities at my job. It's also great that I had great professors who taught a wide variety of literature, so I feel like my background and reading experience is well-rounded.”


Graduate and Professional Study

Our undergraduates also pursue further studies in literature and English studies as well as law and medicine. Students who complete MA degrees in English can enter the fields mentioned above as well as teach at universities and colleges, particularly community colleges, technical colleges and branch campuses of larger universities. With a doctoral degree, students have additional opportunities for research and teaching at the university level. For more information about our graduate degree, click MA Literature and English Studies.

Student Resources

Each year the English Department offers career and graduate study workshops. Look for Professional Development Sessions on the English Department News and Events page.

For other student resources, check out Career Development and the following:

  • Anderson Allen, Moira. Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer.
  • Bly, Robert. Careers for Writers & Others Who Have a Way with Words.
  • Brooks, Katharine. You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career.
  • Curran, Sheila J. Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads: Finding a Path to Your Perfect Career.
  • DeGalan, Julie and Stephen Lambert. Great Jobs for English Majors.
  • Eberts, Marjorie and Margaret Gisler. Careers for Bookworms & Other Literary Types.
  • Field, Shelly. 100 Best Careers for Writers and Artists.
  • Gould, Jay R. and Wayne A. Losano. Opportunities in Technical Writing Careers.
  • Lemire, Timothy. I'm an English Major—Now What?
  • O'Hara, Shelley and Jennifer A. Horowitz. What Can You Do with a Major in English?

Famous English Majors


Toni Morrison, Stephen King, Aravind Adiga, Douglas Adams, Tom Clancy, Eudora Welty, Allen Ginsberg, Joseph Heller, Arthur Miller, Joyce Carol Oates, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amy Tan, and Gwendolyn Brooks.


Bob Woodward, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, and Andrea Mitchell.


Conan O’Brien, Dave Barry, Chevy Chase, Johnny Carson, and Joan Rivers.

Film Directors

Edward Burns, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, and Derek Jarman.


Katharine Hepburn, Alan Alda, Sigourney Weaver, Susan Sarandon, Jodie Foster, Emma Thompson, Joan Cusack, David Duchovny, Reese Witherspoon, Renee Zellweger, Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, and Emma Watson.


Mario Cuomo (former governor of New York), Mitt Romney, and Pete Wilson (former governor of California).


Don Henley, Chris Isaak, Kris Kristofferson, Paul Simon, and Sting.

Business Executives

Anne M. Mulcahy (former CEO of Xerox Corp.), Judy McGrath (former CEO of MTV), Grant Tinker (former CEO of NBC), and Michael Eisner (CEO of Walt Disney).


Marty Shottenheimer (former coach of the Kansas City Chiefs), Sally Ride (astronaut), A. Bartlett Giamatti (President of Yale University and Commissioner of Baseball), John D. Skipper (president of ESPN), Rachel Carson (biologist and author), Harold Varmus (Nobel laureate in medicine), and Allan Nevins (historian).

For more information on what our alumni are doing, visit News and Events.