What career can I take up after graduation? This is a million-dollar question that haunts an average student in India. This question can often fetch a plethora of answers, whatever the course might be. However, when under graduate and post graduate students of English literature ask this question, they get answered in unison – “teacher!”
Literature courses, for ages now in the country, has been considered as ‘preparatory courses’ for those who wish to become teachers in the future. But, how far does this presumption hold to be true? Is teaching really the only job that a BA English literature graduate can get? Well, if you say yes, then you are about to get surprised.
English literature course is undoubtedly one of the most underrated courses of all time. Students who complete BA English language and literature can move into a wide variety of career options, according to their area of interest. Let us now look into some of these most promising career choices for graduates in BA English. How far can they move from the traditional ‘teaching’ ritual?
Career after BA English: Content Writing/ Editing
Even with the triumph of digital technology, the significance of content in the form of text has not diminished. There is an outpour of content over the web, and almost all the major job providers need experts who can create and manage them. Content writers and editors thus becomes the most sought-out jobs for any literature graduate.
Websites of all sorts hire graduates in English literature to pen down fresh content every day, and marketing agents hire them to line up crisp and catchy content for the company’s brochures and descriptions. Content writers are, in short, expected to express the ideas and propositions of the firms in elegant language that can hold the consumer’s attention. Command over language and communication skills are key here.
Content editors, on the contrary, are expected to clear the content forwarded by content writers of stylistic and grammatical errors. They also pool in information from different sources to design content. Clearly, no firm can function smoothly in the digital era without content writers and editors.
Career after BA English: Technical Writing
Are you a literature graduate with decent communication skills? Do you have an interest in the technical boom of our times? Can you understand and explain the basic technological terminologies of softwares and gadgets? If the answer is yes, then you can easily groom yourself into becoming a successful technical writer.
Technical writing is nothing but transcribing technical jargon for customers. They create content for user manuals that comes in with gadgets, engages with online help for customers who use those, and also does the technical documentation for companies.
Technical writing jobs have immense scope in a technology-literate country like India, and graduates in English language can make maximum use of these nascent job description that is well-paying indeed.
Career after BA English: Copy Writing
If you are a graduate in English literature looking forward to work smart with high payment, then advertising could be your thing. Advertisers, who are required to pool in audience for a particular service or product, is often a team of copywriters and digital designers.
Copywriting is indeed an arena where literature graduates can make a good earning. Copywriters are expected to frame catchwords for advertising campaigns. So if you know your vocabulary, have a creative mind and can do the wordplay, then the stage is all yours.
Apart from the catchwords or the copy, the advertising field also needs literature graduates to create and edit other content for their clients.
Career after BA English: Public Relations
BA and MA holders in English literature can easily drift into the sphere of media as well. Apart from the journalism jobs that might require distinct qualifications, Public Relations suits them the best. PR industry demands fresh faces with communication and writing skills alike.
Individuals and firms run PR systems alike, and the call for PR professionals who can be in charge of their communications has created a whole new set of opportunities. Public Relations officials curate any kind of communication from their parent firm and who else can take over this job other than a literature graduate? Even though there are specialised courses to train a PR professional, firms still prefer graduates in English literature.
Career after BA English: Instructional Designing
Instructional designer is a job profile which has sprung up out of the technology boom of our times. When technology became handy for everyone to use, self-learning systems also flourished in no time. This gave shape to e-learning devices, and instructional designers emerged as a new set of people who were necessary to run this system.
They design the input and output content of e-learning systems, decides how this content shall be presented and identifies the instructional method. Instructional designers, in other words, are the interface between the software and the learner.
Since this is a relatively fresh field and not many courses are offered in India, companies prefer literature and mass communication graduates. There is an immediate need for ID professionals in the country, and it is your time to answer the call.
Career after BA English: Publishing
Do you think a career in book publishing is a thing of the past? You are to be bowled over then. The publishing sector is still a very happening thing where a literature graduate can forge a successful career. If you have a bachelors or masters degree in English literature, publishing could indeed become your thing.
Right from the process of copy editing and pitching, until the part of sales come in, job opportunities in this field are manifold. Publishers require editors who can monitor and select authors and their works, clear their copies from grammatical errors, and even author some books on their own. Best-selling authors need to be identified, their work has to be evaluated, and then manuscripts are to be edited stylistically.
Indeed, this is the forte of an English literature graduate. Job opportunities stretch so far and wide that it can take to across the seas.
Career after BA English: Creative writing
What does it take to be a writer? Most of the time, the term writer brings in an image of a creative being, who finds solace from the drabness of day-to-day labour through penning down their thoughts. What if I tell you that being a writer is no longer a romanticised extension to one’s social life, but a legit job?
Creative writing jobs await English literature graduates in and outside the country. You are employed to write poems, stories, screenplay, speeches, songs and other fiction in English. If you are good with your language and can claim strong creative and imaginative power, then you could be hired as a professional writer by media houses, radio stations, film production companies and even MNC’s.
Creative writing is even taught as allied subjects now for bachelors and masters courses in literature. Creative writers are, as expected, paid more than descent sums too.
Career after BA English: Linguistics
Linguistics, one of the major branches of English language studies, holds immense scope for graduates. If literature deals with the aesthetics of language, linguistics approaches it scientifically. This, indeed, does create a huge set of demanding job profiles for English BA and MA holders who are interested in linguistics.
Linguistics experts can find engaging careers in the field of bilingual education, interpretation, language planning, lexicography, translation and many other diverse arenas where language has to be treated scientifically. Linguists are even employed in audiology and communication training, which further expands the horizons.
If you are a true lover of the language and is willing to learn the science of speaking it, then you should probably take a look at linguistic studies.
Career after BA English: Social Media Manager/ Digital Communicator
Social media presence is mandatory for any firm, irrespective of the nature of its service or product. When social media is taking over the public spheres and restructuring it, placing the firm’s identity on it becomes necessary for survival. This too, has created a fresh set of job opportunities. Literature graduates are hired in large numbers by MNC’s and startups alike to manage their social media profiles.
All the captions and posts that appear on the social media profiles of the firms, and the engagement with clients or customers will fall under the responsibility of the social media manager. Since page management is not the only job invested with them, they have to switch from being the content manager to a digital communicator, back and forth. Strong acquaintance with new media platforms in necessary to build a successful career as a social media manager or digital communicator.
Career after BA English: Teaching
Teaching, which was and is considered as the only resort of literature graduates, turns out to be one among the many job opportunities available today. Teaching can be chosen by a bachelor’s or master’s holder in literature, but this can be the same with any other course too.
English literature is not a ‘teacher’s course’, and it is high time we realised it. But however, if you’d like to tutor the coming generations and share your skills with them, you can very well do that. Remember, it is just one of the many choices!
The most attractive thing about studying English literature is that its possibilities are almost endless. Mastering command over this language and its usage can open up a limitless world of opportunities, all around the globe. Literature graduates can easily hold a place in any stream of knowledge, as they deal with a language that is spoken over almost all the continents.
Moreover, it can offer you jobs that have pay scales ranging from 10,000s to millions. If you have a thing for literature courses, the only thing you need to do is to identify which way among the above you wish to travel. Choose the right specialisation, and the future might be yours.