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Career Opportunities for Majors in English

Skills and Abilities of English Majors

The skills and abilities one learns as an English major can be more generally applied to any career requiring expertise in the use of language as a means of communication. For example, despite their differing responsibilities, journalists, teachers, sales representatives, and politicians all use their skill with language to perform their jobs. Representative skills and abilities of holders of degrees in English are listed below.



Assessing needs of an audience

Influencing and persuading

Entertaining and inspiring

Presenting alternative viewpoints

Clarifying ideas

Making oral presentations

Shaping general ideas into specific points and programs



Designing/directing projects

Organizing ideas/information

Developing hypotheses

Solving problems

Using information resources

Comparing arguments

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Summarizing ideas

Comparing information

Using theoretical approaches

Developing critical evaluations

Thinking independently

Thinking creatively

Synthesizing issues

Applying close reading and interpretation


Abstracting information

Interpreting data


Writing concisely

Writing creatively

Drafting documents

Writing reports


* * * * * *

Occupational Possibilities

The study of English is superb preparation for work in a wide variety of fields where skill in the production and interpretation of language is central – in business, communications, or government and public service, for example. The following list of occupations pursued by English majors offers a glimpse of the wide-ranging career paths for which an English degree provided preparation. For some of the occupations listed below, such as association executive and curriculum planner, additional skills and/or related training are desirable. Additional graduate study is generally expected for those occupations marked with an asterisk on the following list.


Technical writer

Convention planner

Drama critic

Book store manager


Patient education director of HMO

Editorial assistant




Radio/television broadcaster


Public relations officer


Associate buyer, retail store

Industrial trust analyst

Executive assistant

Corporate attorney*


Advertising sales manager

Training consultant


Consumer-goods salesperson

Human resources officer

Marketing manager


Business manager





Writer in residence

Curriculum planner

Reading specialist

Counseling psychologist*


University counsellor*

School administrator*

Public interest advocate

Government/Public Sector


Foreign Service officer

Big Brother/Big Sister program coordinator

Social worker*

City manager*

Congressional researcher

Professional association publications

Association executive

Police officer

Creative Arts







Visual artist


Memorial English Alumni at Work

The following list represents a fraction of the career diversity of Memorial University’s English graduates:

Dr. Patrick O’Flaherty - writer, professor, Order of Canada recipient

Ted Bonnah - ESL teacher, Japan
Kelly Buehler - Librarian
Karina Byrne - Writer, Editor, Director of Public Relations, Thompson Financial Services
Ann Chislett - Playwright
Ronald Clarke - Columnist in The Newfoundland Churchman
Dave Cochrane - Journalist
Craig Monk - Professor
Michael Crummey - Poet and novelist
Danielle Devereaux - English teacher, Quebec
Sheila Devine - Legal Counsel to Presidents of Memorial University, University of British Columbia and University of Calgary
Dr. James Downey - University president
Marjorie Doyle - Radio host, writer
Janet Edmonds - Actor
Deanne Foley - ESL Teacher, Korea
Prof. Adrian Fowler - Principal, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Corner Brook
Kimberly Frail - Lectrice, l’Université Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux
Pam Frampton - Editor, Evening Telegram
John Fraser - Journalist, author, Master of Massey College, University of Toronto
Bill Gillespie - CBC Moscow reporter
Bill Gough - Author, CBC broadcaster
Dr. Richard Greene - Professor
Janet Goosney - Information Services, QEII Library
John Gushue - Editor, Evening Telegram
Michael Harrington - Editor, author
Anthony Harvey - R.C.M.P. officer
Donald Harvey - Rt. Rev. Bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador (retired)
Keli Healy - High school teacher
Chuck Herriott - Actor, writer
Elizabeth Hillman - Executive Assistant to President of Memorial University
Karen Hollett - Lawyer, Director, Faculty Relations, Memorial
Denise Hooper - Student Recruitment Officer
Rachel Huntsman - Lawyer, Crown Attorney’s Office
Danielle Irvine - Director
Wayne Johnston - Author
Bob Joy - Actor
Ed Kavanagh - Musician, writer
Augustus Lilly - Lawyer
Kevin McCann - ESL teacher, Japan
Sean McCann - Musician, singer, Great Big Sea
Tonda McCharles - CBC reporter
Mary McKim - Singer, broadcaster
Hugh McGuire - Physician
Jeff Monk - Consultant, Nortel
Dr. Gordon Moyles - Professor
Rex Murphy - CBC and newspaper journalist
Martha Muzychka - Columnist
Keith O’Brien - Teacher in Romania, France, Quebec and Vietnam
Maire O’Dea - Associate Registrar, Memorial University
Greg O’Leary - High school teacher, doctoral candidate
Bonnie O’Rourke - Lawyer
Larry O’Toole - Film critic, author
Steve Palmer - Playwright, CBC scriptwriter
Dr. Roger William Peattie - Professor
Brian Peckford - Teacher, politician, former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
Rebecca Phillips - Lawyer
Robert Pitt - Editor, Businessman
Al Pittman - Playwright
Sara Pothen - Artist
Ann Pratt Lamar - Consultant, reviewer
Derek Puddester - Child Psychiatrist
Elizabeth Reynolds - Art dealer, former member of Board of Regents
Bill Rompkey - Senator
Clyde Rose - Publisher, Breakwater Books,
Teya Rosenberg - English Professor
Ted Russell - Author, broadcaster
Sonya Smith - Director of Marketing and Development, Provincial Lung Association
Pete Soucy - Actor/Comedian "Snook"
Kim Stockwood - Singer, songwriter
Krista Vokey - Head of English Department, Booth Memorial
Peter Walsh - CBC TV Journalist
Michael Winter - Poet/Novelist