What career path to choose after English Honours?

English Honours, also known as B.A. in English is an undergraduate degree in English Literature. It comes under the humanities and arts stream. It is one of the subjects under the social sciences domain which has seen a boom of late. In recent years Honours degree is providing students with a variety of employment opportunities. Unlike many people assume, English Honours is not a course that teaches English or grammar. The course may improve one’s linguistic skills but it cannot be compared with the English speaking or writing courses. 

The course involves creatively and critically analysing the classic English literature from different countries of origin; its cultural, political or historical significance in that era. In this course, you learn to reason and ask the right questions which in turn helps you to provide unique solutions. Therefore English Honours help in gaining a deeper perspective of the language while improving analytical skills of the content of various time brackets. These skills help the graduates in choosing from a number of career options after English Honours. Overall, this course prepares candidates for a career in the fields of teaching, media, advertising, writing, publishing etc.

profitable career options after English Honours

Profitable career options after English Honours

1. Journalism

An ideal career match for an English Honours graduate is journalism or mass communication. The undergraduate degree lays the foundation for its students to gather knowledge about the masses and their cultures. This makes journalism one of the favourable career options after English Honours where you are required to communicate with different people, collect all the information or news and present it to the audience. 

There are five types of journalism namely, investigative, news, reviews, columns and feature writing. The universal medium of communication used in journalism is English and it’s important to have an excellent knowledge of the same. Certification in English writing course will be an add-on to your Honours degree. You can opt for the online training through institutes like Henry Harvin Academy which offers English language courses at your convenience. 

The scope for growth is very good in journalism making it one of the profitable career options after English Honours. You can earn around 4 to 6 lakhs per annum in this industry. For those who want the flexibility of choice among various related fields like television, radio jockey, video jockey etc, an additional specialization in journalism and mass communication will benefit.

2. Public Relations

Public Relations or PR is one of the best career options after English Honours. PR refers to how an audience views an organization, person, brand or company. It is similar to journalism in a manner, as PR professionals need to be aware of the masses, connect with them, communicate with them, collect and categorize the information and make it presentable for the media. Strategic communication with the audience and media personnel is expected by a PR professional. Hence an English Honours graduate will be best suited for the profession. 

A PR manager’s role includes composing and organising press releases and articles, planning appropriate campaigns, be creative in implementing unique ideas to promote brands or organizations. It is a trust-building profession as companies or brands rely extensively on their PR personnel to take responsibility for the brand image. A PR manager is required to have good media and community relations and be aware of public affairs and act accordingly to achieve the goals of the company/brand that you are representing. A PR personnel is also expected to have excellent online and social media awareness.

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This industry requires a good command of the English language and an additional certification in English speaking course might be helpful. There is a great chance of succeeding and leaving a mark in the industry with your creativity and uniqueness. The scope is good in this field and one can earn an income of 3 to 7 lakhs per annum. 

3. Teacher/educator

Teaching is a profession which is universally considered honourable. The primary requirement for this job is to have in-depth knowledge of a particular subject. Since a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in English Honours gives you a thorough knowledge of English literature, opting as a teacher or academician is one of the best career options after English Honours. You can choose this profession if you have a passion for teaching or educating. There are different types of teaching methods adopted by teachers worldwide. They can be broadly classified as the teacher-centred method, learner-centred method, content-focused method, and interactive/participative method. Each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages and it is up to the teacher and institution to decide the most suitable teaching method to reach the end goals.

There are 2 platforms if you choose this field among the career options after English Honours i.e, government or private sector. If you are interested in working for government schools or universities, it is necessary to have a Bachelors in Education (B.Ed) degree along with English Honours. This sector is promising in terms of salary and promotions. Private schools or universities choose candidates based on their needs. Some institutes may ask for a master’s degree while some may not. There is scope in this sector and flexibility of options.

Teaching is also considered a safe profession. It involves job security and gives career satisfaction to those who are passionate about learning outcomes. There is always a scope for this profession and one can earn 3 – 5 lakhs per annum.    

4. Content writer

Content writing is one of the booming industries of the internet era. Although there are varieties of content and writers, this industry is largely unexplored and has a lot of potential for people with technical knowledge and creativity. English Honours degree gives you the necessary training required to analyse and interpret any literature which makes content writing one of the promising career options after English Honours. 

Proficiency in English is a must to be a good content writer. There are many niches you can choose to write about. Holding a bachelor’s degree in English gives you a natural flair in writing content related to literature, journalism, academics etc. Considerable knowledge of computer applications will be required in order to grow in the digital platform. There are different types of content writing that you can opt for, like copywriting, SEO writing, crafting social media posts, drafting email campaigns, script writing for video campaigns etc.

With the ever-growing digital world, there is a constant demand for content writers by various companies and organizations to produce content that is interesting and engaging and make their brand visible to a large number of people. This industry has a lot of scope as content matters above anything else. There is a good earnable income in this industry and you can expect about 3 to 5 lakhs per annum.

5. Creative writer/blogger

Creative writing or blogging is similar to content writing but here you write for your own website; not for any company or organization. It offers a lot of flexibility than content writing and the niches to choose from are limitless. All the experience gained in understanding English literature during the bachelor’s degree course will definitely aid in creating write-ups of your own. This is a very trendy profession and makes it one of the profitable career options after English Honours.

Creative writing or blogging, like all writing jobs, needs you to be well versed in the English language. If you love to read and write and can transform a few words into a beautiful sentence then this career is for you. Creative writing gives you an opportunity to write anything from short stories to novels, and poems, plays or scripts. You can write about your passion for food, travel, fashion, parenting, movies, books and many more niches based on your interest. The options are unlimited; so is the opportunity to earn. 

6. Content Editor

Content editing is also among the profitable career options after English Honours. If you are a reader more than a writer, this job is for you.  All the knowledge gained during 3 years of bachelor’s degree in literature gives you the ability to proofread any content and review it for its flow, readability and ease of understanding. With the digitalisation of content, editors have a very good scope for growth and income in this field. 

The two aspects of writing and editing go hand in hand, as all written content needs to go through the editing process. Efficiency in this field is very important as editing finalizes the content, its flow and ease of understanding, optimizes the content for SEO, helps in providing accurate information etc. If you are good at proofreading and editing, you can apply for jobs in any publishing company, academic writing, digital content websites and so on.

7. Digital marketing/social media marketing

Marketing is yet another vast area where there are endless opportunities to build a career. This is among the best career options after English Honours. In this digitalized era, every company or brand looks forward to reaching its target audience in a cost-effective way. Digital marketing helps them achieve this goal with minimum resources at their disposal. Hence they look for candidates with experience in understanding and responding to literature/content. If you are proficient in English and your vocabulary is good, then this career option is the best.

There are various types of digital marketing such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-per-Click(PPC), social media marketing, content marketing, Email marketing, mobile marketing, marketing analytics and affiliate marketing. With a basic knowledge of digital marketing, you can make your brand reach its consumers through various social media channels and creative digital campaigns. You can also get a certification in English writing courses to improve the articulation of words. With the right combination of all the necessary skills, you can earn around 4 to 8 lakhs per annum. This industry is growing and there is a lot of scope in the future as well. You can apply for the roles of digital marketing specialist, web analyst, SEO specialist, email marketer, web analyst etc.

8. Translator 

Translation means conveying the meaning of words from one language to another without losing their essence. A translator is required to read and thoroughly understand the context of a given content and later proofread the finished piece of work. For an English translator or interpreter, the knowledge of interpreting any literature that was learnt in English Honours degree will be useful. Hence this is among the top career options after English Honours. 

As a translator, there are opportunities to translate written text or audio recordings from one language to another, prepare subtitles for videos and other media, proofread translated texts for grammar, spelling and punctuation accuracy, to assist VIPs on their travels to different countries, to be an interpreter as a travel guide etc. The more accurate and meaningful the translation the better the opportunity to grow. This is a unique and promising career to choose.

These were the best among the career options after English Honours. There are other interesting career paths that can be chosen after obtaining the Honours degree. A few of them are suggested below.

Other career options after English Honours:

  • Law – This is not a typical or conventional choice one would make but it’s definitely challenging and promising. Many students are opting for a 3-year L.L.B course after English Honours. It is a suitable choice as the Honours degree gives you all the researching and analysing skills needed to pursue this course. 
  • Librarian – A librarian’s job is to supervise daily processes in a private or a public library. All the expertise in the field of literary education will be handy here. This job is similar to a teaching profession as it is honourable and improves knowledge. An additional degree in library science would be beneficial.
  • Archivist – An archivist’s responsibility is to preserve valuable literature, historical books, maps, plans, tapes, papers, prints or pictures. All these valuable information can be accessed by data researchers, academic staff, other professionals or the general public. A graduate degree in history, political science, library science, public information or archival science can help you get a job as an archivist.
  • MBA – The basic criteria to get into MBA is to have a graduate degree. So after Honours you can either pursue higher education in English literature or move to a new stream of marketing, the choice is yours. There are options like MBA in finance, marketing, sales, foreign relationships etc. It will expose you to a new world of opportunities.
  • Civil services – Many B.Graduates take the civil services examination as it makes them eligible in more than one way. Apart from testing your knowledge, a civil services examination checks your own opinion and perspective of a particular topic or issue. Hence the Honours degree gives you an upper hand in viewing social issues differently and framing a unique answer accordingly. Once you pass the exams you will have the opportunity to work in the reputed sectors in the government which comes with many perks.
  • Event management – Event management can be done by people who are creative, and good at organizing and managing things. After English Honours, if you don’t want to work for anyone but start a business then go for it! If you establish yourself in this field, there is a consistent income directed your way as there are events happening all around us all the time. With good communication and leadership skills, you have a promising future ahead.

With English Honours you learn to think creatively and critically, and have a better reasoning ability which gives you the power to deliver holistic solutions. It gives you a profound understanding of the literary works of different writers around the world. It opens up a doorway to the cultural, political, moral, ethical and religious views of that particular era. This knowledge helps you to gain a different perspective of the present times and draw a comparison of the changing dimensions in various aspects of life around the world. With English Honours, you will have a better worldview and this will help you in countless ways to get a worthy job in your niche and have a good professional life.

Conclusion

Over recent years, the social sciences and arts domain has given significant employment opportunities to the graduates. This stream offers a lot of freedom for the students to choose any area of their interest. There is a shift of candidates from other domains to social sciences because of the scope it offers. When compared with other domains, this stream gives attractive returns for the lesser fees deposited for the course. 

The Honours degree has a lot of potential and will give you a range of job opportunities in the field of mass communication, digital marketing, teaching/academics, content creating or editing, and translating/interpreting. The foremost important thing to do after completing English Honours is to set a goal. Describe your goal. Decide whether you want to pursue a Masters degree in English literature or choose a profession or get a certification or start a business/brand of your own. Once your goals are clear, you can start taking appropriate actions toward achieving them.

FAQ

Q.1. I am an English Honours graduate good at spoken English but grammar is weak, can I apply for a role as a journalist?

Yes, definitely. Your conversational skills will benefit you a lot in this field. Journalism being one of the best career options after English Honours will give you a great opportunity to grow. However, if you can get trained in English language course, it will be fruitful in this profession. With hard work and dedication, you will have a bright future ahead in this career path.

Q.2. I want to pursue Masters degree in English literature while working and earning some money with the help of an English Honours degree, please guide.

Yes that’s possible. Thanks to the digital era you have many career options after English Honours. You can choose to work remotely as a content writer, copywriter, blogger, online teacher, digital marketer etc. Prepare an appropriate resume that includes some samples of your writing for the recruiter to understand your writing style, vocabulary etc. Start applying on multiple online platforms to land a job that suits you.

Q.3. I have an English Honours degree and wish to get an add-on certification to build my resume. What courses do you suggest?

There are many certified courses for an English Honours graduate. You can choose a course in journalism, English speaking course, English writing course, content writing course, digital marketing course, technical writing course etc. If you are interested in teaching, then you can pursue a degree in B.Ed. This will help you get a stable job in the government sector.

Q.4. I will complete my English Honours this academic year. I am keen to know what is the salary I can expect as a beginner in PR?

Public Relations is one of the very best career options after English Honours and once you are established as a PR manager you can expect around 5 to 7 lakhs per annum. However, as a beginner, you have to learn a lot of skills involved in the job and may even have to work as an intern. Hence expect compensation of 2 to 5 lakhs per annum based on the company you get recruited.

Q.5. I am looking for a job abroad on the basis of an English Honours degree. Is there any special course I have to do?

There are many country-specific entrance criteria that you need to be aware of and work towards clearing those exams. You also have an option to get a certification in the foreign country where you wish to work. Working as an intern in any overseas company before applying for a job will also give you some hands-on training in the field.

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