Career Prospects: What to do with a degree in English

The study of English language, literature and culture offers a wide variety of career prospects to our graduate students due to a wide range of skills they acquire during their studies. A degree in English is not geared to prepare you for only one specific job, in fact, it gives students the opportunity to acquire academic skills that are highly useful in various fields of work. So, what can you do with a degree in English? The sections below will give you some guidance and inspiration.

Key qualifications

Students have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written communication in English, can read and analyse complex texts critically, are skilled in obtaining crucial information, develop professional research competence and can interpret cultural phenomena methodically. Furthermore they acquire metacognitive skills in dealing with language and text editing, self-organization, planning ahead and working independently. Students are able to perform complex tasks in communication and administration which are also important outside academia. Thanks to these skills many fields of work are open to graduates of English.

Please also consult our skills profiles for further information:

BA English

MA English

For the value of studying a subject in the humanities in general, please consult the summary of arguments provided by the SAGW:

Typical career paths

Becoming a teacher is one of the most popular career choices: English teachers are required at all levels of the school system as well as in adult education. Furthermore, work in numerous communicative professions include jobs in the following areas and institutions: non-profit and cultural organizations, the diplomatic corps, marketing and PR departments, publishing houses, information and documentation services, newspapers, radio and television, intercultural work in the context of migration and integration, cantonal and federal administrative and research positions. The profession of a translator is also an opportunity but we do not train translators per se. A small number of our graduates pursue an academic career. Excellent MA graduates can extend their research competence by conducting a PhD research project and writing a doctoral dissertation within the framework of the Herman Paul School of Linguistics or the Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies.

Sample career choices of our graduates

The following profiles of some of our graduates’ current job positions should give you an idea of the great variety of fields of work for which studying English prepares our students. If you are interested in any of these fields already, we suggest that you gain experience by applying for internships.