Department Chair

  • Erich Hertz
    Associate Professor of English
    Kiernan Hall 214
    (518) 782-6896
    ehertz@siena.edu

What can I do with an English Major?

The short answer is, "Anything you want!"

A major or minor in English can serve as preparation for almost any career. Skills in written and oral communication, research techniques, analysis, and critical thinking are the foundation for a successful career in almost any field.

Students are strongly encouraged to visit the Career Center early and often to assess their own interests and aptitudes and to learn of possible occupations that they would enjoy. It is also recommended to sign up for an internship in your junior or senior year, as well as to consider graduate school in your chosen field.

Examples of an English Major in action:

  • Education: The English/Education major prepares students for teaching at middle schools or high schools. Alumns are also working in specialized teaching in reading, TESOL, and special education, as well as education administration. The English major prepares also students to continue to graduate school in English, in preparation for becoming college professors.
  • Law: Law schools are eager to accept English majors, particularly if combined with some courses and an internship in Pre-law.
  • Communications: The English major, combined with a Writing minor, prepares students for work as journalists, writers, or editors. Some alums also work in broadcast media.
  • Technical/scientific writing: The Writing minor, in combination with a major in science  or computer science, prepares a student for a career in scientific or technical writing.
  • Information technology: The English major, in combination with a computer science minor, prepares a student for work in information technology/library science.
  • Advertising and public relations: An English major combined with a business minor  (or vice versa) is excellent preparation for work in advertising and/or public relations; one alum has been the producer for "Crossfire" on CNN.
  • Acting/theatre management: An English major combined with a Creative Arts minor (or vice versa) is excellent preparation for acting or theater management.
  • BusinessBusiness  is probably the largest employer of English alums. An English major combined with a business minor  (or vice versa) is excellent preparation for a wide range of business positions. Recent surveys indicate that English alums are in management, real estate sales, insurance, equity trading, retail sales, pharmaceutical sales, human resource management, and brokerage services.
  • Other fields: Other English alumns are working in fields as diverse as counseling, industrial/labor relations, international policy studies, occupational therapy, and public administration. One recent alumn is directing a children's theater and another is a Hollywood press agent.