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Careers for English Majors

"What can you do with an English major?"

No doubt you've heard this question—whether it's from your friends, your family, or even a random person in a coffee shop who just asked you what you were majoring in. The truth is that Penn English majors do just about everything: some become famous writers (like Jennifer Egan) or musicians (like John Legend) or journalists (like Andrea Mitchell). But many, many others find their ways into careers that you might not immediately associate with literature and writing.

The skills these English majors learned at Penn, they report, help them in all these varied professions. Whether it's running a non-profit organization, managing political campaigns, starting a new business, litigating cases, caring for patients, or designing an ad campaign, our alums tell us that they value the skills they honed in Fisher-Bennett Hall: critical thinking, careful analytical reading, persuasive rhetoric, in-depth research.


We want to help our current majors explore the myriad possibilities for life after the Penn English major, so we've launched internships in organizations run by alumni and friends of Penn English. Check out the complete list of internship opportunities for Summer 2024 here.


We also want you to see the range of professional paths that our alumni have taken, and the extraordinary success stories they’ve shared with us. Look at our alumni spotlights here, and visit our Alumni Mentor Database too! And see below for some useful data from Penn's Career Services:


Not sure where to start? Career Services has appointments available to help you find the right professional path, whether that means identifying internship opportunities for the summertime, preparing for grad school, exploring a range of fields, or crafting/polishing your application materials.