Are You Interested in a Career in Literature?

The field of Literature is both engaging and extremely vast and it is a subject that a lot of foreign students elect to study in US colleges. However, career paths in literature are not clearly defined, mostly because there are a lot of uses for a literature degree. This guide explores some of the most popular career choices for literary graduates!

A great many overseas students choose the USA as their preferred place for studying literature, and in doing so they get an excellent education that also enhances their skills in the fields of reading and all types of writing. With an education of this caliber, these students are very well placed to land a variety of great jobs, such a vast number indeed that it is difficult to pin-point exactly which ones are most common and/or popular. It is, of course, possible to do what your heart tells you in terms of career choice, but keep reading this article to understand what some of the better-known literary careers are.

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Become a Teacher

A lot of foreign students who choose literature as their field of study transfer the expertise they acquire into a teaching career. If you are considering this career path, you should note that the majority of teachers who teach younger children (e.g., through to the end of middle school) take degree courses in education, which they supplement with subject-specific classes. Students who wish to teach at high school level and/or at college level tend to major in their desired field, e.g., literature and add any other courses that are required alongside.

A lot of US schools offer programs for undergraduates whereby literature students can also complete an educational course and become certified teachers. However, there are cases where undergraduates must major in the subject of education in order to obtain a teaching certificate. This means that literature students would either have to look for graduate positions in the field of education or study at some external college to get a teacher’s certificate. It is also worth remembering that the educational standards for teacher training differ from one state to another and they may be different to those in your country of origin. Therefore, you need to ensure you are on the right path for whatever location you want to work in.

Work in Publishing

The publishing sector offers a myriad of career options. These positions range from entrance-level or more junior jobs, e.g., proofreaders and assistant editors to senior editors and executives. In fact, there are all sorts of possibilities, and working in publishing means you are working with written materials on a daily basis – a great advantage for anyone with a passion for literature.

However, you need to bear in mind that publishing is a business so a grasp of business practices should really help you get a footing in the industry. Of course, given the nature of the business, publishing executives may have a literature education, but business classes combined with literature education should prove a great advantage to foreign students seeking careers in publishing.

It is also worth mentioning the role of literary agents who, while part of the publishing sector, still operate separately from publishers. The job of a literary agent is to liaise between creative individuals and the publishing industry. It is just another career option to think about.

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Become a Writer

On the subject of creative individuals, using one’s creative skills is another worthwhile option for overseas students looking to put their literature education to good use. Those who study literature will gain an in-depth understanding of literary theory and the mechanisms of the different genres of writing. Therefore, they may want to consider applying their creativity through such channels as poetry, play writing, and novel writing. In much the same way those wishing to enter the publishing industry will benefit from classes in business, anyone who wants to become a writer would do well to take classes in creative writing alongside their literature major. The acquired skills and hands-on practice should provide a great basis to begin a career in writing!

The above are just a few possible options for anyone who wants to apply their superb writing skills and love of reading to a career in literature. In fact, there are endless possibilities!

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