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What a Degree Program in English Language and Literature Offers

Higher Education Articles February 13, 2016

For people who love the English Language and Literature, learn if pursuing a degree program in this field might be what you really want to do in life. In this article, learn about the education requirements, skills, licensing, salary details and the job growth rate for professionals in this career path.

Career Options for those with an English Language and Literature Degree

A degree program in English Language and Literature can lead you to several professions such as professional writing, secondary school education or university professors.


If you are a passionate writer, a degree program in English language can boost your skills tremendously. Additionally, for a career that demands high creativity in your use of words and the language itself, a bachelor’s degree can help you obtain a job as a copywriter or a creative writer both of which are in high demand and well paid. Since writing involves a lot of practical skills, you are expected to be a good researcher, especially in journals, interviews, books or through personal experience. Besides this, writers are also expected to be good at paying attention to detail because professional writing in general has to always be error free.

In 2012, an average writer earned an annual salary of $58,850 as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). On the other hand, as we had mentioned, there are a lot of jobs in this profession.

What does a Degree Program in English Language and Literature consist of?

The English language as it’s known is broad in nature. However, pursuing a degree program related to this language is supposed to help you understand the language and all its components fully. As for literature, the degree program focuses on English spoken in England, its islands, the U.S., Australia, Canada and sometimes South Africa.

So, a class in literature at an undergraduate level involves learning about the history, the structure of the English language, and how rhetoric has often been used by literary greats for the sake of making their works look good. Some of these famous writers that you may study about are Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, May Alcott and Herman Melville.

As we had mentioned earlier, a degree program in English Language and Literature is often pursued by people who love either writing or the language itself. Of more importance, the degree program involves reading a lot of books, especially the classics.

Secondary School Teacher

As a secondary school teacher, you help students develop their writing and reading skills, administer tests and assess their comprehension in the language throughout the term. The career is quite rewarding both in terms of payment and inner satisfaction. The average salary for a secondary school teacher was $59,330 in 2014 as per the BLS.

Post secondary English Teacher

They help nurture the comprehension skills, compositional and critical thinking skills of their students through use of discussions and lectures. The position of a postsecondary school teacher is quite great, as it offers you ample time to pursue other personal businesses. The average annual salary is $65,180 during 2014, according to the BLS.

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