Your degree in English

Skills you’ll develop

While studying English, you’re engaging with literature and language in a global context through a range of genres, historical perspectives, cultural lenses and theoretical approaches. You’re developing important skills while learning how literature and language construct and comment on the human experience.

These skills may include:

  • Researching, absorbing, comprehending and assessing a wide range of literatures, representations, and signs
  • Analysing message, tone, and symbolism in media
  • Deep writing skills, including in synthesis, analysis, original research, argumentation skills, and voice
  • Critical understanding of the structure, function, and use of language
  • Organizing content with careful consideration of audience, purpose, and form
  • Attention to detail in editing for style, content, grammar, and punctuation
  • Adaptation, paraphrasing, and summarizing skills
  • Collaborating with others using effective presentation and public speaking skills, applying creativity, imagination, and a rich understanding of genre, time, culture, and language

Explore career possibilities

Career opportunities vary across a range of fields including writing, publishing, communications, marketing, public relations, social media, government, tourism, education, and others.

There are many career paths that can combine your academics, skills, and experience with your different interests. Read through the job titles below for ideas. Some career options may require further education or training.

Visit the National Occupational Classification website to research basic requirements and responsibilities of jobs in your field.

  • Archivist
  • Book publishing manager
  • Campaign manager
  • Career counsellor
  • Communications manager
  • Communications policy researcher
  • Community centre coordinator
  • Community organizer
  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • English as an Additional Language teacher
  • Event planner
  • Fiction/Non-fiction writer
  • Film/TV editor
  • Foreign service officer
  • Fundraiser
  • Government administrator
  • Grant writer
  • Human resources specialist
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Literacy program coordinator
  • Literary agent
  • Literary editor
  • Market researcher
  • Marketing specialist
  • Media relations coordinator
  • Multimedia developer
  • News analyst
  • Non-profit administrator
  • Project manager
  • Public affairs officer
  • Public relations specialist
  • Recreation programs manager
  • Screenwriter
  • Social media community manager
  • Social policy advisor/analyst
  • Special education assistant
  • Speech writer
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Technical writer
  • Tourism development officer
  • Travel writer
  • Web communications manager

Make the most of your specialization

Your experiences will open doors to new opportunities and help you understand your values and interests.

  • UBC English Students’ Association
    Meet other UBC students through events and programs. 
  • Departmental events
    Network with English students and faculty members at a variety of events.
  • Departmental research opportunities
    Reach out directly to faculty members to ask about potential research positions.
  • English co-op success stories
    Learn about the experiences of past and present co-op students from your program and others.
  • Arts Co-op Program
    Gain paid work experience in your area of study as part of your degree program.
  • Create Your ePortfolio
    From projects and papers to travels and volunteer work, Arts ePortfolios help you collect, curate, and share your learning.
  • The Garden Statuary
    Showcase your essays, poetry, photographs and other work in UBC’s English Undergraduate Journal.
  • The Ubyssey
    Volunteer to write articles for this weekly online student paper. No previous experience is required.
  • PRISM International
    Submit your contemporary writing or participate in a fiction, poetry, short form, or creative non-fiction contest.
  • Vancouver Writers Fest
    Check out the works of local and international writers or volunteer at a literary event.
  • Writers’ Exchange
    Volunteer to support literacy programs for kids in Vancouver.
  • Resources for writers
    Find local writing groups, contests, festivals and other resources for writers.
  • JET Programme
    Get experience working abroad after graduation as a language teacher or international relations coordinator.

Build your network

Employers often hire people they know, so help them get to know you. You can build your network through clubs, classes, informational interviews, and more. There are so many ways to make connections and find mentors.

The professional associations below are also great resources for meeting people, learning about specific industries, and accessing job and volunteer opportunities. Most have reduced membership rates for students and new grads.

Connect with alumni on LinkedIn

Find UBC English graduates on LinkedIn to learn about where they’re working, and their career and academic paths.

More information

From your Arts degree, you’ll develop skills and experiences that can translate into many career paths. Check out other things you can do with your Arts degree.