There are many career options suited to English graduates and this guide will give you some ideas to help you think about your future possibilities and career goals.
To get you started, see what other Manchester Metropolitan English students have gone on to achieve.
The demand for graduate level skills remains high and the digital media industries and professional services are growing rapidly, particularly in Greater Manchester. New technology has changed the way people access and pay for information. This has effected employment in careers such as the media, publishing, writing, journalism and librarianship. A report commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in conjunction with LinkedIn found that those proficient in social media marketing, events coordination, data mining, and analytical problem solving skills were much more likely to find employment.
Understanding the skills you have gained has an undergraduate will greatly enhance your chances of successfully finding graduate opportunities.
Questions to consider while you are reading this guide:
Studying English provides graduates with a wide range of skills that are highly valued in many jobs. This includes the ability to articulate your knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories. You will also have the ability to analyse and communicate ideas in an understandable, balanced and well thought-out manner.
Talent for clear expression, both oral and written, commanding a broad range of vocabulary and critical terminology: A crucial skill in any job, but especially primary and secondary teaching, HE lecturing, creative writing or journalism (broadcast, magazine, newspaper or digital).
Putting forward ideas and arguments in a concise and persuasive manner, picking out the essential points from texts: Useful if you consider training as a solicitor or barrister, working in marketing, sales or advertising accounts management.
Basing conclusions on research and generating ideas: Essential skills for all types of researcher roles e.g. in TV and radio, public policy, conference production, business research, market research and management consultancy.
Gather, evaluate and interpret information: Opens up possibilities for working in data analysis, information management, intelligence gathering (MI5), law enforcement, risk management (insurance, financial advice), and the legal and accountancy professions.
Have empathy, insight and ability to take on board others’ views: Crucial in any job but essential skills for advice and guidance, health and social care and counselling roles.
Think creatively, critically and independently, identifying, absorbing and sifting complex information: Highly valuable in public and policy and research roles.
To find out more about the roles and to explore other job titles follow Prospect’s ‘What can I do with an English Degree?’
For many opportunities you will find that employers do not specify any particular degree subject. Therefore, it’s key when thinking about a career, not to limit your thinking to jobs that only relate directly to your degree. For example, sectors like engineering have roles for non-engineers in management, logistics, project management etc.
Below gives you an overview of other possible sectors to consider. You can research these and other occupations via Prospects website.
Accountancy and Consultancy: You will need a good GCSE in maths and a competency with numbers. For example, RSM Tenon are a professional services firm offering risk management, tax, recovery, financial management and business advisory services. They advertise a variety of graduate roles across the financial sector. For some roles there is a minimum entry requirement of *240 UCAS points (the UCAS tariff has changed so check with UCAS) and 2:2 degree projected in any subject.
Advertising, Marketing and PR: Entry is very competitive but digital marketing and writing copy for blogs and social media is a growth area. Heamar, a supplier of specialist military specification tooling and components to the military, aerospace, medical, motor sport and mass transit industries, recently advertised for a Digital Marketing Trainee on My Career Hub. Whilst the applicant needed to demonstrate a reasonable understanding and experience of digital marketing activities, they also considered candidates with a strong background in creative writing/copywriting and/or with exceptional English language skills.
Banking and Finance: AON is an insurance broker based in Manchester and recruits graduate trainees from any discipline for some of its roles. To apply for their Health & Benefits Broking and Consulting Stream, you must be educated to degree level with a 2:1 or equivalent qualification in any discipline. You should also be enthusiastic, creative and ambitious.
Business and Management: Many of the UK’s largest companies offer graduate schemes where you can specialise in different areas of business. Bentley Cars based in Crewe, have a Graduate Development Programme offering trainee roles in sales and marketing, HR, finance, purchasing and logistics.
Community and Voluntary Sector: Although there are relatively few graduate trainee posts, you could train as a youth and community worker, or move into paid administrative or fundraising roles. This is usually when you have experience gained in other industries or have already been a volunteer.
Government and Public Administration: Although this sector has seen a reduction in jobs, the public sector is still a big recruiter and encompasses jobs in the Civil Service, regional and devolved government, NHS management, local government, law enforcement and intelligence services. The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme prepares recruits for management roles in HR, finance and general management.
Health and Social Care: This is a huge sector, which is changing rapidly in the way it is structured and the job roles within it. It is important to keep up to date with current issues if you are considering entry. Jobs include social worker, specialist community support workers, residential care management, counselling and work within charities.
Postgraduate study may be required in some occupations, or may give you the competitive edge in others.
It is important that you research your options before starting your applications. Read our guide for more inforamtion on Postgraduate Study and Funding.
Search for courses on these websites:
The following information represents some of the things that Manchester Met English graduates have gone on to do:
Careers and Employability provide information and advice on job searching and we advertise hundreds of part-time opportunities, vacation work, placements, internships and graduate job vacancies throughout the year on MyCareerHub. To access these vacancies simply login with your Manchester Met Student ID number and password.
Graduate recruitment schemes have many different names, but most are offered by larger organisations, from multinational companies to opportunities in the NHS, civil service, and local government. Graduate schemes typically last for around two years, although this can vary and may allow you to experience different placements within the organisation to gain an understanding of how it operates, explore your interests and decide what type of work/role you are most suited to.
Here are some examples:
You do not have to go onto a graduate scheme once you graduate, most graduates will be employed directly into organisations. Recruitment for graduate schemes is more structured, and opportunities are typically open in October each year and close around December. This means that you should be ready to apply in October at the end level 5 study.
Read our guide for more information on Looking for Graduate Jobs.
Read our guide for more information on self-employment and freelancing.
Innospace: Manchester Met’s business incubator for start-ups and new enterprises.
UNLtd: the foundation for social entrepreneurs, provide packages of support and funding.
Make the most of your time at university and take advantage of the many opportunities on offer by taking part in Careers and Employability events ranging from talks and workshops to employer events.
Read our guide for more information on Making the most of your time at University.
The Manchester Met’s Futures Skills Award provides opportunities to enhance your university experience and learn how to articulate these skills to an employer.
If you are thinking about volunteering, make sure you do something that will help you gain the skills you need for your future career: www.do-it.org
If you undertake opportunities to get work experience, that are not related to what you might want to do longer term; remember that employers value the transferable skills you can developed.
Find Opportunities: We advertise hundreds of part time, graduate and internship roles through My Career Hub.
Career Consultant Appointments: Meet with a Careers Consultant to discuss options with your English degree.
For more information, visit our website.
We offer range of support services to Manchester Met students and graduates:
The online careers centre you can access 24/7 to view career resources, advice and tips, career quizzes and information tailored to your sector.
Get online advice through My Career Hub, ask your question at any time and receive support via email.
Book an appointment with one of our Careers Advisors through My Career Hub or call 0161 247 3483.