Career Options after Undergrad

Hi! I am a current college senior currently studying Communications, English, and Gender Studies. I have plenty of writing experience and am a big “people person” who loves engaging with others, reading, writing, editing, and participating in group discussions/public speaking. My career center keeps pushing me to pursue editing or publishing, and while I want to do those both as part of my job, I don’t want it to be the whole focus. I worry they are not going to be interactive/social enough because speaking is a significant strength of mine. I have always written for the school newspapers/literary magazines and have my own writing site, but solely writing as a career does not seem as appealing to me. I have been considered both English Education and Higher Education, but with so many teachers leaving the profession due to low pay and so little professor positions available, I am concerned. If anyone has insight or any information on this/what my next steps should be, I would greatly appreciate it! Or also, any other potential careers that came to mind while reading my post. Thanks so much.

So, I’m going to go a little off-piste here with a suggestion:

  1. Check these out:
  1. Over this year get yourself a teaching certificate (start with your current uni, but also look online- Drexel has one, but so do lots of places).

  2. Go teach in a K-12 international school wherever you want to live for a couple of years (iirc, you were looking at doing a study abroad & already have some Italian?). I do not recommend going abroad to teach general English- it’s a whole different experience. Go be part of a school, part of a community.

Reasoning: it gets you an international experience that you were looking for in other posts; it gives you time to get out into the world and test out teaching as a pathway for you; and it can evolve relatively easily into other paths as you discern what works for you.

ps, re: your other post- do NOT go for a PhD w/o being a lot more certain about what you want to do with it!!

1 Like

Sales? There is writing involved (proposals etc) but people who love to speak and deal with people are often quite successful in sales positions.

1 Like

Teaching is difficult for reasons that have nothing to do with pay, and those other reasons are a major contributing force behind educators leaving the field. While there are certainly districts and locations that pay poorly, there are also areas of the country and districts where the pay and benefits are good. You really have to do your research.

You can try teaching for a year through something such as City Year and see if you like it. If you do, great! If not, you can move on. Look for areas where the pay is better.

I would not put any focus on finding the “perfect” career right now. I would explore different jobs and see what interests you. One thing will lead to another, you will meet different people, etc. You can also look into Americorp. While the salary is low, you will meet different people, gain different experiences, and get some ideas.

While some people have a linear career path, yours doesn’t have to be. I would start working someplace and see where it takes you!

One of my kids was linear, and the other was not. You just have to start someplace; you don’t need to have it figured out by the age of 22.

1 Like

Work in college admissions, or fund raising.
Or coach extra curricular youth activities /drama.

1 Like

I don’t think you need to think in these rigid categories. Many jobs need good writing, research and analytical skills.

I was a volunteer coordinator at a large homeless shelter and wrote all the newsletters, brochures, donor letters, grant proposals, and letters for executive director and Board. I also did public education on homelessness, speaking to groups, and ran large holiday events where I also spoke to groups. This is just one random example of a job using your skills.

Look at non-profit work. What are your interests? I love history but didn’t take any history classes, but worked for a historical preservation organization doing grant proposals.

You could do some training that is directly vocational (grant writing!). You can also tutor while you figure things out.

Is there any advocacy organization related to your gender studies work that you might want to work for?

1 Like

Look at jobs in Corporate Communications, doing stuff like crisis comms and press releases might be of interest

I checked your previous posts so I know this is going to sound like a repeat to you, but you really should consider Speech Pathology. Your strong background in English and public speaking would make for a strong candidate applying to grad school.

Your previous posts indicate a difficulty with science-based disciplines, but the professors will do everything to help you because the field is begging for help. You will have job security. The pay is not at outrageous STEM levels, but your pay would be higher or equivalent to some of my friends’ who are professors. (I was offered a position at a university, but my pay was better at my local company.)

I would suggest you seek out a program and get more information on the required science courses for the field. The wonderful thing about this discipline is that you will get group help. Everyone, initially struggles with the science portions, but once you get it, it stays with you and you will use it to help your patients/clients/students.

If you decide to work with children, I would suggest that you target the middle school and high school populations. At a school, you develop your own schedule, work as a member of the IEP team, and you all support each other.

The wonderful thing is that you get to see the assignments that the students receive, and you’ll be helping them, with all of the required readings and interpretations. Our students, who have difficulty with receptive/ expressive and social language, really love how we get creative with the classics. (My former high school students loved my assignments on Poe, Shakespeare, Twain, Dickens, Austen, and contemporary music.)

A number of my colleagues (on the team) did not have the same backgrounds in the classics, that I had had, so, they often asked for my opinions on how to formulate a “creative” lesson plan.

I had one HS student who was always complaining about something. (Picture “Debbie Downer” x10)

He had very weak written language skills (large alphabet print of ~3 inches) and would avoid any and all written assignments. Most of the teachers said he was a behavior problem. (Vision and hearing were normal. I suspected that he had a type of dyslexia and referred.)

I had him watch a clip of the movie, “Summer School” with Mark Harmon. (The clip with the kid writing a letter about sunglasses that broke.) So I told “Mark”, that if he was unhappy with anything, he should write a complaint.
I opened a new Word doc and enlarged the print on his computer and told him to “write one thing you don’t like”.
He said, “I can’t”.
So I said, “tell me something you don’t like”.
He said loudly, “school ‘bucks’!”
So I said, “okay, let’s write that!”
Well the rest of the 3 kids in my room reacted by saying, “Wow, is he allowed to do that???”
I asked them, “Is he using language?”, “Is it a true feeling?”
A collective, “YES”
“Then why can’t we write that?”

By this time, all 4 were interested in his assignment. I told them they could help with the spelling, only if he approved. Having never been in the position of power, Mark had a small grin on his face. They (and “spell-check”) helped with the spelling. By the end of the quarter, he wanted to write anything and everything on that computer-of course, many of these were often complaints, but it got him to start writing and completing some of his class assignments! Absolutely one of my favorite students!! (I really ENCOURAGED him to go out for the debate team!)
You can make a difference and impact someone’s life. Think about it.

Maybe go to and just search the job listings in a city where you wouldn’t mind living. Maybe not with any search terms, just the location. You might come across something you’d never thought of.

1 Like

Totally agree with the suggestion by bjscheel. My kid just found a great job on, that they would not have thought of. Even craigslist will give ideas (look at writing, and non-profit, areas there). And I wonder if you have used college career services.

Look at specific jobs, to get a feel for what is out there.