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Internships and Careers


A degree in English is excellent preparation for a variety of careers. Your work in English will prepare you to write clearly, edit carefully, read critically, think logically, and work with others. An internship in a nonprofit, university, or corporate/industry setting can help you make connections between your work as an English major and the expectations of the workplace (in whatever field interests you) while earning elective credit toward fulfillment of senior hours in English. Internship credit can also fulfill other elective requirements toward graduation.

Discuss what would work in your own case with your English Department Academic Advisor. It's best to begin planning for an internship at least a semester in advance; starting your search a year in advance will give you the best chance of securing the internship you want. To qualify for an internship, you must be at least a junior majoring or minoring in English with a GPA in the major of at least 2.75.

The English Studies Internship: ENG 398 for undergraduates students, ENG 498 for graduates students, is offered every semester, fall, spring, and summer. Internship credit is determined by the number of hours you work onsite in the internship. You can earn 3 to 12 credit hours in a semester, depending on the number of hours you work.

Types of English Internships

Corporate Communication
Library Science
Public Relations
Social Media
Technical Writing
User Experience
Web Writing and Editing


Graduates of Illinois State University’s Department of English learn transferable skills that make them easily marketable. Students are encouraged to declare a minor that matches their career aspirations with the English major.

According to the Occupational Outlook handbook, from 1994 to 2004 jobs in publishing industries grew by 3.8%. Projections from 2004 to 2014 say the growth will increase by 6.6%. Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers grew by .9% from 1994 to 2004. Projections for 2004 to 2014 show an increase of 3.1%. Internet and other information services are expected to increase by 8.5% from 2004 to 2014. Independent artists, writers, and performers are expected to increase by 3.4% in the same period.

The most recent labor statistics and projections may be found at the Occupational Outlook Handbook website, sponsored by the United States Department of Labor.

Qualities and skills of successful English majors

Accuracy, coherence and clarity in speech and writing
Ability to understand jargon and make it accessible
Problem solving
Honesty and integrity
Strong work ethic
Teamwork skills
Analytical skills
Flexibility and adaptability
Computer skills
Attentive to details
Abstract thinking and the ability to develop hypotheses
Presentation skills
Independent thinking

For more Information

To learn more about Internships, contact the English department's Director of Internships.