Are you worried your literature degree has gone to waste? Do you think you’ve flushed valuable money down the toilet? Do you glare and sweat at the sight of student loan emails flooding your inbox? Then you’re in the right place. First, allow me to instantly answer one overbearing question (the most important of all). Have you bought yourself into unemployment? 100% ‘No’. There are several opportunities, well heard and uncommon, around the world; believe it or not, language experts are quite wanted worldwide! Here’s a guide on what to do with a literature degree and some of the various fields you can look into.
1. Content Creation
Content creation is in itself an enormously large sphere of possibilities. If you are the creative sort, writing can get you into a lot of versatile fields. Writing is an integral unit of the production of video games, and cinema, along with almost every sort of multimedia. If hitting the big leagues seems like a long-term goal, a more accessible platform or network that platforms content like YouTube, Twitch, Discord etc., is an excellent place to start. The world of social media is ever-widening, and people are utilizing this capital to earn loads off of it. The number of content creators on the internet grows exponentially by the year, meaning that for as long as the creator need content, it requires ideation and writing. Therefore, the question of what to do with a literature degree in this internet age requires no nervous thought.
2. Academia and Teaching
Academia is not a lost field. And it’s definitely not one merely harbouring ageing men of undeterred self-esteem producing unreadable papers. The academic sphere is changing considerably, its disciplines and avenues broadening and spreading as we speak. If you are passionate about the language you based your degree on, the texts you indulged in over this period, and have a footing for analytical and intellectual thought, this is a route to consider. Academia opens numerous doors within its realm, earns your respect and (literal) knowledge and is incredibly rewarding. Along with your own pursuits in extensive research and writing, you’ll also have the opportunity of sharing and dispense the knowledge you hold to students. And who wouldn’t like an impressionable mind to play with?
Freelancing writing gigs is an easy and quick way to earn money, especially for college students who have to juggle between education and work simultaneously. Since you would be in and about the field regardless, it would also be a great opportunity and pathway to building a network of potential employers and other helpful acquaintances. And while you are considering what to do with a literature degree, it goes without saying that the experience of producing and turning in deadlined-themed content will be a helpful skill in the larger job market for a writer.
4. Content Writing/ Copywriting
Everybody needs content! Any company, firm, or startup, irrespective of size or capital, will require content in some form or the other. Content writers can write anything, including official letters, marketing content, articles, and social media write-ups, only to name a few. Owing to its flexibility, the position also caters to almost any field, meaning you could be producing written content for, let’s say, your favourite line of clothing!
5. Journalism and Reporting
A journalist’s work is not easy, but it can be the most exciting, unpredictable and meaningful. This is unsurprising but as real and rewarding as ever! Truth is a jewelled treasure that’s not easily accessible, and the divine is one who chases this treasure to bring it to the people. Journalism in itself has several components to it, ranging with respect to the type of medium to the nature of journalism.
What to do with a literature degree can also depend on other skills you hold. The world of literature is ever-growing and expanding, both in demographic and volume of readers, as well as content creators. Stories from across the planet are being sought out and read by those from the opposite end, and if not, they need to be. Translations have paved their own path of success in the field of literary writing for centuries now, and as global citizenry intensifies, so will the need for them. You don’t necessarily need to be a published writer to be a translator; copywriters, content writers and scriptwriters can also be translators!
If you are bilingual/multilingual and have proficiency in English as well as another language, you must consider interpreting. Interpreters are extremely important and helpful in countries with English-speaking majorities, where a source to translate from one language to another is especially required in hospitals, the court of law, police stations, etcetera. Varying from corporate, non-profit or government employment, the opportunities here are far-reaching.
Although a word that is easily and often thrown around in passing to literature majors, editors are integral figures in any publishing. They are not simply figures of authority that wear high heels and power suits like in the TV shows but are responsible for giving direction, nuance and flavour to a paper, magazine, journal or blog, depending on the nature of publishing. Diving into more detail, editors would be expected to, apart from writing their own content, proofread, edit, research, plan, and lead a team of writers. Of course, the roles of an editor would also vary with the organization, depending on the field and medium of writing.
This list is in no way exhaustive, and as long as you are experimental, a little adventurous and have a passion and thirst for the thing you love, you can always find the work you love. If you’re still wondering what to do with a literature degree, worry not because the world out there is not as bad as it seems. And the opportunities for someone who has a comfortable hold of language, writing and analysis are broader than you realize and just as promising!
Also Read: The education system in India has many deep-rooted problems. But it was not always this way.