The module of ‘Professional Development’ has provided me with the opportunity to understand the importance of preparing for post-graduation as well as broadening my understanding of the options available for an English graduate. In this post I will be exploring the options available as well as my potential career plans for after graduation.
An English degree can provide a “wide variety of job opportunities” (The World University Rankings: 2019) at post-graduation. One of the most common career choices is primary and secondary school teaching; the module expanded my knowledge regarding the Post-graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), “an academic qualification that you can achieve during your teacher training” (Department of Education: n.d). However after gaining tutoring experience, I feel that teaching a larger quantity of students at a single time would be too challenging and therefore I would prefer to follow a different career choice whilst continuing to tutor separately.
Aside from the common career choice of teaching, the module has introduced me to the idea of internships and employability options stemmed from summer placements. After having a careers meeting with the University’s FAH careers department, I was introduced to various websites and forums where I can apply for placements. One of the advantages of doing a placement year is the invaluable experience and potential contacts made, relevant for post-graduate employability. Another advantage of a placement is the ability to understand what career path I would want to pursue, it will enable me to experience a potential career path and decide whether I want to continue on a particular career option. Websites such as indeed.com and fashionworkie are two popular platforms English undergraduates can use to research and apply for placements in industries such as marketing, digital media, communications, fashion and theatre. I have used indeed.com to explore marketing and digital media internships; this has allowed me to enhance my CV and practice tailoring it to specific companies and their job roles.
Although immediate employment is the expected career choice, there are options for further education after doing an undergraduate degree. During the module, university lecturers came to discuss the possibility of pursing a Master’s Degree in English Literature at Coventry University. Although a Masters qualification can “greatly improve your career prospects” it is also “academically demanding” and requires thorough research (prospects: 2019). The Masters consisted of various modules such as creative writing, applied linguistics and literature and the environment. Each of these modules has links to potential career options and the potential skills developed from the post-graduate qualification were able to be applied into future employability sectors, exemplary through the creative writing module where students went onto writing and publishing their own books, journals and screenplays. The MA also links to teaching programs with a MA ELTAL TESOL pathway, a qualification where students can further their higher education and eventually go onto teaching at degree level.
Despite the wide range of post-graduate options introduced on the module, I have been considering going into law as a career option. After taking ‘Law in Action-legal knowledge and res skills for non-lawyers’ as my add-vantage module in first year, I developed an interest in corporate law and therefore after researching potential routes into law, I learnt about the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). The GDL is “conversion course” designed to “provide non-law graduates with a diploma equivalent to a law degree” which eventually enables entry into the professions of a barrister or solicitor (LawCareers: 2019). I have chosen to pursue a career in law, as it is an integral part of our economically expanding society and therefore I believe it would be a stable and unchanging career. The decision to pursue a law career means having to further research potential GDL courses as well as undergo my own research around the subject and the type of law I would like to follow. In my add-vantage, I was introduced to corporate and contract law, which I found quite interesting, as I was able to develop skills in drafting my own legally binding contract and learnt to understand the features of an official contract. My primary steps would be to start applying for summer internships in corporate law firms, working alongside solicitors to help me understand how the job role works and to affirm my interest in the subject and its possibilities of being a potential career pathway. To successfully get into an law internship I need to tailor my CV specifically for law firms and the job types they advertise as well as modifying my experience sections to highlight relevant skills used and valued in law settings. Secondary steps in pursuing this career choice would consist of researching the details of the GDL and eventually applying for courses during the start of my final year to ensure it does not clash with the time allocated for writing my dissertation.
Overall, I feel the module has broadened my
knowledge on the options available for English graduates. Whilst expanding on
popular and commonly known post-graduation options, it has also introduced me
to new opportunities and allowed me to make decisions for my potential career.
Department of Education (n.d.) Get into Teaching [online] available from <https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/explore-my-options/teacher-training-routes/pgce>
Fashionwokie (2019) Listings [online] available from <https://www.fashionworkie.com/listing-search?search_api_views_fulltext=internships>
Indeed (2019) Job Search [online] available from <https://www.indeed.co.uk/jobs?q=marketting&l=London%2C+Greater+London>
LawCareers (2019) GDL [online] available from <https://www.lawcareers.net/Courses/GDL>
Prospects (2019) Post-graduate study; Masters degree [online] available from <https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/masters-degrees/what-is-a-masters-degree>
The World University Rankings (2019) What can you do with an English Language Degree? [online] available from <https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/subjects/what-can-you-do-english-language-degree>