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What do Employers Look For?

“Inside Higher Ed makes an excellent point about what employers say they want in the ideal employee: someone who has a broad knowledge base, who can collaborate to solve problems, debate, communicate and think critically. Those are all skills that humanities programs insist students learn before they graduate.”

 “Majoring in the Humanities Does Pay off, Just Later,” Forbes, Jan. 22, 2014.

Career Options for English and Film Majors

Laurier's Career Development Centre can help you build a resume, interview skills and more.

“You want people who can think. They won’t necessarily have specific skills anyway ... I used to joke that if you can find me someone who has a degree in figuring out patterns of imagery in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, I can teach him to break down a balance sheet in 30 minutes. What you want is a mind … A liberal arts education is extremely valuable for someone coming into business because increasingly business is about context as well as about technical aspects.”

Matthew William Barrett (former Chairman of BMO and Barclay’s Bank) outlines what he looks for in aspiring employees, The Globe and Mail, Aug. 23, 2012.

“Well, strange as it may sound, if you’re an employer who needs smart, creative workers, a 50-page honors project on a 19th century French poet might be just the thing you want to see from one of your job applicants. Not because you’re going to ask him or her to interpret any poetry on the job, but because you may be asking him or her, at some point, to deal with complex material that requires intense concentration - and to write a persuasive account of what it all means. And you may find that the humanities major with extensive college experience in dealing with complex material handles the challenge better - more comprehensively, more imaginatively - than the business or finance major who assumed that her degree was all she needed to earn a place in your company.”

Michael Bérubé, President of the Modern Languages Association, 2012.

Study English and “Write” Your Career

English majors follow many different career paths after they finish their undergraduate degree. You can discuss options with your undergraduate advisor and with consultants at the Laurier Career Development Centre.

It is important to understand that employers hire people, not just degrees. The skills and knowledge you develop as you study English, in addition to your extracurricular activities and individual talents, have a major impact on hiring decisions.

Example Career Paths of Laurier English Majors

Graduate and professional degrees:

  • MA and PhD in English or Comparative Literature (or other related fields)
  • MA in Library and Information Science
  • Bachelor of Education and Graduate Studies in Education
  • Law School
  • MBA
  • MA in Social Work
  • Journalism


  • Alumni Development Officer
  • Communications and Program Assistant, European Commission
  • Copy Writer
  • Customer Service Representative (RBC)
  • Digital Communication Specialist (Financial Institution)
  • Editor/Editorial Assistant
  • Educational Software Development 
  • ESL Instructor
  • Event Planner
  • Fundraiser
  • Human Resources
  • International Education Tours
  • Journalists for Human Rights
  • Marketing Manager
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Public Relations
  • Publishing
  • Radio Journalism
  • Scriptwriter
  • Teaching English Abroad
  • Trade Sales Assistant
  • Travel/Tourism
  • Visual Merchandiser 
  • Writer/Communications Coordinator (High Tech Industries)

Film Studies Careers

Graduates with a degree in Film Studies can pursue the following careers:

  • Broadcaster/Host
  • Cinema Manager/Owner
  • Communications Officer
  • Copyeditor/Editor/Editorial Assistant
  • Dialogue Editor
  • Documentary Filmmaker
  • Entertainment Agent
  • Film Archivist
  • Film Critic/Film Journalist
  • Film/TV/Webseries Producer/Production Co-ordinator
  • Grant Writer/Administrator
  • Lighting/Set Designer
  • Location Scout/Manager
  • Marketing/Promotions Manager
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Publishing Representative
  • Research Analyst/Assistant
  • Script/Manuscript Reader/Scriptwriter
  • Sound Designer

Actual graduates of Laurier’s Film Studies program have pursued successful careers in:

  • Community relations/Event planning
  • Communications
  • Marketing
  • Film archiving
  • Education/Teaching
  • Academia/Universities
  • The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
  • Film production
  • Television production
  • Webseries production

What Our Graduates are Doing

Laurier English and Film students have gone on to pursue a wide range of exciting careers in traditional and non-traditional areas. All the testimonials stress the importance of writing, communication and analytical skills — command of language is crucial to all fields. These statements demonstrate how fundamental English and literary studies have been to success in postgraduate education and careers straight out of undergraduate degrees.

Contact Us:

E: English and Film Studies
T: 519.884.0710 x3257
Office Location: 3-120 Woods Building


Robin Waugh

Graduate Program Co-ordinator

Jing Jing Chang

English Program Advisor

Jenny Kerber

Film Program Advisor

Russell Kilbourn