Pursuing an English degree involves the advanced study of literature, writing, and linguistics. Through master’s curriculum students are provided the opportunity to not only perfect their reading and writing skills, but they are also able to focus on acute development of their critical-thinking and communication sensibilities. The qualifications obtained through an online English master’s degree may lead to advanced high-level positions in publishing, public relations, or community college or secondary education. Upon completing a master’s degree, students are prepared to advance their career or pursue a Ph.D. in this subject.

Why a Master’s Degree?

Master’s degree graduates in English are qualified for top jobs in a variety of fields. A number of diverse industries ranging from the creative arts to law, are in-need of highly-skilled candidates trained in the English discipline. The master’s program can typically be completed in as little as two years, and involves curriculum that prepares students for far-reaching practical application of their expertise and experience. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that one-fourth of public relations managers working in this industry held a master’s degree as of 2010. While a bachelor’s degree may be a widely-accepted standard for many entry-level jobs requiring these skills, getting an English master’s degree online may provide an advantage to candidates pursuing senior-level positions.

Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program

Though the course work may be more advanced, the prerequisites for admissions into a master’s program are typically quite basic. While procedures vary by school, minimal standards usually apply:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution (varies by school)
  • Minimum GPA (varies by school)
  • Writing sample, included with application (varies by school)
  • Application including statement of intent and/or application fees (as applicable, according to school)

Inside an English Master’s Degree Program

The master’s degree in English is typically a two-year, 33-36-credit program. Master’s curriculum demands full immersion in the all-encompassing study of English literature, composition, semantics, and linguistics. The course schedule for the master’s student may include intensive subjects like theories of teaching writing, great American poets, topics in Shakespeare, English syntax, linguistics study, and advanced semantics, among many others. Students typically complete their master’s with a thesis or advanced writing project.

There are many options for English students to get their master’s online. The curriculum offered to e-learners is typically the same as on-campus course work, however students who are already working or have especially busy schedules may appreciate the convenience of a flexible distance learning program. Online English students receive all of their assignments electronically and are able to log in for multiple sessions as opposed to having to finish each lesson in one take. Correspondence is done almost exclusively through email so students are able to practice their communication and writing skills while using new media platforms. Online programs prepare students for a career using a wide variety of English tools and training, and also familiarize students with a variety of technological innovations that they may use in their future occupation.

What’s Next for English Master’s Degree Holders?

p>There are a vast range of jobs available to those holding a master’s in English. While a bachelor’s may be the standard for most entry-level jobs, those looking to move up in the world of public relations, marketing, sales, management, or secondary education would do well to pursue a master’s degree. While not required, many employers prefer the specialty skills an English master’s degree program may provide for a public relations manager or specialist candidate, a field expected to grow jobs by 21% over the next seven years, according to the BLS. Graduates of a master’s program may be eligible for high-level marketing, advertising, and business positions, having mastered advanced communication and language training. Master’s-level English grads may also be eligible to teach secondary school or community college.

There are also various opportunities to pursue an English Ph.D. online. Ideal doctoral candidates are those working toward a career involving teaching at a college or university, or students pursuing scholarly research work in high-level academia. Some candidates who have received their master’s may decide to pursue an additional master’s degree or further graduate studies in a closely-related subject or specialty area, such as history, technical writing, or elementary education.