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As the global economy becomes more and more tech-based, many English majors and other humanities graduates are wondering: how can I get ahead with my unique skills? Industries like journalism, teaching, and copywriting aren’t paying what they used to, and you may be wondering what other opportunities are out there.
For those who want to be in the heart of a tech company’s development process, content design and UX writing are growing fields with a lot of opportunities for English majors to increase their earning potential and have a meaningful, lucrative career.
Before making a career change, it’s important to recognize the skills you’re coming with so that you can feel confident presenting yourself to a potential employer. English degrees are the #1 degree mentioned in job postings for UX writers and content designers, so you can be sure that employers will understand the value of your education.
English is an option for a humanities degree with a lot of flexibility, so the curriculum can vary a lot. Each student can choose to focus on a different topic throughout their studies, building on the foundation of excellent reading and writing skills.
For example, while some English majors might choose to take classes primarily focusing on literature including poetry, creative writing, and theater, others may dive deeper into non-fiction or cultural studies. The common thread throughout all English degrees is the development of strong research, writing, organization, and critical thinking skills.
A graduate degree in English can further develop these skills and generally requires writing a longer thesis based on research done throughout the program. Whichever focus or type of program you chose to study, an English degree provides a strong foundation for a variety of vocations, including UX writing and content design.
As an English major, we already know that you have a knack for words, and as a UX writer you get to take your skills and apply them to the challenging and impactful work of writing for digital products.
You’ll get to collaborate with a team to ensure that the voice and tone of the brand comes through the entire product. You’ll get to edit and refine text to ensure clarity and ease of use. You’ll get to make an impact on the structure of the product design. In short, working as a UX writer or content designer is a great way for English majors to apply their skills in a lucrative and dynamic high-tech role, where you get to make a real impact in a company.
3 reasons English majors make great UX writers
Mastery of English is the cornerstone of UX writing and content design
Product development teams look to UX writers as the authority for everything having to do with language: from grammar and spelling to word choice, connotations, and clarity. English majors have mastery of these topics, making them especially suitable for UX writing and content design work.
And although UX writing job opportunities exist in multiple languages, most companies begin their content design process by writing the product microcopy in English, then translating it into other languages. While multilingualism is definitely an asset, ultimately English is the international language of commerce and the basis of most digital product design.
UX writing and content design is a research-based process
When crafting product copy, you don’t simply just sit down at a computer and start writing. It’s an iterative, problem-solving process that involves tasks like consulting with (or creating) a content style guide, working within parameters provided by UX designers, looking at other companies’ products to see how they wrote their interfaces and conducting UX research to test the performance of your product copy. English majors learn how to draw information from multiple sources and synthesize it into a final product throughout their education, and are well prepared to learn how to apply these same skills to writing digital products as a content designer or UX writer.
English majors understand the cultural meaning behind language
When establishing the voice and tone of a product, it’s important to be aware of the context of the words you chose. English majors are masters at analyzing literature, poetry, and non-fiction writing, and can carry these skills over to the analysis of microcopy. This deep knowledge of the connotations behind the English language makes them well prepared for the iterative process of UX writing where they can apply these skills to microcopy.
Why take a UX writing course?
So now you’re thinking, if English majors are so well prepared to work as UX writers and content designers, how do they actually land that first job? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met an English major who graduated college with a UX writing portfolio!
There are many free online resources to learn UX writing such as the Writers in Tech Podcast, Microcopy and UX Writing Facebook group, UX Writing Hub blog, and UX Writing Hub monthly events. But without a clear sense of structure and mentorship, it is an uphill battle to build your skills to the level needed to land a UX writing position.
With a certification program like the UX Writing Academy, Boot Camp, or Flex program, you can get access to our tried and tested curriculum that has a proven track record of launching students into high tech-careers. (Student success stories)
With the Flex and Academy programs, you’ll complete a content-first design project under the guidance of an experienced UX writing mentor. And as part of the Academy program, you can complete a UX writing project for a real company that you can add to your resume and portfolio!
Whichever UX Writing Hub certification program you choose, you’ll have the benefit of personalized guidance from experienced professionals and a credential respected in the UX writing and content design industry. Plus, you’ll receive support every step of the way throughout your job search process.
In short, English majors are highly suitable for work in UX writing and content design.
Bringing their sharp analytical skills along with mastery of English reading and writing, English majors bring valuable expertise to a product team.
While it’s possible to prepare for a UX writing and content design career with free online resources, the best way to set yourself up for success is to pursue a UX writing certification program. It will teach you everything you need to learn about content design and UX writing, and give you the support, experience, and credentials you need to land that first UX writing job.