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English: A global vantage

Overview

English being the global lingua franca in the fields of science, technology, trade, culture, business and politics, employees with perfect language and communication skills are indispensable for many companies or institutions.

In 1997 an India Today survey suggested that about a third of the population had the ability to carry on a conversation in English. That adds up to about 350 million and it is further on the rise. That's equal to the combined English-speaking populations of Britain, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Such a large English-speaking workforce in India has naturally acted as a magnet for Western multinational companies which bring with them great opportunities for English graduates.

Skills required

A bachelor's degree in English provides you with skills for a variety of positions in business, research organizations, educational settings, publishing companies, financial institutions, and in the cultural, entertainment, communications and health care industries.

As an English graduate you are required to develop certain skills crucial to your success after graduation including, the ability to produce excellent writing, the ability to analyze texts and situations accurately, the ability to understand diverse heritages, and the ability to argue convincingly.

Below is a list of job titles and job descriptions for entry-level positions that English graduates might be hired for.

Advertising Copywriter
Writes advertising copy for display in all media: newspaper, magazine, billboard, packaging, television, radio.

Computer Instructional Designer
Writes instructional and tutorial manuals and course materials for internal and customer training. Works for manufacturers of computer hardware and software. Work may require coursework or experience in teaching, as well as some technical background.

Copy Editor/Copy Reader
Edits printed copy for grammatical and stylistic errors. Works in a variety of settings: book and magazine publishers, newspapers, advertising agencies, in-house publications of business and agency newsletters and releases.

Corporate Communications Specialist :
Writes press releases, speeches, annual reports, and other material to promote a corporation and its image. Works for all corporations in all fields.

Correspondent/Stringer
Writes freelance reports for one or more publications. Usually has special knowledge of the subject or geographic area concerned. Works as an independent contractor.

Editorial Assistant
Evaluates manuscripts; reviews and edits copy; coordinates photography, illustrations, and graphics; secures copyrights and permissions to quote copyrighted material. Works for book publishers.

Freelance Writer
Writes for publications on an assignment basis for a negotiated fee, usually after submittal of a query letter proposing ideas for articles or stories. Typically works as an independent contractor.

Radio/Television Copywriter
Writes and rewrites scripts for broadcast media. Entry-level posts are available in news departments.

Radio/Television Researcher
Researches story and script ideas for broadcast media. Maintains research files on topics and people; checks stories for accuracy. Works for radio and television producers.

Reporter/Staff Writer
Works and writes for a publication on a regular basis. Usually works under pressure of deadlines on general assignments before specializing in a particular area. In addition to newspapers and magazines, employers include corporations and agencies with in-house newsletters.

Secondary School Teacher
Instructs high school and junior high school students in specialized subject areas. Most secondary school teachers teach several courses in a single subject area. Public schools generally require certification; private schools typically do not.

Special Program Teachers
Instructs students enrolled in special education programs. Settings (e.g., churches, social service agencies) and topics (e.g., vocational training, preschool Head Start, drug-abuse prevention) vary widely.

Technical Writer
Researches, writes and edits publications that communicate scientific technical information to readers with no technical background. Employers include corporations, professional associations, and government agencies.

 

Apart from the aforementioned growing unconventional opportunities, the old fields of teaching and research present themselves with a new vigor to English graduates. Increasing English speaking population requires a vast number of English teachers for its proper guidance. For example, more than 12,000 English teachers have so far been trained in Andhra Pradesh under its teacher training program for improving communication skills. This apart, the government has already recruited 2,400 English teachers in the last academic year and plans to re-designate another 5,600 more as English teachers.


For Comments: psjamwal@amity.edu

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