Teaching without Secondary Ed Certification?

We’ve added a page to this site dedicated to Alternative Pathways to Teaching. English majors can get a minor in secondary education, which certifies them to teach middle or high school in Illinois. However, not everyone discovers their desire to teach in a timeframe that accommodates that program, and some people are curious about teaching but unwilling to commit to a time-intensive minor. There are other ways to embark on a teaching career, and Alamgir Hossain has gathered them into a single resource for you.

Make an appointment with Anna Ivy if you are interested in learning more about the secondary ed minor; make an appointment with Kirstin Wilcox if you’d like to explore other career paths. Stop by EB 200 or call 333-4346, either way.

The Business Career Fair for English/CW Majors: Management Training Programs

There are jobs for English/CW majors at campus career fairs. It helps to know what you’re looking for, though.

ONE option (there are others — we’ll get to those in future posts) that English/CW majors should know about: management development programs. Sometimes called “leadership development” or “rotational programs,” these opportunities involve a one- to two-year commitment to a mid-size to large company. During that time, the new employee rotates through several different departments, learning how different parts of the company operate, trying out different skill sets, and and getting the big picture that will eventually help him or her flourish in a particular role. Here’s a post about one English alumna who is in the midst of such a program at Cintas.

If all goes well, at the end of the program, the employee is hired into a permanent managerial role in whichever part of the company is the best fit.

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“I Don’t Want a Desk Job”

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English and creative writing majors figuring out a career path often start with what they don’t want. “I don’t want to teach” is the first filter, often followed by “I don’t want a desk job.” Sometimes it’s more specifically, “I don’t want a corporate job.”

There are jobs that don’t involve desks, but they can encompass everything from freelance copywriting (and putting your laptop on whatever surface you choose) to being a transportation manager for Union Pacific (yes, the train company; yes, they employ English majors.)

There are jobs that don’t involve being employed by a corporation, but they can involve everything from being a case manager for an addiction treatment center to creating branding for a political campaign to running an afterschool program. Continue reading

Writing Your First Resume: The Illinois Template

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If you haven’t yet written a resume, it’s time. You may not have needed a resume up to now, but having one ready makes it easy to apply for opportunities that arise.

A resume should be provisional, not set in stone. A good resume is always being revised to reflect both new things you do and the needs of the different employers that you send it to.

There is no one right way to write a resume. Different employers and industries have different expectations, and a well-chosen format can highlight your strengths. You can find many online templates to guide you.

This template is used by many programs here at the University of Illinois. Many employers who recruit on campus are familiar with this format, and it will help you get started.

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