A Guide to Online English Degrees Accredited Online Degree Programs in English

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Radio personality Garrison Keiller made a career on jokes about unemployable English majors, but the worry is real. As with other liberal arts degrees, many students wonder if earning an English degree is worth the time and money. But students need not worry, as long as they carefully consider why they’re earning an English degree.

Is a Degree in English Worth It?

Earning an English degree online is a great way to start your education, especially if you haven’t decided what direction you want to take in terms of your career. Can you become a famous author with a high school diploma? Sure? Can you get employed as a journalist or public relations expert? Probably not.

No matter what type of online degree program you finally choose, what you learn by earning an English degree will build a solid foundation to start from. In fact, it will provide you with many of the skills you will need to succeed in almost any type of career field you choose. While some skills have to do with literature and appreciating great works of art (written form), others are more generalized.

A few of the skills you can expect to learn from becoming an English major include being able to communicate effectively. If you plan on going into a specialized career field, like journalism, you will be able to do so with the skills you need. Communication is only part of what you will need if you enter a media-related field. You will also develop analytical skills that you may need when performing research or trying to identify patterns and concepts. Many English majors eventually go into law or political science as well.

Whether you choose media, manufacturing, science, or any other type of industry, having an English major is a great place to start. It provides you with all of the traditional courses that are normally included in a basic degree program. By getting these classes out of the way early on in your education, it allows you to choose more in-depth courses once you advance to the next level of your education. The foundation you create with these basic courses can also boost your GPA and give you a good academic headstart.

Most Popular Schools with Online English Degree Programs

Industries with the Highest Levels of Employment for English Degree Graduates:

IndustryEmployment (1)Annual mean wage (2)
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools41,320$74,330
Junior Colleges26,230$84,760
Other Schools and Instruction510$58,850
Technical and Trade Schools120$59,530
Educational Support Services40$48,650
Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Most Affordable Online English Degree Programs

What Can You Do With An English Degree?

Are you wondering, “What can I do with an English degree besides teach?” There are plenty of employment opportunities for individuals who have an English degree that does not involve teaching. Publishing houses are always looking for editors, copy-editors, writers, and fact-checkers who go over new submissions before they are approved to be published. Journalists and other media professionals who have earned an English degree online can expect new opportunities for advancement if they are already employed within the industry.

An English degree can also be useful for individuals who are interested in pursuing a higher degree in business or marketing. Business and marketing professionals must be able to communicate effectively in a variety of ways. They must be able to speak publicly as well as write letters, blogs, and emails. Communication is a skill that must be perfected if you expect to be taken seriously. When working in the business world, it’s important that you be as professional as possible, especially when you communicate with your peers. 

Having an English degree will give you the ability to express yourself and get your point across in a professional and dignified manner. Whether you earn your degree in a classroom or over the internet in an online format, you will be able to utilize every skill you learn and use it to its fullest advantage.

English Degree Types

The modern English program is a long way from the study of stuffy British literature, with many career paths. Today you can study anything from African American literature and world literature to creative writing and professional writing. You will develop writing skills and critical thinking that are transferable to many professions. For instance, a technical writer may work on instruction manuals for products. Technical writing and professional writing courses are a basic part of contemporary English studies. And technical writers are always in demand.

Accredited Online Associates

An Associates degree in English is designed to provide the necessary skills a student will need before they move on to a higher degree program, By providing the basics in terms of technical skill and knowledge a student needs to understand more complex subjects they will need to take in the future. Many of the skills that are taught in an Associates’ English degree program can be transferred from one degree to another, allowing the students to explore both a major and a minor in two different subjects. This gives depth to your education and will make you a valuable asset to any company that chooses to hire you.

Online English Associates degree programs can take two to three years to complete. As an undergraduate degree program, an Associates in English gives students an opportunity to start building on their knowledge while figuring out which direction they want to take their career. Even if a student chooses to pursue a degree outside of teaching or literary history, the skills they learn from a well-rounded English Associates’ degree program can be used in almost any other type of industry. As a generalized degree program, the academic knowledge and various skills can be adapted to fit almost any professional degree program.

An associate degree can help you earn general education credits that will transfer to an online bachelor of arts. Prospective students should be sure their core courses are transferable.

Accredited Online Bachelor’s

A Bachelor’s degree is also known as a baccalaureate degree. An online Bachelor’s degree in English can take anywhere from three years to over seven to complete, depending on which direction you take in terms of what skills you are trying to achieve. For many students, an Associates’ degree will provide them with everything they need if they are looking for a generalized degree program. Others may be able to use the general skills they learn from an Associates’ degree in English to build a strong minor program that complements their major no matter what subject matter it is.

A Bachelor’s degree in English online program takes the skills and knowledge to the next level. Students who are interested in teaching, literary history, journalism, or a career in publishing can use a Bachelor’s degree in English to move forward on their chosen career path. It can also be used to provide additional skills that may be needed in the business field. If a person expects to be an effective leader in any industry, they must first be a good communicator. An online Bachelor’s degree in English can provide those skills and give you an opportunity to learn them at your own pace. 

If you finished your general education coursework at a community college, you can move into your English degree courses right away and be heading for the capstone course in a year or two!

Accredited Online Master’s

A Master’s degree in English takes the lessons learned in previous degree programs and provides students with additional skills that will allow them to fully master the concepts and theories associated with the English language. These advanced skills will allow the graduate to be more eloquent in their communications, both written and spoken. Effective communication is a necessity in every industry. From manufacturing to research, communication is essential when it comes to relaying messages and passing on ideas from one person to another. With a Master’s degree in English, a graduate will know how to speak, listen, and interpret various types of communications effectively. 

An online Masters’ degree in English can be completed while the student is working a full-time job. Online students in graduate school have the opportunity to pursue their education and continue to support their family at the same time. By studying online, the student is able to enjoy a flexible schedule that allows them to study when it is most convenient for them. They are also able to use the skills they learn for their current job. Taking advantage of every opportunity for growth is essential if the graduate wants to maximize their earning potential and be successful in their careers.

Accredited Online Doctoral/PhD

Obtaining an online doctoral or Ph.D. in English is the highest degree you can possibly earn. Students who earn a Ph.D. normally go into some type of research or become a teacher. Becoming an educator can be very rewarding, especially if you realize you are forming the minds of future generations. Graduates who work in an academic environment need the skills they learn with their English Ph.D. degree to help them adequately describe both what they are teaching and what they are learning through their research projects. It is their ability to communicate what they know that proves the effectiveness of the doctoral English Ph.D. degree program.

A doctoral degree in English has several practical uses. Copywriters and publishers who live their lives by immersing themselves in the written word. This type of career requires not only a mastery of the written language but also its history and how it is used in various types of books. A doctoral degree goes past simply teaching practical uses of the English language. Graduates who have earned a Doctor of English have proven their ability to use the language effectively in every way imaginable. From the written word to an oral speech, the graduate is able to use every possible skill to their advantage.

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Accreditation is the verification by a third-party organization that a college or university and its degree programs meet or exceed industry standards. The third-party organization can be a laboratory, inspection or certification body that is involved in evaluating the effectiveness of degree programs or specific courses used in a particular degree program. The organization requires a formal evaluation to determine the competency of the program and whether or not it conforms to the regulations and guidelines of the industry to which it belongs.

A colleges percent online enrollment may come into consideration for accreditation. Colleges that are completely online may not be regionally accredited.

Accreditation is in essence a quality control medium that is used to let students know whether or not a specific degree program will offer them everything they need to be competent within their chosen field of study. There are multiple bodies that offer accreditation to undergraduate and postgraduate English degree programs, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Each industry has an organization that they rely on to provide these quality evaluations for degree programs that produce graduates who will eventually enter the workforce. It’s also important to note that once a degree receives accreditation, it must be renewed on a regular basis. Just like course materials change and are updated, so must the degree program be reviewed and accredited periodically.


Earning an online certificate in English is a great way to add to your existing education if you do not want to return to school and enroll in a full degree program. Online English certificates can be earned in as little as six to nine months, depending on the program you choose. Certificate programs are an excellent way to stay updated and gain the latest information possible for your particular area of study. Earning an English certificate online gives the student a chance to learn at their own pace. The flexible schedule also gives them an opportunity to continue to work at the same time.

Individuals who have received a state license in any number of degree programs are required to take a specific number of continuing education courses each year to keep their license or certification in good standing. Earning an English certificate online is one of the better choices for continuing education courses. Everyone, no matter what their degree program, can benefit from the generalized information offered in an online certification program. It is important to find out what online courses qualify to meet continuing education requirements. If you are unsure, it may be necessary to contact the organization that maintains your certification or license.

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Scholarships for English Majors

Financial aid is one of the biggest concerns for online students, but scholarships for English majors can cover a large portion of your educational costs. Scholarships are gifts that do not have to be repaid. In most cases, unless specified within the paperwork, the money received from a scholarship can be used for any of your educational expenses. Scholarships are offered by corporations, non-profit organizations, churches, and fraternal organizations. Some scholarships are specifically offered to students who are pursuing specific interests. English majors can often find scholarships through publishing agencies and other companies that have to do with the media and communications industry.

Applying for a scholarship for an English degree program can provide you with a one-time gift or a recurring gift depending on who is offering the funds. Most organizations that sponsor a scholarship will offer students a one-time gift that can be used for a variety of purposes. Others, like publishing companies, may offer a recurring gift that will be given each year the student attends classes. This recurring gift is often given to post-graduate students who have committed to returning to the company after completing their education.

Students who continue to pursue their education into the post-graduate range can also apply for grants as well. Grants are similar to scholarships but tend to be much more difficult to get and are often for larger amounts. Grants and scholarships can be used together for many English degree programs. If you plan on applying for a scholarship, you will need to be thorough during the application process and be as honest as possible when it comes to what your goals and aspirations are.

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Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?