There are any number of career choices before students of English literature. Civil services are an excellent career choice but extremely limited in numbers. Armed forces and Central police forces also offer opportunities for fruitful careers. In fact, the number of openings in the government sector are many and a student can explore avenues according to his choice and aptitude.
Better opportunities exist outside the government space for the really competitive and ambitious person. Honing language and communication skills to enter the field of diplomacy can be really rewarding. Diplomacy is all about mastery of language. A single word can influence relations between nations, international trade, world peace and help reduce or aggravate tension in conflict zones. It demands a very high degree of understanding issues at bilateral, multilateral and global levels and formulating appropriate response to realize the objective. The better one knows the better he delivers. Same issue may be viewed differently from different angles and accordingly response needs to be tailored.
Politics offers another opportunity for the master of language and literature trained in principles of criticism. Universalisation of the personal and personalisation of the universal makes a successful politician. Not all disciplines train their students to handle issues at that level as literature does. Politics makes or mars the career of a politician depending on his use and abuse of language. The successful one chooses his words very carefully and conveys them effectively. Literature is the art of that genre- use of language and effective communication. Remember Antony’s speech in Julius Caesar and compare it with the presiding dignitary expunging word or speech from the record of the legislature debates because of “unparliamentary” language. Politics is not only limited to contesting elections but a whole lot of activities requiring patience, managerial skills and oratory. Millions of pages are created every day in politics to keep floating or shooting down adversaries. In a democracy, legislation is a never-ending exercise which gives maximum opportunities for legal drafting, debates, amendments, speeches inside and outside the house and later in litigation. Who said literature graduates have limited scope for employment and self-employment?
Add to all these avenues the opportunities in the hospitality area which require valuable soft skills. Groomed to employ their language skills, the literature graduates can land highly remunerative jobs.
Films, documentaries, awareness campaigns for promoting public health issues, human rights, consumer rights, gender issues, children’s rights, right to education, coaching and mentoring services are attractive areas for creative intelligent and industrious minds.
These are merely a few illustrative avenues and not a comprehensive list. One needs to keep an open eye for every kind of emerging and new opportunities and develop requisite competencies.
Literature graduates study at least two more subjects for the degree programme. Making use of the knowledge of those subjects and learning some other subjects widens the mental frame and adds value to the personality. Larger the frame of reference, richer the vision. It helps one to design a solid mission and work towards achieving success in life. For a student of literature all knowledge is a valuable input. Literature uses knowledge of arts, science, medicine, engineering, law and general studies. Nothing is outside the realm of literature. Hence nothing is outside the scope of employment for the students of literature.