Rhetoric and Writing | College of Liberal Arts
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Careers to Consider

What can you do with a major in rhetoric?

As so many of the quotes featured in our website indicate, writing and critical thinking are the skills most highly valued by employers today. Rhetoric majors—who receive rigorous training in both—have found success in a wide variety of careers, especially technology, education, law, and nonprofits.

In these careers, our alumni write frequently on the job, mostly to supervisors, co-workers, or clients. They report high satisfaction with their degrees across the board. One respondent reported: “From day one on the job (and in life post-graduation), the emphasis the rhetoric department puts on understanding your audience has been the greatest tool I've used.” Another said: “I have a clear advantage over my coworkers when it comes to writing.”

  • Technology

    Through our courses in the Digital Writing and Research Lab, students learn how to use and creatively apply digital technologies. That experience has led almost 20% of our alumni find creative positions in technology. One told us, “In the past 5 years, I've worked as a community moderator for a major video game publisher, a content writer for a specialty medical device web store, and currently write, format, and publish digital interactive textbooks for K-8 classrooms.”

  • Education

    Rhetoric and Writing is also fine preparation for education—especially for students who have interned at our University Writing Center. This firm grounding has led 15% of our alumni to careers in education.

  • Law

    Our major is also excellent preparation for law. Analyzing evidence, drawing conclusions, arguing about a defendant’s guilt or innocence, presenting a case in a way that informs and persuades a jury—these activities require rigorous training in logic, argumentation, audience analysis, and semantics. So it’s not surprising that 10% of our alumni go into law, legal services, and criminal justice. One told us:”Rhetoric was a perfect segue into law.”

  • Nonprofits

    With classes such as Writing for Nonprofits, Digital Storytelling, and Proposal Writing, the Rhetoric and Writing major is also a strong fit for the nonprofit sector. One of our alumni remarked: “I walked away with a powerful sense of how rhetoric and writing can be used to create positive social change in/through professional, civic, and humanitarian environments.” Ten percent of our alumni create that positive change by working for nonprofits.

  • Graduate and professional degrees

    Of our pre-2013 graduates, a staggering 48% have gone on to earn a graduate or professional degree. One told us: “Even now, as I find myself studying for the LSAT after all these years, the critical thinking skills and appreciation for varying perspectives has helped me tremendously in my studies.”

How do you prepare for a career in rhetoric and writing?

The DRW, the College of Liberal Arts, and UT all have resources to help you prepare for your career.