Department of Rhetoric & Writing
Department of Rhetoric & Writing

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.

Preparing for your internship or job search. As you get ready to seek internships, jobs, or other connecting experiences, take advantage of UT’s resources to get started.

Finding internships. We highly recommend internships, either through the department or the college. They’re a great way to better understand potential careers, to gain experience, and to network.

Connecting to opportunities. Beyond internships, consider these other UT resources for building skills and connections.

  • HireUTexas

  • Finding a Student Job
  • HookedIn: The official UT Austin social networking platform designed to connect students, alumni, employers, and friends of UT for career connections and mentorship.

Preparing for your career. As you approach the end of your time at UT, use these resources to transition to a career.