What can I do with a degree in WL?

The Study of World Literature

An education in literature, criticism, and language teaches a World Literature Major to write creatively and expressively, to think critically, and to communicate ideas effectively across different cultures. While some graduates work directly in literature and language, for instance by teaching Elementary or High School or entering the publishing field, career possibilities are diverse. The knowledge content specific to World Lit courses is especially relevant to careers in international agencies and organizations, translating, advertising, broadcasting, the arts, public relations, as well as diplomacy, teaching, journalism and library and information services. 

Download the 'What can I do with a degree in World Literature?' brochure for other potential career options.

See what World Literature graduates are doing! 

What Skills Have You Developed With Your Degree?

While the academic skills you acquire through your Major may be directly applicable to some careers, the general skills you gain with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree are the most valuable to employers . These skills are not limited to coursework, and may be gained through paid and/or volunteer work both on and off campus. The knowledge and skills gained through work experience, volunteering and extra-curricular activities are relevant to future work.

Communication Skills

  • The ability to communicate ideas clearly and efficiently in a variety of mediums (written, oral, visually, and electronically)
  • The ability to read critically, to write persuasively with a comprehensive
    knowledge of grammar and vocabulary (in multiple languages), and to analyze complex textual and cultural phenomena

Information Management

  • The ability to locate, gather, and organize information using appropriate technology and information systems

Problem Solving

  • The ability to use critical thinking skills to evaluate and solve problems demonstrating the ability to be creative and innovative in identifying solutions

Teamwork Skills

  • The ability to work effectively within a group demonstrating leadership and support for the group
  • Monitoring the success of a project and identifying ways to improve it

Personal Management Skills

  • The ability to plan, design, and carry out a project or task from start to finish, with well-defined objectives and outcomes
  • The ability to work effectively and independently under deadlines

Cross-Cultural Awareness, Sensitivity and Competence (specific to WL)

  • The ability to understand and appreciate different cultures, to read into situations, contexts and behaviors that are culturally rooted and respond appropriately
  • Also, the ability to work effectively across all cultures


SFU Career Services is your one-stop shop for more information. Through our workshops, one on one career and work search advising, and groups, you'll have access to information, resources and career and peer educators to help you no matter what stage of planning you are in, from exploring your interests to practicing for an interview, we can help.

Also consider Arts & Social Sciences Co-operative Education, which is designed to alternate and integrate your studies with related full-time paid work terms, allowing you to get a head start on your career and earn a competitive salary while doing so!