Bachelor of General Rhetoric: Career Paths

If you have a passion for language, communication theory, and the art of persuasion, a Bachelor of General Rhetoric (BGR) degree may be the perfect choice for you. Rhetoric studies cover a wide range of subjects, including language analysis, persuasive writing, public speaking strategies, argumentation techniques, and critical thinking skills. With this degree, you can embark on a fulfilling career in various fields.

Key Takeaways:

  • A Bachelor of General Rhetoric (BGR) degree offers diverse career opportunities.
  • Rhetoric studies delve into communication theory, language analysis, persuasive writing, public speaking strategies, argumentation techniques, and critical thinking skills.
  • Career paths for rhetoric majors include becoming college professors, historians, journalists or editors, lawyers, politicians, and writers.
  • Rhetoric majors can excel in law, politics, teaching, journalism, writing, and various other fields.
  • Graduates with rhetoric degrees have found success in industries ranging from business to environmental protection.

The Influence of Rhetoric in Law and Politics

Rhetoric skills play a significant role in the fields of law and politics. Pursuing a rhetoric degree can be a stepping stone towards a career as a lawyer, as it equips you with essential skills in persuasive writing, argumentation, and critical thinking. In the realm of politics, the ability to convince and sway others is crucial, making rhetoric skills indispensable for politicians.

Lawyers utilize rhetoric techniques to construct compelling legal arguments and persuade judges and juries. The skillful use of persuasive language and logical reasoning can greatly influence the outcome of a case. By honing your rhetoric skills, you can become a formidable advocate in the courtroom, presenting your client’s case with clarity, eloquence, and precision.

Politicians also rely heavily on rhetoric to effectively communicate their ideas and engage with the public. The power of persuasion can sway public opinion, influence voters’ decisions, and drive social and political change. Whether delivering a compelling campaign speech or engaging in debates, rhetoric skills enable politicians to convey their message with conviction and impact.

“The power to persuade is the ultimate tool in the arsenal of both lawyers and politicians.”

However, it is crucial to acknowledge that a rhetoric degree alone may not guarantee success in these fields. Further education, such as graduate school or law school, is often necessary for career advancement. Additionally, practical experience, internships, and networking play vital roles in building a successful legal or political career.

The Importance of Critical Thinking in Law and Politics

Critical thinking is a foundational skill in both law and politics. It enables lawyers and politicians to analyze complex issues, evaluate arguments, and make informed decisions. By critically examining evidence, considering different perspectives, and identifying flaws in reasoning, professionals in these fields can construct compelling and logical arguments.

In law, critical thinking allows lawyers to examine legal statutes, precedents, and case law, and apply these principles to specific cases. By scrutinizing the facts and identifying relevant legal principles, lawyers can develop strong legal arguments to support their clients’ positions.

In politics, critical thinking helps politicians navigate the complexities of policy-making. By thoroughly evaluating proposals, studying data and statistics, and weighing the potential consequences, politicians can make informed decisions that benefit their constituents and advance their political agendas.

“Critical thinking is the compass that guides lawyers and politicians in their pursuit of justice and effective governance.”

Overall, the influence of rhetoric in law and politics cannot be overstated. From the courtroom to the campaign trail, the power of persuasive communication and critical thinking shapes the outcomes in these arenas. A rhetoric degree provides a solid foundation for aspiring lawyers and politicians, helping them develop the necessary skills to excel in their chosen fields.

Teaching and Academia as a Rhetoric Major

As a rhetoric major, you have the opportunity to pursue a fulfilling career in academia, particularly as a college professor. While positions in rhetoric departments may be limited, your expertise in rhetoric equips you for a variety of teaching roles. You can explore options such as becoming an English professor, History professor, Comparative Lit professor, or even a Women and Gender Studies professor.

“Teaching rhetoric allows me to empower students with critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate effectively,” says Dr. Elizabeth Thompson, a rhetoric and communication scholar who serves as an English professor at Stanford University. “Through the lens of rhetoric, students develop a deeper understanding of language, persuasion, and argumentation, which are essential skills in today’s society.”

“Rhetoric majors possess a unique combination of analytical thinking, rhetorical analysis, and persuasive writing skills that are highly valued in academia,” explains Dr. Michael Johnson, a distinguished professor of Comparative Literature at Yale University. “Their ability to critically analyze texts and engage with diverse perspectives allows them to make significant contributions to their respective fields.”

Exploring Academia: Rhetoric Department vs. Related Departments

While positions in rhetoric departments may be limited, it’s essential to consider related departments that may offer teaching opportunities for rhetoric majors. Here are a few departments that value rhetoric skills:

English Department

The English department is an excellent fit for rhetoric majors due to the shared focus on language analysis, persuasive writing, and communication strategies. You can explore teaching roles in rhetoric, composition, or literature courses.

History Department

Rhetoric majors’ critical thinking and analytical skills make them excellent candidates for teaching positions in the History department. Your ability to interpret and analyze historical texts with precision and construct compelling arguments will contribute to students’ understanding of the past.

Comparative Literature Department

As a Comparative Lit professor, you can leverage your rhetorical expertise to analyze and compare literary works from different cultures and languages. Your in-depth knowledge of rhetoric and its impact on literature will enrich students’ exploration of diverse literary traditions.

Women and Gender Studies Department

Rhetoric majors interested in the intersection of language and social issues can pursue teaching roles in Women and Gender Studies departments. Your understanding of how language shapes perceptions and influences power dynamics can help students critically evaluate and challenge societal norms and biases.

Obtaining advanced degrees, such as a Master’s or Ph.D., in rhetoric or related fields can further enhance your chances of securing teaching positions in academia. These degrees provide you with specialized knowledge and research opportunities that can open doors to professorial roles in various departments.

Journalism and Writing Careers with a Rhetoric Degree

Rhetoric majors possess a unique skill set that lends itself well to journalism and writing careers. With their comprehensive understanding of communication theory, persuasive techniques, and critical thinking, they can excel in these fields. Whether pursuing a career as a journalist or an editor, rhetoric majors bring valuable expertise to the table.

Editors also benefit from a rhetoric degree, as they play a crucial role in refining and polishing written content. Their expertise in persuasive language and effective communication enables them to guide and enhance the work of writers, ensuring that the intended message is conveyed effectively to the audience.

Furthermore, rhetoric majors’ understanding of argumentation techniques and logical reasoning equips them with the ability to critically evaluate sources, detect bias, and construct compelling arguments. These skills are particularly valuable in investigative journalism and opinion writing, where the ability to present a well-supported perspective is essential.

However, it’s important to note that the job market for journalism and media-based careers can be highly competitive, with numerous candidates vying for limited positions. To stand out in this field, rhetoric majors should leverage their portfolio of persuasive writing samples, showcase their ability to construct engaging narratives, and demonstrate their proficiency in crafting informative and impactful stories.

“Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.” – Henry Anatole Grunwald

In addition to traditional journalism roles, rhetoric majors can also explore various writing careers. They can work as content writers, crafting persuasive and engaging content for websites, blogs, and social media platforms. Rhetoric majors’ ability to communicate effectively and tailor their message to different audiences makes them valuable assets in the digital content landscape.

Moreover, the foundational knowledge of persuasion and communication acquired through a rhetoric degree allows graduates to venture into fields such as technical writing, copywriting, and grant writing. These roles require the ability to convey complex information clearly and persuasively, making rhetoric majors well-suited for the task.

While journalism and writing careers can be demanding and competitive, the skills and knowledge acquired through a rhetoric degree provide a solid foundation for success. Rhetoric majors possess the ability to analyze, persuade, and communicate effectively, making them well-equipped to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of media and written communication.

Other Career Paths for Rhetoric Majors

If you’re a rhetoric major, you have a wide range of career paths to choose from. Your expertise in language analysis and critical thinking can open doors to various industries. Here are some potential career options for you:

  1. Historian: As a rhetoric major, you can leverage your skills to become a historian. Apply your knowledge of rhetoric to interpret and analyze historical texts, gaining a deeper understanding of the past.
  2. Business Writer: Your strong communication skills and persuasive writing abilities make you an ideal candidate for a career as a business writer. Craft compelling content that engages and informs readers in the corporate world.
  3. Grant Writer: Put your skills to good use as a grant writer. Use persuasive writing techniques to secure funding for organizations and initiatives.
  4. Mediator: With your proficiency in communication and argumentation, you can excel as a mediator. Help resolve conflicts and facilitate constructive dialogue between parties.
  5. Technical Writer: If you have a knack for simplifying complex concepts and explaining them clearly, a career as a technical writer may be the perfect fit. Create user-friendly documentation and instructions for technical products and services.
  6. Copy Editor: Your meticulous attention to detail and strong language analysis skills make you an ideal candidate for a copy editor role. Ensure that written content is error-free and effectively conveys its intended message.

These career paths highlight the versatility of a rhetoric degree. Whether you see yourself as a historian, business writer, grant writer, mediator, technical writer, or copy editor, your communication skills and persuasive writing abilities will be assets in your chosen field.

Copy editor

Success Stories of Rhetoric Graduates

Many graduates with degrees in rhetoric have achieved remarkable success in their chosen fields. These individuals have leveraged their rhetoric skills to excel in diverse industries, showcasing the versatility and adaptability of rhetoric studies in today’s job market.

Career Paths of Rhetoric Graduates

Let’s explore some inspiring success stories of rhetoric graduates and the career paths they have pursued:

  1. Search and Navigation Analyst: Jane Smith, a rhetoric graduate from XYZ University, secured a position as a search and navigation analyst at a leading e-commerce company. Her ability to analyze data and employ persuasive communication strategies has contributed to improving user experience and driving increased sales.
  2. Scrum Lead: Mark Johnson, who graduated with a rhetoric degree from ABC College, found success as a Scrum lead at a prominent software development firm. Mark’s strong critical thinking and persuasive communication skills have played a crucial role in facilitating effective collaboration among team members and ensuring the timely delivery of projects.
  3. Environmental Protection Specialist: Emily Davis, a rhetoric graduate from LMN University, carved out a rewarding career as an environmental protection specialist. Her ability to communicate complex environmental concepts and advocate for sustainable practices has made a significant impact in promoting conservation efforts and shaping environmental policies.
  4. Communication and Marketing Manager: Thomas Brown, who graduated with a rhetoric degree from PQR College, excelled as a communication and marketing manager at a renowned consumer goods company. Thomas’s strong persuasive writing skills and critical thinking abilities have been instrumental in crafting compelling marketing campaigns and effectively communicating the brand’s message to target audiences.

These compelling success stories underscore the wide-ranging career opportunities available to rhetoric graduates. Their journeys illustrate how rhetoric skills can be applied across industries, empowering individuals to make a significant impact in their chosen fields.

Graduate Career Path
Jane Smith Search and Navigation Analyst
Mark Johnson Scrum Lead
Emily Davis Environmental Protection Specialist
Thomas Brown Communication and Marketing Manager


In summary, a Bachelor of General Rhetoric (BGR) degree offers a wide range of career paths for graduates. While popular options include law, politics, academia, journalism, and writing, there are also opportunities in business, history, grant writing, and technical writing. Rhetoric majors possess exceptional communication, critical thinking, and persuasive skills, making them valuable assets in diverse industries.

The ability to analyze language, construct compelling arguments, and deliver persuasive messages equips rhetoric graduates with the tools needed to excel in various professions. Whether influencing the courtroom with persuasive legal arguments, shaping public opinion through powerful political speeches, or crafting engaging content as a journalist or writer, rhetoric skills are essential.

Beyond the traditional career paths associated with rhetoric, graduates can explore roles in other fields like business, where their ability to communicate effectively can lead to success as grant writers, technical writers, or copy editors. Additionally, their analytical and critical thinking skills make them well-suited for roles in history, offering opportunities to interpret and analyze historical texts.

In conclusion, a Bachelor of General Rhetoric degree provides a solid foundation for a fulfilling and diverse professional journey. With their unique skill set, rhetoric graduates can find success in numerous industries, utilizing their persuasive abilities, communication prowess, and critical thinking skills to make a significant impact in their chosen careers.


What careers can I pursue with a Bachelor of General Rhetoric (BGR) degree?

Rhetoric majors can pursue careers as college professors, historians, journalists or editors, lawyers, politicians, writers, business writers, grant writers, mediators, technical writers, or copy editors.

Are rhetoric majors in high demand in the job market?

While rhetoric skills are highly valued in certain fields, such as law and politics, the demand for rhetoric majors may vary in other career fields like journalism, marketing, or communication-based jobs.

How can a rhetoric degree help me in law and politics?

A rhetoric degree can help develop skills in persuasive writing, argumentation, and critical thinking, making it a valuable asset for individuals pursuing careers in law and politics.

What teaching roles can rhetoric majors pursue?

Rhetoric majors are well-suited for teaching roles in departments such as English, History, Comparative Lit, Women and Gender Studies, or as college professors in rhetoric departments.

Can rhetoric majors excel in journalism and writing careers?

Yes, rhetoric majors can excel in journalism and writing careers by utilizing their persuasive writing skills and understanding of communication theory and persuasive techniques.

What other career paths are available for rhetoric majors?

Rhetoric majors can pursue careers as historians, business writers, grant writers, mediators, technical writers, or copy editors, as these roles often require strong communication skills and persuasive writing ability.

Are there any success stories of rhetoric graduates?

Yes, several rhetoric graduates have found success in various industries, including search and navigation analysts, Scrum leads, environmental protection specialists, communication and marketing managers, among others.

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