Do you love to read? After a movie, are you the one that always says, “The book is better?”
Maybe you like to write. Are you excited by the thought of crafting poetry, short stories, maybe even nonfiction and research papers?
If you’re one of these people (and maybe even if you’re not), you should major in English.
Majoring in English is often looked at as a cop-out, a choice you make because you don’t know what to do with your life. While that may be true for some English majors, studying English can be a very smart career move!
Majoring in English doesn’t just mean you like to read and write a lot. In English and literature courses, you’ll interact with a vast array of the brightest minds throughout human history. Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglas, the Brönte sisters, Toni Morrison, Steinbeck and Hemingway, the Bard himself (William Shakespeare)! You’ll interact with ancient authors, medieval and romanticism authors—all the way up to modern and contemporary authors.
In other words, studying English is not just studying language; it’s studying history, philosophy, religion, economics, art, science . . . English programs are broad-reaching, covering lots of subjects.
Still. Can being an English major land you a job?
An English degree prepares students to think critically about the world and to communicate well within it. These are the first things most employers are looking for in a new hire!
Here are just a few examples of what you can do with your English degree:
Publishing: With options to be an editor, literary agent, and much more, you can combine your love of reading with the critical eye you have developed with your English degree. What’s more fun than getting paid to read all day?
Marketing and Communications: Marketing is dependent on images and language to effectively engage audiences. As a content creator, proofreader, or researcher, you can use the writing and thinking skills you gain to create and edit content for companies.
Creative Writing: This seems obvious, but professional creative writing comes in many different forms. You could be a journalist, freelance writer, web writer/blogger, travel writer, speechwriter, etc. There are endless ways you can write professionally that are engaging, creative, and fun.
Law: A foundation in English gives you the writing, critical-thinking, and researching skills that allow you to pursue law at a graduate level to become a paralegal, attorney, or even a lobbyist.
Higher Education: A bachelor’s degree in English is a great way to start pursuing a career in education as a teacher, librarian, or professor.
Further Degrees: Majoring in English doesn’t just have to lead to a job; it’s a great stepping stone toward your master’s degree in business, education, counseling, health care administration—whatever! If it’s research-based, a degree in English will certainly be useful.
Any many more! It would be impossible to make an exhaustive list of all the careers an English major can pursue. But that’s my point: studying English is a great way to prepare for any number of fields. Basically, if the job requires communication, writing or speaking, critical thinking, and creativity, you should major in English.
I feel like every college student has to go to a coffee shop to do homework at some point in their college career. Maybe it’s just a Cairn culture thing,