When asked what I plan to major in, I always reply with the answer “English”. I get a lot of strange looks when I say this, most all of them followed by the question, “So you’re going to teach?” I used to try to explain that no, I don’t really have an interest in teaching, but that became a lost cause. Now I usually just nod my head in agreement.
I love to write. There’s nothing else I’d rather do. At the same time, I realize that writing best-selling novels and making millions of dollars is an unrealistic goal for most people. Contrary to what one might believe, majoring in English provides students with a well-rounded education with the possibility of careers in many diverse fields. How does one benefit from majoring in English? The practice in writing and English major gains through his courses provides him with good communication skills. His study in literature provides him with analytical and research skills. Together, these skills are valuable to employers in all fields. Combine these skills with the desire to read, write, and learn, and there are endless career opportunities. Along with the traditional English careers in areas such as publishing, journalism, and writing, English majors can find jobs in many other fields. Public relations is a rapidly growing field which requires good speaking and writing skills like those acquired by English majors. Other, more non-traditional jobs include those in government and business.
With additional education, a person with a BA in English can explore a variety of fields that benefit from a strong English background. Choices for an English major include Graduate School, Law School, Business School, and Medical, Dental, or Nursing School. Employers in these areas all recruit applicants that have strong communication and inter-personal skills and the ability to analyze, all of which can be gained with a strong English background.
A baccalaureate degree in English can be supplemented with a minor or even a second major, giving a first time job seeker an advantage in the work force. Journalists with a specialization in one area, such as healthcare, law or economics, are often hired based on their unique background. The same is true for many other professions. An English background provides students with the opportunity to explore additional areas and supplement their education.
So, am I going to teach? Maybe. I have the whole world to explore with my education. And English degree provides a huge variety of opportunities beyond teaching. Why not do what I love and explore the options that a degree in English can provide me at the same time?
About the Author
Crystalee is currently attending college at Penn State University, majoring in English. Her writing can be found online at Stories.com, Campus Grapevine.com, and The Starlite Cafe.
Submitted by: Crystalee Calderwood *
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