The Nature of the English Major and Minor
English is the perfect major for you if you love books and reading and want to know more about the forms, history, and functions of literature.
But English is also a great major for anyone interested in language, in writing, in the history of ideas, in the questions that have always challenged and fascinated humans, and in the interaction of history, philosophy, religion, psychology, art, and the other major disciplines.
The major provides an excellent preparation for careers in business, public service, education, law, and many other areas. Some students major in English because they plan to become teachers, but most English majors pursue other career paths. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports that communication, the ability to clearly articulate your point of view, will be the most valuable job skill in 2013. The development of analytical thinking, evidenced-based writing, and editing skills makes English not only an extremely marketable major, but the perfect minor for all other majors.
According to The National Association of Colleges and Employers, English was one of the top paying liberal arts majors for new college graduates in 2012, with an average starting salary of $40,200.
Read more about must-have job skills for 2013.
Read Michael Bérubé's article "My View: What will you do with an English degree? Plenty."
See MSN's article "So You Got an English Degree. Now What?"
Majoring in English lets you:
- Explore the English and American literary traditions
- Develop your abilities as a reader and interpreter of literature
- Understand the role of critical perspective in any analytical situation
- Enhance your pleasure in the enjoyment of literature
- Improve your abilities as a writer and editor
Liberal Arts Jobs: What They Are and How to Get Them. Peterson's Guides, updated semi-annually.
Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Dept. of Labor, updated annually.