I was an English major in college, and I am currently a TV writer. I have also worked as a teacher, and I very nearly went to law school after graduation. A lot of English majors go into academia, becoming teachers or professors, or they go to law school and become lawyers. They also pursue careers in journalism, business, politics, you name it.
English, like a lot of liberal arts majors, helps you hone a set of skills that are valuable in a number of careers. When you're an English major, you do a LOT of critical thinking - what do the books you're reading say about people? What do they say about the world? Being able to engage critically with the world around you is an asset in every job out there. You'll also be able to understand and respond analytically to what you read, as well as write clearly and persuasively. These, too, are invaluable skills.
I'd say, enjoy your time studying English literature, and as your studies progress, you can narrow in on what interests you - unless you want a career in hard sciences or medicine, an English major is a solid foundation to many, many professions.
Back from the sack, blogging man. Please be patient as I'm slowly going down this list of request for advice. Today, I'm addressing a query from Mario B., that is: "What careers can one get with an English degree?" Well, that's a fine question Mario.
Reading, writing, and arithmetic, in general, maybe taken in that order too, are the three great pillars of our old classical system of education; yet, nowadays, there's more to the game of learning, but without these three basic areas of formal education, well, you toast. And with an English degree, you're in good position to strike at your pray (excuse my "animalistic" bloody undertones), postgraduate unemployment. Yup! Those, now, elusive careers, relative to your own present perception of things, Mario, are out there waiting for you; indeed, they're spread across many domains of "industry," for no better word of calling it, or let's call it the "writing business."
In the English degree "field," as it is for many other fields of education or learning, like "mathematics," say, there're many opportunities to choose from; however, that does mean you're going to just walk in and grab the top "chosen" one, from your wish list of possibilities. You may have to compromise, bend a little, probably a lot, in fact, and go for something related to the basis of your learning, in your case, English.
Sorry about beating 'round the bush, Mario. Here's the deal with English. Through the years, I've had many friends in college and the universities I've attended, one of them was nicknamed "The Doctor," he majored in History, others went in for International Studies, Humanities (Western and Eastern forms of it), including English. They all asked the same question: "What can I do with such degrees (as described above) when they are ditch out by the thousands each year?" Well, the first pick is Law!
Do you want to be a Lawyer? Could you see yourself defending or prosecuting some poor helpless person, trying to save his life, or worse, put the "sucker" away. Certainly, reading, writing, and logical thinking, not to mention fine legal acting, are involved. In fact, knowing about history and literature is good backup, in possibly tuff cases, where you'll need that extra sophisticated outlook to twist and turn your jury around to your way of thinking.
Of course, there's that old but we'll followed path of Journalism, which forks into many subgroups or subcategories, like social media, technical reporting, entertaining, and let's not forget, the political arena too. Much as been written or talked about, concerning Journalism. With that said, let's move on to the "film writing business," one of my fields of expertise.
Yeah! The film production industry is always looking for naturally talented, as well as finely trained individuals; indeed, they seek good writers with strongly unique but recognizable styles; for instance, in the elite writing category, somebody along the lines of, say, Rod Sterling or Ray Bradbury, top writers able to adapt to cultural trends, and excelling at mastery of forms with interesting content. In all of these areas of fine writing, continuous and intense reading is key to success, for research is mandatory, yet it is fun too.
Don't get me wrong, there's a place for you, the entrance level guy or girl, wanting to spend time at honing their skills, 5 to 10 years, maybe, at various writing jobs, where on thing can lead to another, including the place you really want to be, with this English degree and the writing game! May the games begin, Mario. Best of luck!! My young friend. Bye$.
The great thing about an English major is that it sets you up for success in a large number of career paths. The skills you learn from an English major are widely applied- being able to clearly and concisely make a point goes such a long way!
English majors often go to grad school- law or business- as many of the critical thinking skills necessary for an English degree set you up for success in these curriculums.
Remember that there are many different kinds of writing! When people think of English majors they often picture a hopeful novelist, living paycheck to paycheck, waiting for his breakthrough. However, many large companies are in need of content- and good writers to give it to them!
You can be a freelancer and write for sites or blogs that interest you, you can go into Public Relations, company communications, editing, media relations. There is so much to do with an English degree!
Here are some thoughts on the subject:
Best of luck. I am sure that you will find someway to use the degree that you enjoy.