What do you do with a BA in English?

Ave QFor those of you who know your contemporary musicals, you might recognize the title of this blog as the opening song from Avenue Q (which also so happens to be the spring musical). But this post is far more than a wish for you to go support the SJU Theater Company.

To start at the beginning, I went to the Career Fair yesterday with a friend — for the sake of privacy I shall refer to my friend as “Sophia” here on out.

While I am a junior, Sophia is a senior and will be graduating in May. It is her hope to find a job after graduation and do something she loves. She is a Communications/English Major. I will begin by saying that the SJU Career Fair is not the best place to go job hunting if you are not some sort of Business, Pharmaceuticals, or Food Marketing Major. There are a few Communications companies that appear among the hundred or so represented businesses, and companies that cater to the “Liberal Arts” are nearly nonexistent.

We visited one booth, which shall remain unnamed, out of curiosity. While there the spokesperson told Sophia, in no uncertain terms, that her English Degree was useless. She was visibly crushed. We let the comment slide but later, after we left the Career Fair, we talked about how much that backhanded comment was uncalled for!

Sophia was distraught. She didn’t want to believe that her entire college education was wasted on a “useless” degree. Which, I will say, is completely untrue!

Fear not English Majors! I am here to help you feel more confident in your career choice. Just so you know, English majors are trained to:

  • logically organize complex ideas
  • write well (duh!)
  • develop and improve rational arguments
  • critically read and observe difficult texts
  • analyze complex data and research
  • AND MORE!!!

All of these acquired skills, which by no means many people naturally have. Graduate schools and employers seek well-rounded individuals because they are versatile and able to apply all their learned skills in felids such as law, education, business, government, media, medicine, and public service.

HubPages distributed a great article, titled “What Ten Jobs You Can Do With Your English Degree”, which perfectly lays out great job opportunities in areas with an emphasis on communications and the written word. HerCampus also published an informative article about “8 Cool Jobs You Can Get With An English Major” (you should definitely check it out). And finally, another article (pictured below) offers a good comprehensive list of career opportunities for English Majors.

English Degree Jobs

So Sophia, and all other English Majors out there… YOUR DEGREE IS NOT USELESS! And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You can find a wide ranged of careers and, if you don’t find something that makes you happy, you can always start your own career and create your own path to success. Don’t stress and don’t worry, there is something out there for you!

My final kernel of knowledge: employers hire people, not degrees. Follow the path you are passionate about and you will lead a happy, successful life!

Good Luck!

Posted in: After SJU (Graduation & Post-Graduation), College of Arts and Sciences, Majors & Minors

One response to “What do you do with a BA in English?

  1. Carol Crossed says:

    This is very insightful. I have often thought that degrees in liberal arts like English, like philosophy, like the classics prepare people to be well rounded individuals and good citizens.
    Lanie and Carol Crossed

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