English Degrees Provide a Great Return on Investment

SJU images Magis

All you English majors, take note:

salary.com has recently published an article about college degrees that have the best Return on Investment, or ROI. To read the article in its entirety, click here. English is one of the degrees mentioned! The three English related jobs they chose to illustrate their point included:

Speech Writer, Communications Manager and Content Manager (Web)

Other degrees included Information Technology, Human Resources and Biology. The job titles have extensive information, including annual salary ranges, description of duties, and in some cases, job openings that are available for a particular job title. While its nice to know the expense of a college degree will pay off based on data derived from various sources, real-world examples are especially compelling. Read on to learn about what a few SJU English alumni are doing today. We plan to publish more profiles in the coming weeks, but this article jump-started our campaign to demonstrate the versatility and dynamic qualities that an English degree provides. We would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Owen Gilman for all his hard work researching the diverse career paths of our alumni.


Ryan Birchmeier

Ryan Birchmeier (’12)Assistant Managing Director, City of Philadelphia. Toward the end of his program of study in English, Ryan had two internships: one over the summer as a Marketing Intern at LympheDIVAS; the other as a Communications Intern in the spring semester of his senior year at The Gabriel Institute. He was also a Writing Tutor for two years in the SJU Writing Center.


S Coit

Sean Coit (’10)Press Secretary, office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Washington, DC. At the campus newspaper (The Hawk), Sean was the Managing Editor. After graduation, he was a political analyst at the Philadelphia Inquirer, then began working in politics, first for Representative Gabby Gifford, and most recently for Senator Murray.


Kelly Farber

Kelly Farber (’09) – Owner & Scout at KF Literary Scouting, New York City. After working as a Foreign Rights Assistant for Sterling Lord Literistic for two years, Kelly became a literary scout for Barbara Tolley & Associates, where she consulted for over ten major international publishing houses looking to find publishing projects for foreign houses. Since 2013, she has been an independent literary scout with her own agency.


s goldsmith

Heather Goldsmith (’10) – Director of Development at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia. At SJU, Heather majored in English with a minor in Faith Justice. She was a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society. She received an M.S. in Public Policy from Drexel University.



Lorraine Ustaris (’06) – English Teacher at the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, Philadelphia School District. Benjamin Rush is an arts integrated special admissions high school where she engages students through an inquiry-based, 21st century literacy curriculum that balances literary and cultural studies with social justice themes and utilizes art, media and technology to augment traditional reading, writing and thinking activities. Since 2010, she has directed an after school Student Reporting Lab for PBS NewsHour and works in close collaboration with WHYY and The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Lorraine has created curriculum and participated in research for Educurious, Harvard Project Zero and the Learning through Photography initiative. She is an active member of the Philadelphia Writing Project at The University of Pennsylvania and frequently shares her work at local and national education conferences. In 2012, she won the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.