Any English major will hear, or has heard, this question, “English, what can you do with that degree?” The short answer is; just about anything! Here’s why the skills that you learn with an English degree are transferable to any career. These same skills are also in high demand with employers.
The Skills an English Degree Gives You
Analytical Reading. If you can analyze a complex poem or novel, there is nothing that you can’t analyze. You also have the ability to present your analysis to others, either in written or verbal form.
Research. There is always a demand for ability to research and clearly present the results to others. With good research skills you are also able to effectively argue and defend any position.
Organization. Not only are you capable of organizing your desk; you are capable of organizing your ideas and supporting information. Organization of thought is needed to write any paper.
Articulate Writing. No English majors leave school without a few hundred pages of writing under their belts. All of this practice helps to make a more articulate writer. In order to write articulately you have to have a good grasp on grammar and spelling, as well as good ideas.
Creative Thinking. After reading though many creative works, you begin to think creatively. You can observe situations and think in directions that are unexpected.
Find many more skills that come with an English degree.
Skills Employers Want from Writers
Communication Skills. This is the most common skill that employers are looking for and is exactly what an English degree gives you. English classes focus on all three methods of communication; listening, speaking and writing. All of these are needed in any workplace.
Analytical and Research Skills. Employers are looking for someone who can look at a problem and solve it, bringing in other information if it’s needed. Both of these skills are honed with every research paper you wrote as a student.
Computer and Technical Literacy. With more businesses relying on technology it is important to know how to use basic programs like word processing programs and email. Anyone who spends a lot of time writing, like an English major does, will know word processing programs very well.
Flexibility/Managing Multiple Priorities. This means multi-tasking. Students who have successfully balanced a full class load with assignments all due at the same time knows this skill well.
Interpersonal Abilities. Can you work well with others? This is closely related with your verbal communication skills. If you can argue differing viewpoints on a novel without offending anyone then there is a good chance you can do this as well.
Planning/Organizing. Planning is a large part of being organized. As was noted above being organized is one of the many skills that come along with the English degree.
Multicultural Awareness. Workplaces are becoming more diverse and employers need employees who are able to cope with them. Reading about other cultures promotes awareness of them and English majors are well known for their reading skills.
Employers are looking for many diverse job skills. You will find that most of them are similar to the skills that come with an English degree.
So, What Can You Do With an English Degree?
To those who ask, “What can you do with an English degree?” boldly reply, “Anything I want to do!” ~Megan
Note: Megan is completing her internship with My Web Writers this week and is about to graduate with an English degree from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana. Congratulations, Megan!