English Literature » Blog Archive » Career Options for English Majors

English Literature » Blog Archive » Career Options for English Majors.

I appreciate that the above article strives to help potential English majors feel less anxious about the choice of a humanities discipline. The author does a largely successful job of communicating the transferable skills one acquires as an English major and how those skills relate to more than simply teaching the subject for a living. The problem arises when we look at how the author handles the “how much money will I make” question.

To academic advisors, the flaws in the logic that presumes any degree will lead specifically to one and only one well-paying or poorly-paying job are as evident as is the impetus for students to use this logic in their choice of college major in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, each student is allowed to put value on whatever impetus they wish when starting their education. And why wouldn’t you want the way you spend your years in higher education to positively effect what you do for a living  and how much you get paid for doing so? So, it’s not that I fault the author of the above article for putting a dollar figure on what the “typical” English major makes for a living–I simply wouldn’t have put it at the end of the first paragraph. And I certainly would have spent way more time talking about the difficulty in using an average annual salary of all English majors without pointing to the number of variables, well within the student’s control, that can boost that “average” figure.


About Art

I'm the Director of Academic Advising at Quincy College. I'm hoping this can be a place to express the occasional thought that may mean something to someone. . .we'll see. I'm also a musician--I play the string bass in primarily the jazz and classical idioms (though I love many kinds of music and have played everything from folk and bluegrass to new wave and hard rock). And, as an Italian-American, I love good food and good wine. . .basically,don't be surprised by posts on any of the topics mentioned above ;)
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