As the world becomes more connected and interdependent, employment opportunities have greatly increased for students who can communicate with and understand the complexities of English, one of the world’s great international languages. Employers want students who can be analytical, adapt to changing needs, and synthesize large concepts into succinct language. English graduates are valued for their ability to express themselves in speech and in writing, as well as for the tenacity to manage and finish detailed projects under deadline.
English majors are in demand
A recently released study published by the Washington Post placed English in the top 25 highest earnings, with median salaries for English majors equivalent to a degree in marketing or graphic design.
Take a look at this article from Forbes.com for an analysis of earnings in these and related fields.
Gain skills employers want
Whether you prefer to work for yourself, for a small start-up, or within a large institution, you have learned—through readings and course assignments—the operations and effects of rhetorical, literary, and more broadly public forms of discourse. You learn how to organize ideas.
Do you dream of working in a film archive, writing political speeches, or becoming an innovative event planner? Remarkable jobs across the career spectrum depend upon the kind of research skills you build writing papers for English classes, or completing an Honors thesis.
In an age of content farms and social spam, you have developed the advanced capacity to interpret, evaluate, and criticize language within various socially significant contexts. Culture critics, bloggers, therapists, public relations specialists, lawyers— many careers are founded on the ability to interpret with intelligence, verve, and discernment.
The more you know about your media environment and its antecedents, the better equipped you will be to contribute and excel in your career. Whether you go to work for a publishing house or a digital platform, write advertising copy or post stories to a tourism blog—the more you understand the networks of culture, the better positioned you will be to deliver smart, connected, informed ideas.
Every career demands it, and as an English major you are poised to make use of this immensely powerful skill. Your degree prepares you to recognize the tools, texts, and contexts of our culture, making connections in innovative, groundbreaking ways.
Whatever your specialization as an English major, you have read and written more pages than in nearly any other degree program—with tremendous qualitative benefits. Good writing requires discipline, linguistic dexterity, and a willingness to push beyond the first draft. English majors learn to deliver polished and professional sentences, and to recognize how their writing might be strengthened for maximum efficiency and punch. Every profession benefits from that.
MarketWatch: December 2016
English majors earning more money: There is demand for these skills in the market
“English majors who graduated in the class of 2015 had a mean starting salary that was 13.6% higher than the mean starting salary for English majors in the class of 2014, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers first-destination survey. That’s a much larger increase than what students in more popular majors like biology (4.2%), business (3.3%) and engineering (-1.7%) experienced during the same period.
‘Employers have always longed for workers who know how to communicate," said Edwin Koc, the director of research, public policy and legislative affairs at NACE, "and they may be finding that graduates with technical degrees are lacking in those skills. In a field like marketing, an English or other liberal arts major may be valuable to an employer because they can bring the so-called softer skills that are harder to teach, but can easily pick up some of the business expertise necessary for the job," Koc said.”Read the article
Jobs held by some of our recent English majors
Graduates in English have found first destination positions as:
Advertising Sales Manager
Foreign Services Officer
Public Relations Representative
As a direct admit student to the Kelley School of Business, I nearly missed out on the opportunity to experience all that the IU English Department has to offer. After a first semester filled with classes on accounting, business presentations, and business technologies, I signed up for a course on 20th Century British Fiction, and I found the intellectual community I had been seeking. My professors and fellow students invigorated me, challenged me, and supported me in the pursuit of my goals. Majoring in English has made me a more precise writer, a more thoughtful human being, and, ultimately, a more effective advocate for my clients.Christina Gilligan, 2011 graduate