Why English?

Introduction

How do you get the attention of someone with a degree in English?

"Waiter!"

While English majors might cringe at this old joke, they needn't take it very seriously. Such claims about the job prospects for English majors have been remarkably persistent. The persistence is remarkable, because the claims are simply not true. 

English majors learn to read carefully, think critically, and write effectively. These skills have always been valued in a wide range of professions, and as our economy becomes increasingly centered on the communication of information their value will only increase.

But don't take our word for it. According to the occupational projections developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the "information supersector is expected to increase by 11.6 percent, adding 364,000 jobs by 2014." This sector of the economy includes some of the "fast-growing computer-related industries such as software publishers; Internet publishing and broadcasting" as well as more traditional industries, such as "telecommunications, broadcasting, and newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers" (BLS, "Tomorrow's Jobs").

On these pages, the Department of English has assembled some useful information for English majors and those considering becoming English majors. You can read general information on the department by clicking on the links to the right and you can also learn about some possible career paths by using the links to the left.