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Why should I get an English Major?

English majors learn to read and think critically and creatively, to examine issues from many perspectives, solve problems, think logically, and communicate clearly. These are skills that make English Majors competitive in the job market.

Writing is a top career skill

English majors learn how to write. In its September 2004 report entitled "Writing...A Ticket to Work or a Ticket Out," the National Commission on Writing published the results of its survey of 120 employers in a range of professions. The most definitive findings were that:

--the #1 hiring criteria for most employers is strong writing skills
--the #1 cost to businesses is providing writing skills training for employees who do not write well
--the #1 threshold skill in almost every profession is writing
--the #1 characteristic shared by employees who were prommoted is strong communication skills

Creativity is a top career skill

English majors study the most creative minds in human history. And in creative writing classes, they develop their own creative skills.

In the 2010 article, What Chief Executives Want, it says, "According to a new survey of 1,500 chief executives conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value (NYSE: IBM – News),CEOs identify creativity as the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future."

A few related careers English majors go on to pursue

Author
Book Critic
College Professor
Copywriter
Editor
High School Teacher
Journalist
Manager
Lawyer
Literary Agent
Marketing Specialist
Public Speaker
Politician

A few famous English majors

R. Bruce Dold, Chicago Tribune Editorial Editor
Diane Sawyer, Journalist
Helen Thomas, White House correspondent
Barbara Walters, Journalist
Alan Alda, Actor
Jodi Foster, Actor
Paul Newman, Actor
Brent Musberger, Sportscaster
Joe Paterno, Football Coach
Conan O'Brien, Talk Show Host
Joy Behar, Comedienne
Matt Damon, Actor
Martin Scorsese, Director
Sting, musician
Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), children's author
Reese Witherspoon, Actor
Renee Zellweger

Source note: This list was compiled in 2006 by Mark Vegter from the following sources: English Department of Mississippi State University, English Major's Hall of Fame at California State University, Bakersfield, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

For information on minors and certificate programs, click here.