Why English Now?

Are you asking yourself what you can do with a major or minor in English? Below are links to articles that offer perspective on this question. At the bottom of the page, you will find a list of potential careers for students who study English, along with a sampling of jobs held by some of our alumni.

yourstory.com: "The Humanities as Strategic, Not Philanthropic: When ‘Techies’ Meet ‘Fuzzies’"

By Scott Hartley | July 28, 2018 "The promise of technology is great, but arts and literature aren’t a luxury afterthought.They are fundamental to the very human context that breathes life and purpose into computer code. We invest in the humanities not because of philanthropy, but because it is strategic, and it is what gives every last ounce of meaning to anything we ever build with our newest tools."

Shocker: Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy

By Scott Jaschik | February 7, 2018 “[Study] shows humanities grads to be gainfully employed and holding positions of authority, and finds that only a slightly smaller share of them than of their better-paid counterparts think they have enough money. When it comes to measures of career satisfaction, humanities grads are as satisfied as those who majored in STEM.”

bookstr.com: "English Majors Among Most Desirable Employees, says Google"

By Emer McKeon | January 3, 2018 "The top characteristics of success at Google are so-called "soft skills," such as communication, good leadership, possessing insight into others' values and points of view, having empathy and a supportive nature towards others and possessing good critical thinking and problem solving skills, along with the ability to create connections across complex ideas."

marketwatch.com: "English Majors Earning More Money Now That So Few Students Want to Be English Majors"

By Jillian Berman | December 17, 2016 "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."

The Wall Street Journal: “Why I Was Wrong About Liberal-Arts Majors”

By David Kalt | June 1, 2016 “Looking back at the tech teams that I’ve built at my companies, it’s evident that individuals with liberal arts degrees are by far the sharpest, best-performing software developers and technology leaders.”

fivethirtyeight.com: "The Best Jobs Now Require You To Be A People Person"

By Andrew Flowers | August 25, 2015 "To land a lucrative job today, hard skills in math and engineering, for instance, may not be enough. As technology allows us to automate more technical jobs, new research shows that people skills — communicating clearly, being a team player — matter more than ever."

Forbes: "That 'Useless' Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket"

By George Anders | July 29, 2015 "Throughout the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Tex., software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger."

By Julie Rovner | May 27, 2015 "Adding students who are steeped in more than just science to the medical school mix is a serious strategy at Mount Sinai."

Business Insider: "LOGITECH CEO: 'I Love Hiring English Majors'”

By Vivian Giang | June 20, 2013 "Don't fret, English majors: There are employers out there looking for you. One such employer is Bracken Darrell, the CEO of Logitech. He loves hiring English majors. In fact, he thinks graduates of the liberal arts are so rare that he calls them 'endangered species.' 'If you find one, you need to run over and catch them in a conversation,' he tells Business Insider…. 'The older I get, the more I realize the power of words and the power of words in making you think ... the best CEOs and leaders are extremely good writers and have this ability to articulate and verbalize what they're thinking,' he says."

Chronicle of Higher Education: "Employers and Public Favor Graduates Who Can Communicate, Survey Finds"

By Dan Berrett | September 18, 2013 "Americans adults and employers want colleges to produce graduates who can think critically and creatively, and can communicate orally and in writing, according to the results of a public-opinion survey released by Northeastern University here on Tuesday."

Openforum: "Why English Majors Are the Hot New Hires"

By Bruna Martinuzzi | July 11, 2013 "We place a great value on a STEM education (degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics). But are the tables turning? Are hiring managers beginning to see the value that a liberal arts education—and an English major in particular—brings to the workplace? Recently, some high-profile businesspeople came out in favor of hiring English majors. Bestselling author and small-business expert Steve Strauss, for example, has admitted that 'English majors are my employee of choice.' And Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech, had this to say: 'When I look at where our business is going, I think, boy, you do need to have a good technical understanding somewhere in there, to be relevant. But you’re really differentiated if you understand humanities.'

Engaging Places: "STEM Needs a Bloom (and That’s the Arts and Humanities)"

By Max van Balgooy | March 9, 2012

"Actor John Lithgow recently discussed the work of the Commission of the Humanities and Social Sciences (of which he is a member) and gave some thoughtful remarks about the value of the humanities as part of his keynote address. . . 'Picture a flower, a big bright flower in full bloom. The flower’s stem is STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). It is the superstructure, the infrastructure, the support system of the flower itself. The arts and humanities are the blossoms, of course—the source of the flower’s beauty, its fragrance, its identity, the visible mark of its health, and the wherewithal of the flower to reproduce itself. The stem is functional, strong, and essential, but pare away the blossom, and the stem has no purpose, no function, no value. In time it will wither and die. It cannot survive the loss. So much for STEM.'"

The Atlantic: "The Best Argument for Studying English? The Employment Numbers (Only people who don't understand statistics would question the value of an English degree.)"

By Jordan Weissman | June 25, 2013

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "What Is Knowledge Worth? A Liberal Arts Education Has Enduring Value"

By David M. Shribman | February 17, 2013

The New York Times: "For the College-Bound, Are There Any Safe Bets? The Liberal Arts: A Foundation for Any Career"

By William Pannapacker | March 25, 2013

Careers for the English Major:

Public Relations
Marketing and Promotions
Social Work
Library Science and Technology
Government and Public Policy
Technical Writing
Human Resources
Legal professions and Law School
Corporate and small business management
Editing, Publishing, and Proofreading
Event Planning
Public speaking, Speech Writing
Community Development
Information Technology
Writing for Digital Media

A Sampling of Jobs and Graduate Programs Reported by Recent Graduates in English:

Associate Editor/Assistant to the Vice President, YA Division, Penguin Group Publishing
Associate Editor, The Walt Disney Company
Current Affairs Reporter, Deutsche Welle (Germany’s International Broadcasting Company)
Social Media and Communications Consultant, LMS Greenhouse and Nursery
Associate Software Engineer at ModCloth
Audio Instructor and Sound Engineer, Creative Arts Corner
Case Western Global MBA Program
Library Director, Highland Community Library
Account Executive, Pascale Communications, LLC
Editorial Assistant, Cavendish Square Publishing
Editor, Educational Testing Services, New York, NY
Attorney, Telecom
Business Development Associate at Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC
Systems Integration Counseling Analyst, Accensure, Washington, D.C.
Graduate Studies in Children’s Literature, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts