9 Reasons to Get a Bachelor's Degree in English

Female student reading book outside

College students are rightfully concerned that they will be able to get a great job after graduation. Whether you are going to college right after high school or you are going back after a break, you want to make sure that whatever you study will put you on a promising path toward gainful employment.

Many students decide to study Business because they think this is the best route to a great career. But the liberal arts are also an excellent foundation for a wide variety of professional paths. A bachelor's degree in English or another one of the humanities will prepare you in many beneficial ways and set you on the road towards exciting possibilities.

Here are nine reasons why a bachelor's degree in English is a great option.

1. You Get to Read Great Books for Homework 

Instead of doing algebra problems, imagine getting to read Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare for your summer reading

If you love to escape into other worlds, if you love the psychology of characters and the details of history, you will find them in the English major's curriculum. Poetry, plays, and novels will fill your time and your brain as they introduce you to worlds beyond your imagination. 

You may not be able to travel the world (yet), but books can show you faraway lands and ancient cultures. Isn't that more fun than memorizing scientific charts and algorithms? 

2. You Will Learn How to Write 

If you choose to pursue your bachelor's degree in English, expect to do a lot of writing. You will learn how to write essays that deconstruct works of literature and critique the author's approach. You will be forced to dissect sentence structure and syntax. You will parse sentences and analyze dialogue and character.

These exercises will be demanding, but they have a crucial function. They teach you how to write clearly and persuasively. You will learn how to make your point and defend your argument.

These skills are important in a wide variety of professions, from politics to law to business to academia. 

3. You Will Learn Critical Thinking 

Reading the works of great writers does more than give you access to stories.  They are a template for beautiful and articulate ways of communicating. 

You will learn how to evaluate style, judging what techniques are effective and which are not. You will learn that not all narrators are reliable and that the point of view of an author may be colored by his historical context. 

By knowing these skills, you will be better equipped to evaluate others, from newscasts to resumes, from high school term papers to police reports. Studying English helps you see truth and bias, and separate spin from fact.

4. Studying English Opens Your Mind in Other Fields 

When you read "To Kill a Mockingbird," you not only see the brilliance of Harper Lee's writing, but you get a glimpse of life in the Jim Crow South. You see history in action.

Studying geography is one thing but reading books like "Life of Pi" or 'Pachinko" will show you what life is really like in Asia, now and in the past.

When you study literature, you will also learn about the politics, philosophy, and culture of different lands and eras. Great books encompass many disciplines, and when you study English your mind will also stretch to understand many other fields as well.

5. Many Post Graduate Options Require Excellent Writing Skills 

No matter how much artificial intelligence and coding has changed the way business is conducted, there remains a need for people who know how to communicate. Employers need people who understand directions and how to write those instructions themselves. They need people who can write internal policies that everyone understands.

Many professions depend on excellent writing skills. Lawyers, compliance officers, and public relations specialists need to know how to read and write carefully, and how to create persuasive arguments for their clients. 

If you plan on going to graduate school, you need to write an excellent essay in order to be accepted!  If you want to be a professor or a judge, a newscaster or an analyst, you need to have good writing skills. Being an English major can prepare you for all of these fields and more. 

6. English is a Great Preparation for a Teaching Career 

Many teachers have English degrees. If you want to teach young kids, you will need to know the basics of language and constructing sentences in order to teach little ones to read and write. If you want to teach teenagers, you can introduce them to the books you love and help them express themselves in a healthy productive fashion. 

If you love reading and writing and you would like to pass along that love to the next generation, an English degree will set you on the road towards a fulfilling teaching career.

7. Many Lawyers Were English Majors 

Lawyers read and write huge amounts of complicated material. Many have a highly evolved grasp of language, and use it to further the social good, improve the economy, and help other human beings. Many started their studies by being English majors.

 If you are interested in adjudicating cases, negotiating contracts for Hollywood movie stars, or setting up your own business,  you may want to get a law degree. A bachelor's in English is a perfect steppingstone. 

8. Communication Skills are Critical 

Even if you pursue business and management jobs, you still need the ability to communicate well. An English degree fosters that kind of knowledge.

You may need to speak in front of large groups of people. You may need to write compelling memos that convince your staff to work harder. You may need to make presentations to the chairman of a big company.

English majors have a firm foundation in communicating and use those skills throughout their lives no matter what fields they eventually enter. 

9. Journalism is Another Possible Path 

In today's world,  there is an on-going need for content. Blogs must be written,  political events analyzed, and newscasts broadcast. Journalists have the important job of letting people know what's going on in the world.

Whether you are writing a story for a newspaper, website or to be read on TV,  you need to know how to state the facts clearly and quickly. Studying English can help you pursue an exciting career in the news. 

A Bachelor's Degree in English Will Open Many Doors 

If you love to read and write, and you are interested in using communication to make the world a better place,  think about getting a bachelor's degree in English. The skills you acquire can prepare you for many exciting and diverse careers. 

For more information on the best degree options for you, check out our site.


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