What can you do with a degree in English?
Surveys of college alumni show that students who graduate with a major in English go on to succeed in a wide range of fields. While many people still assume that teaching is the logical vocation for those with an interest in literary and writing studies, education is only one among many spheres of potential employment for English majors. And while a good number of our majors do become educators, a 2006 survey of UD English graduates reveals that the majority of recent graduates have found fruitful employment in other fields – including publishing, law, business, the arts, libraries, recruitment, journalism, technical writing, government, and non-profit work, among others.The critical reading, analysis, and writing skills and habits that are instilled in students of English are exactly the strengths necessary to succeed in fields like law and marketing. Since we now live in an age of near-constant technological communication, English majors are especially well equipped to navigate the demands of professional communication – and to impress their employers – in almost any field. And, as with many humanities disciplines today, an English degree prepares students to meet the practical and ethical challenges of diversity and globalism.
As most of our majors will tell you, though, they did not decide to earn an English degree primarily to find a job. Indeed, many entered UD with little idea of what they wanted to do upon graduation. They chose this path because they love to read and write. They find inspiration and direction for living and thinking in the study of literature, language, rhetoric, and composition. They want their college experience to be personally meaningful, to be academically challenging, and to be intellectually, socially, and spiritually rewarding. And, of course, some of our students simply can't get enough and choose to pursue the academic life more fully. We are proud to have helped our students gain entrance to highly competitive MA, MFA, and PhD programs.
Major in English because you love it. Use these four (or more) years to learn how to think, read, write, and engage with others thoughtfully in a true learning community. Your courses, professors, and other opportunities in the English program will help you find your way to meaningful work, study, and/or service after graduation.