Is an English Major Pointless? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Is an English Major Pointless?

Okay, so I am kind of in a mini crisis...

Well not really, but I have been pondering over the matter of what I am going to do with my English degree when I graduate. Right now, the plan is to go into teaching but to be honest, I feel like I am only going into that career because I feel like there are no other options . I am interested in education and I like the prospect of being able to discuss literature but...could I handle that for the rest of my life? Teachers, unfortunately, often do a lot more disciplining than teaching (at least in the classes I have observed in) and I just feel like if I knew what else was out there, I would combine my major with something else and that would be that.

Has anybody here majored in English? What jobs do you currently have? Or, if you are currently majoring in English or Literature etc., what do you plan to do?

P.S.-Yes, I have Googled this topic; I did not find the results satisfactory.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 02:13 AM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

If you are not a trust fund child, yes.
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

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Originally Posted by Moveyourfeet View Post
If you are not a trust fund child, yes.
Well that's reassuring...oh wait I'm poor no it's not.
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 02:22 AM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

If you're lucky (and I mean really lucky unless you have connections) and a good teacher to being with), teaching in a high-income area is a lot more teaching and a lot less disciplining.

Most English majors end up in grad school. Some just continue and become professors.

Other jobs you can explore are in the PR and communications field.


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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 02:27 AM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

It depends what your other major options are. Certainly an engineering or accounting degree is more marketable, but if that's not offered or you can't handle those classes, then stick with what you enjoy. College is one of the few times you can do that. The reading, writing, and analytical skills you are learning will serve you well later in life, even you don't use the major itself. If you teach at a private school, there may be less discipline duties. The reality is, most basic 4-year degrees are not going to get you a decent job anyway, you have to do graduate work.

You can always teach for a few years, if you hate it, you can go to graduate school or look into something else.

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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 02:43 AM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

It's still easier to explain to prospective employers than an arts or humanities degree, if you're worried about that sort of thing. You could apply for many bank/office type jobs with an English degree and see if that is for you. People also assume you have very good communication skills by seeing this degree.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 02:47 AM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

You could go into Communications, other than that it's pretty useless.






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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 03:29 AM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

Advertising, PR, corporate communications, editing, journalism, publishing, high tech companies look for technical writers all hire English majors.

I was a history major with an English minor and I've worked in advertising for a looooong time. Again, you may not start off as the kind of job you want (you might have to work in something like proofing or even as a receptionist) but if you're smart and work hard you can move up into either a position as a copywriter or account exec and get on track for a good, if somewhat wacky and unstable, career.

If you try any of those or teaching and don't like them, if you have some work experience you are well-positioned to go back to school for a law degree or an MBA.

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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 03:37 AM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

Yes. Majoring in the humanities is like majoring in poverty unless you want to teach. Pick something with more practical applications like business, computers, etc ... or the sciences, but only if you want to get a PhD or go to med school.

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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 06:50 AM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

I was an English major. Is it pointless because it doesn't prepare you with a specific skill that's tied to a specific job? Sure. And a lot of people who get an English degree are people who love to read and talk about literature and the only job that will pay you to do that is to teach so most people assume that that's all you can do with that degree. But in all honesty, unless you want to do something where you need specific, technical skills, it doesn't matter what your major is to do anything in this world. And there's a lot you can totally do out there that doesn't require a practical course of study: barmaid, waiter, prostitute -- all I've which I've considered while I wax my diploma.
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 08:54 AM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

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Originally Posted by Sally Struthers View Post
Yes. Majoring in the humanities is like majoring in poverty unless you want to teach. Pick something with more practical applications like business, computers, etc ... or the sciences, but only if you want to get a PhD or go to med school.
It's true though,

I dabbled in a bit of english at University.

To be honest, Job prospects looked alot less appealing, humanities students were the butt of all jokes in regards to getting a "proper" career, heckled about librarians, bankers, clerks.

It turned me off from majoring in English, so I switched it to a double major with a commerce degree, which complemented it nicely.

Alot of older students studied it, Mothers, middle aged woman, I guess to obtain that degree that they never got, Alot of retired people, because they see it is an Interest to them. People studying it for interest.

Infact, the people I knew who were studying it were because they enjoyed the subject, much rather than locating a career with it. they were studying it for interest.

Unfortunately when money's a little tight, and the student loan gets bigger and bigger, studying something just for shits and giggles isn't going to cut the mustard in the job hunt, especially if you know what you may want to do.

Unless you specifically want to go teaching english, doing journalism or something in that realm, it might be a good idea.

Anyway you can double major in it?

My advice is perhaps go speak to a careers advisor, or someone in the english department to voice your concerns, take a deep look at your prospectus and see what else is of interest, see if you are able to double major/ or have it as a minor, that way atleast you retain an interest in it, and it supplements your other degree.

Easier said than done, by saying this on the net, but I've casted a few lines out for you, so hopefully it helps.
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 09:33 AM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

I was originally going to major in English because I was interested in it, but after looking up how little I would be able to do with it job-wise other than teaching, I switched. My friend recently graduated with an English Lit degree and she's having trouble finding jobs.
I'm majoring in accounting now, but still minoring in English. Like others have suggested, I would look into double majoring or just having it as a minor.
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

Thanks for all you responses! I think combining my major with something else seems to be the best way to go. I have too many credits at this point to just drop the major completely and quote on quote "start fresh" with something new entirely. I think the problem is that I SUCK at math/hard science and, quite frankly have no interest in either fields. As such, I don't see the point in say, majoring in say economics if I am just going to struggle and receive a shitty GPA .

But seriously thanks for the responses; they have given me food for thought!

Last edited by debopero; Jan 12th, 2012 at 02:40 PM.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sally Struthers View Post
Yes. Majoring in the humanities is like majoring in poverty unless you want to teach. Pick something with more practical applications like business, computers, etc ... or the sciences, but only if you want to get a PhD or go to med school.
All of these sound like hell to me .
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2012, 12:26 PM
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Re: Is an English Major Pointless?

if you're not in US, UK, IRL, NZ, AUS, no
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