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College Students: Don't Major in English Like I Did

Try for a degree thaat will help land you a job.

I was an English major and I regret it. I chose to major in English because I LOVE reading and writing. (DUH!) I never once thought about whether it would get me a job.

But being an English major is pretty worthless in the job market. Reading and writing are necessities in daily life it’s not often that you’ll be asked to cite a classic on a job interview. (It might happen on a date, but never a job interview.)

The only jobs I got based on my major were teaching jobs in South Korea; if your goal is to teach English in South Korea, then being an English major is a good thing. If your goal is to get a job in the business world, then being an English major is probably not a good thing. If your goal is to teach English in the United States, then you still need a teaching certificate in addition to your English degree.

The skills I needed for blogging I learned not in my high school English class, but while studying for my AP history test. Thank you, Mr. Elliot for teaching me to write persuasive, concise essays for the test.

I digress.

Some would argue that the humanities are suffering from lack of funds. I agree. But that doesn’t mean that I think that students should major in English, the classics, or the arts. Don’t make the same mistakes that I did.

If you are passionate about reading and writing, minor in English and get a more practical degree in either digital communications or business. This will probably come as a shock to you, but there aren’t many job fairs targeted to English majors.

Likewise, there aren’t many job fairs targeted to artists. If you are passionate about the arts, major in something practical like architecture, interior design, or graphic design because there aren’t very many recruiters knocking on the doors of art majors. Minor in art or photography and make sure that you get enough money to enjoy your passion.

If you’re good enough at math, major in business because they have the most job fairs. If you are better with your hands, either go to a technical school, start work earlier, or get a degree in business so that you can work for yourself.

Of course, if you want to follow the route of Patti Smith and become a writer/artist/punk rock star, get kicked out of school, move to the big city to find your way, and live on the streets.

That’s not what I recommend.

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