It was May. University was out forever and I was looking for an apartment. A mole-like woman in her fifties showed me the room. “And what was your major,” she asked. “I have an English degree,” I said.
“Oh!, so I guess that means you will HAVE to teach!” She said.
She was so happy when she said it. She was so happy to determine my fate. You studied English. Now, you HAVE to teach at high school.
Wizard school is over. Time to find a job in the real world, Harry.
As she told me later, she also took an English degree and taught at high school. Teaching at high school is an honourable profession. But just because you take an English degree doesn’t mean your only option is teaching.
I managed to escape that woman’s narrow thinking. You can too.
Here are 5 lucrative and growing jobs for people with English degrees that you probably haven’t heard of before.
This year, I leave my twenties behind. Looking back, here are some things I did wrong, some things I learned, and some things I wish I discovered sooner.
Most of the ideas you have now will embarrass you later.
Take out student loans. Buy a car. Get married. You are about to enter a decade of debt. Borrow as little as possible. The poorer you are in your twenties, the richer you’ll be for the rest of your life. The world feeds on the young.
Get out of university by age 22. Don’t be the person who refuses to graduate.
University is wonderful, but you have to decide what you want. Think carefully about your assumption that more education equals a higher paying career. For most careers, four years is enough.
This article offers seven rock-solid ways to help you get out of your dead-end job. It is based on personal experience and contains advice I’ve learned from successful people who worked their way up into careers from dead-end jobs.
Not an easy question to answer. Looking back, I’m not sure I would take this path again. At the same time, though, there is something to be said about the soft skills taught in the humanities. Below, I’ve reproduced a comment I found online. It is from an English major that found value in his degree.
The comment reinforces my personal belief that English majors can definitely find work in the real world. But it requires adapting and evolving your skill-set into the world of business and profit. While the context is different (the English major below started his career many years ago in a different economy), I think that most of what he says is true today.
Here is a story about a successful English major with some really excellent and timeless career advice . . .
Some sobering and frightening statistics below. I haven’t checked out the sources. But if you are struggling to make the transition from grad to career, you probably aren’t alone (see the infographic).
In slightly brighter news, Forbes recently reported that the economy is looking better for new graduates.
It’s important to note that, while the overall increase is small, all broad categories of majors have seen an increase,” said Marilyn Mackes, NACE’s executive director, in a statement.
The biggest uptick came for business and communications majors, whose salaries climbed 2.2%. Business majors from the Class of 2012 earn an average of $51,541 while communications majors earn $42,286.
Engineering majors posted the highest salaries of any discipline, $60,639, up 1.9% from 2011.
Of course, though, the lowest salaries in the survey are for humanities and social sciences majors, at $36,824, up 1.4% from the previous year.
The inforgraphic is done by CollegeAtHome.com. I know nothing about them nor is this an endorsement. They do, however, present some interesting stats below.
In the bowels of America’s heartland, a lone truck is leaving a parking lot in the early morning. Inside, a poet. He will work a few years, drifting into factories, roaring a chainsaw above a lake, and helping the men tear roads through America with giant machines. He will work. And you will hear about all of these wayward jobs in his later chapbooks; solemn hymns of the banality of manual labor, the idiocy of money, and dreariness of not being able to read all day.
‘Poets have to dream,’ says Saul Bellow, ‘and dreaming in America is no cinch.’
1. This book to help you to not be intimidated by business majors.
2. This career book.
3. This article to help you understand how to sell your liberal arts degree to employers.
4. This basic tutorial to help you learn a bit of Excel. Not knowing Excel in the non-academic world is like not knowing how to use a word processer in academia. A little preparation goes a long way.
Last month, Selloutyoursoul.com launched a simple contest. Readers were asked to share the “best advice or lesson they’ve learned trying to find a career with a humanities degree.”
I really encourage you to check out the full response. There were really some insightful, knowledgable, and unique answers that will help you if you are searching for a job with your humanities degree.
Here is the winner of the $20. Without wanting to sound cliche, it was hard to pick the best answer. A lot of experience was shared. But I picked this answer because I think it is the first and most important breakthrough you need to experience if you are to find a job outside of academia with your BA, MA, or PhD. Everything remains in limbo until you realize this basic truth.
The word Entrepreneur. It probably makes many academics shake. I was always attracted to an academic career because of lifelong job security, quiet campus hallways, and a comfortable cheque appearing magically every month.
This interview offers advice from a PhD who left the security of tenure and launched her own successful business.