Want a Job? Major in English.

Verbal communication skills are, according to a recent job outlook survey, the number one thing employers are searching for in the 21st century job market.

Who has those? English majors has those.

Have those.

Are good with words and things.


Anyway, for years the main emphasis in schools have been on STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) with liberal arts based education programs getting a wrap for being useless in a workplace outside of academia. But English majors have certain things not all STEM oriented majors have – an adept knowledge of communication, writing skills, and well developed critical thinking skills. All of these things have become what employers want in the 21st century.

And an employer can find all of these things within a candidate that majored in English or similar liberal arts fields.

But, you might say, STEM based degrees have many advantages over English and other liberal arts degrees in the fields of medicine, one of the fields that is growing in our nation.

Well, you’re wrong on that.

According to Dr. Jane Robbins of the University of Arizona, one of the most common undergraduate degrees for people becoming physicians is not just biology, but philosophy and English. All kinds of professions need people that are capable of deep thought, deep analysis, and the ability to communicate such to their fellow employees.

In a report titled It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success, employers state that an employee that has the skills to learn across the board rather than field-specific education are the most desirable type of employee. That is an employee that knows how to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems.

Notice a theme? All of those traits are found in English majors.

I’m not bashing the STEM field, but as an English major, I find it liberating to know that all those people that told me I was wasting a beautiful mind on an unemployable field are wrong. My skills are just as valuable, if not more, in today’s job market than those majoring in a STEM field.

– Amanda Riggle


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