Studying for a BA in English is becoming increasingly popular amongst school-leavers however this choice is met with plenty of opposition from teachers, fellow classmates, and most importantly parents.
The general presumption about English is you will end up paying steep school fees (around the tune of £40,000 in total) but still not get a job out of it!
Even if this is true, an English degree gives you skills beyond that of a typical University graduate. Here are 5 reasons why studying an English degree may actually not be entirely useless!
A vast array of directly relevant job options
With an English degree, the sky is the limit! Command over one of the most popular world languages is extremely important in this day and age, and is often a requirement for many modern jobs.
An English graduate can go onto copyrighting, which when done right, can earn freelancers big bucks!
Graduates may also go on to speech writing, editorial work, or magazine journalism.
All these options are viable however most English graduates will never write a single line of copy, or compose a speech.
These are only the well known options. Most English graduates will go on to do either further study or teaching in some form.
Students often don’t like the idea of going back to secondary schools to teach teenagers however this can be an ideal route if finding a job is your end-goal.
Along with the booming web industry and the increasing accessibility of finding freelance work, English graduates can even expect to find work teaching pupils online from the comfort of their own homes.
In the past, students could travel overseas and find teaching positions relatively easy but with global travel bans and pandemics looming, there are increasingly more online roles being created.
This may be tutoring roles, but increasingly universities and college institutions are looking into hiring English teachers to teach their classes from any location in the world.
An exciting prospect for any English graduate. All it took was a global pandemic!
Have expertise in multiple fields with double honours
English is one of few degrees that work well when combined with another subject in the form of a joint Honours degree.
A joint honours simply give students the opportunity to study two subjects and graduate with one degree.
This mode of study will significantly widen your horizons in terms of finding work.
The reason why English works very well as a joint Honours is while you learn about history for example, you are also learning about how language shapes human communication and understanding.
It will enhance your learning experience with the other subject you are learning, while providing you with useful avenues to enhance your career prospects.
When in competition with someone who only studied English, a joint Honours English graduate will be of more interest to a potential employer.
This is because they are portrayed as being more knowledgeable and able to cope with intense and diverse workloads. And rightfully so.
Superior communication skills
With English, you will actually be able to write “good communication skills” on a resume and mean it!
Most people who include this in their CV’s don’t have any basis for such an assumption, however as an English graduate, you have every right to include “good communicator” in your CV.
With the amount of reading and writing you will have to do on the degree, you will certainly pick up a few good habits when it comes to conveying information in a succinct yet expressive manner.
Often the most important skill when looking for work, and even when working is being able to communicate efficiently.
Without it, you won’t be able to convince the interviewer that you are worth hiring, and you wont be able to properly function in the delicate balancing act that is maintaining a working relationship.
If for nothing else, consider studying English only to enhance your communication and give yourself precedent when claiming your are a good communicator in job interviews.
Globally recognised graduate
As an English graduate, you are a globally recognised student of a notoriously difficult degree.
It is no surprise that there are so many English graduates abroad; most received offers to come and teach abroad simply because they had English qualifications.
You can truly become a world traveller and have so many doors open simply because of what you studied in your first degree.
An English degree is no exception to this rule. If you are interested in one day using your mastery of the English language to teach younger less fortunate individuals living abroad, strongly consider enrolling on this course.
Respected as a challenging degree
As mentioned previously, English is a globally recognised degree and the main reason is employers know how challenging it is.
Whether you choose to study English Literature or English Language, the high level of language analysis done within the degree is nothing to be scoffed at.
It’s no surprise that English graduates are highly respected and seen as one of the most highly educated members of the workforce.
This high level of respect is even reflected in the entry requirements to study English at university. Most top universities will accept a minimum of AAA from A-levels.
English should never be seen as a useless degree with few prospects!
The only people who will say English is useless are graduates who themselves probably study “useless” courses, or they simply don’t know what they are talking about.
English opens doors to a variety of different roles, and makes available the opportunity to travel to different countries and share your love for the language.
The opportunities are endless, it only takes some exploration and a bit of luck.