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Confession time: I am a recovering English major.
As a college student, I floated into the major. I liked to read. I liked to write. Math mystified me; business sounded boring. I relished spending hours in libraries and funky old bookstores (who here remembers bookstores?).
And so I took a lot of English and journalism classes and wrote a lot of essays. Enough to earn a bachelor’s degree. And then a master’s.
And through all those years of study, I tried to remain oblivious to the many well-meaning people who, upon learning I was studying “lit,” raised their eyebrows and looked at me quizzically.
“What can you do with that?” they smirked. “Umm,” I responded. “I, uh, can write. Or teach.”
Yet despite an appalling lack of career planning on my part, I’ve managed to do just fine. (To all of those folks who smugly informed me, “But you can’t make a living as a writer” — I say, “So there! I just did.”)
That’s why I was delighted to see this article explaining why English majors are “hot new hires.” Writer Bruna Martinuzzi explains that English majors bring a lot to the table, including valuable skills in communication, writing, researching, critical thinking, and even empathy. (Yes, all those chest-thumping Austen novels help one relate to the predicaments of others.)
“More than half of business executives want college graduates to have not only field-specific knowledge and skills, but a broad range of skills and knowledge. They place less value on the undergraduate major and more on a capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems.” – Bruna Martinuzzi, author of Presenting with Credibility: Practical Tools and Techniques for Effective Presentations and The Leader as a Mensch: Become the Kind of Person Others Want to Follow.
You heard right, fellow Faulkner followers and Dickens devotees. We are hot. (And not just because we can’t afford to pay the air-conditioning bill.) So hold your head high, fellow students of the Humanities.
We don’t need no education? Uh, yes, you do. That’s a double negative.
Study, read, and write on!
by Maryann Hammers — your solution for all writing and editing needs