Students who major in English in college are reminded early and often that there aren’t all that many lucrative career prospects in store for them.  Nonetheless, many stick with it, diving into great works of literature, trying to understand human motivation, developing critical thinking and learning to write.

Meanwhile, businesses have discovered that leadership skills are hard to come by.  They need leaders who understand where people “are coming from,” who can communicate vision and direction, who demonstrate adaptability and political awareness.  They want leaders who are willing to slog through difficulty and navigate ethical complexity.  Yet they’ve realized these abilities, while highly prized, are rarely found. 

That’s because hiring managers are looking in all the wrong places.  They’re looking in the College of Business when what they’re looking for is in the Humanities Department.

This is a blog for English majors who may not yet have considered they are uniquely positioned for a future career in business.  I’ll help you convince hiring managers that they’re really looking for educated employees, and that you have considerably more to offer than a narrow specialization (accounting, programming, etc.).  While the ultra-specialized technical skills you often see in job ads will create an army of qualified niche-filling followers, you have genuine leadership potential.

Writing well, reading between the lines, anticipating human behavior and thinking critically are the abilities that define leaders. If that sounds like you, I hope you’ll apply them where they’re much-needed:  in corporate leadership.

I hope you find practical advice here.  

To new horizons!

Susan de la Vergne


8 thoughts on “Why English Majors?

  1. “The ability to write well, read between the lines, anticipate human behavior and think critically are what define leaders. ” I like this line a lot and I think its an excellent way for English majors to promote themselves to future employers.

  2. I just discovered this blog, and I must say that I could not be any more delighted to see that there truly is a world for us English majors outside of “teaching.” Not that I’m against the profession at all, but when society prescribes a life of low career prospects to you just because you like to read, it’s a bit daunting.

    And I completely agree with the line Stephanie Miller quoted.

  3. hi susan! i stumbled on ur site while looking for some answers. ive been in a muddle latley. im a senior finishing up my senior year hoping to go into nursing. but i have a passion for english and i dont want that to go to waste.so i was thinking of doing a double major nursing and english major. so i can do both things im passionate about…whats your opinion? any advice? really hope to hear from you soon!

  4. Pingback: Encouraging words for English majors | The Painful Nowning Process

  5. Pingback: good selection for English majors | Personal Publishing

  6. Thank you so much for this blog! I possess both a BA and an MA in English. I became a certified teacher. However, I often regret that I didn’t at least co-major in science or similar. Your blog has opened my eyes to see that my degree is indeed a little more flexible than I give it credit, and I could possibly land a job in a scientific field no matter.

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