The world around me seemed to laugh as I declared my major as: English. My good intentions were met with comments such as "Aren't you concerned you will never find a job?" or "That's not a real education." I will admit, at first the comments were kind of discouraging; but after doing some research, I could not care less what people have to say about my major.
I have always been passionate about reading and writing, but that is not why I am studying English at the university level. The reason why I am pursuing an education in English, is because I believe that having strong oral and written communication skills is vital to my success in the professional world.
It is almost comical to me that when I tell someone that I am an English major, they always counter with, "Oh, so you like to read?" And yes, I do enjoy reading, but my focus is actually on Rhetoric and Composition. People automatically assume that all English majors do is read poetry and talk about our opinions. However, there is an extremely technical side of English as well.
Certainly, I am not just being a defensive Liberal Arts student when I say that English majors do in fact have career options. Within a combination of our society's focus on STEM education, and attending a widely known research university, at times I feel lost within a sea of scientists and mathematicians; but according to recent research, humanities are on the rise!
Forbes, among other business publications, have recently published many articles speculating the success of people that studied within the humanities and have Liberal Arts educations. Recurring themes of the articles include the individuals having: good communication skills, creativity and tenacity.
With the continuous shift towards STEM education, employers are looking for individuals with the ability to think widely and creatively and use these critical thinking skills to solve advanced problems. These are all aspects and attributes that I will gain through my liberal arts education.
So, despite its negative connotation, I am proud to say that I am an English major. I value the power and importance of words and communication, and I am excited to use the skills that I obtain through my education. So whether I choose a career in editing, technical writing, or even teaching-- I know that I will be doing something that I love.