Careers & English Studies
You’d be surprised by some of the people who were English majors in college: Mitt Romney, Sally Ride, Mark Knopfler, Vin Diesel, Marty Shottenheimer, Diane Sawyer. This doesn’t even include the writers who grounded their educations in the study of literature and ideas, well-known names such as Thomas Merton, Rachel Carson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Douglas Adams, Toni Morrison, Stephen King, even Dr. Seuss.
But for every Conan O’Brien and Joyce Carol Oates there is somewhere near you an administrator, a pastor, a librarian, a lawyer, or a neighbor who chose to study English because it’s one of the best means of obtaining a true liberal arts education, to become what used to be called, simply, an educated person: well-read, well-spoken, well-versed in the intellectual and artistic traditions of our culture, which makes clear thinking and
decisive action possible.
To be this sort of person is not only a worthy aspiration, but one way of leading an intrinsically rewarding life, a life of depth and courage. But of course we all care about our extrinsic needs; we want fulfilling careers that employ our gifts but also allow us to provide for our families.
Employers routinely report that what they want most is smart, imaginative, interesting people – and they have trouble finding them. English majors are also sought after because of the multidimensional skill set students acquire along the way: superior rhetorical and writing skills, the ability to research, learn, and process complex information, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and self-knowledge, all of which make for effective collaborators and leaders.
So if you love to read and write, and you desire to grow through learning, join us as we study (and produce!) great works of literature while wrestling with the kinds of big ideas and big questions that will form you into a person ready and able to make a mark in the world.
English as a Pre-Professional Major
- The Law School Admission Test requires applicants to write a clear, logical, succinct, accurate essay, and other sections that test the candidate's ability to reach sound conclusions from material in a variety of passages, for which an English major or writing minor provides preparation.
- To read an article on why an English major is the perfect preparation for law school, click on this article: "Rhyme and Reason: Why the Study of Poetry Is the Best Preparation for the Study of Law."
- The ability to use the English language effectively is the most important ability an applicant can bring to the study of law because a lawyer's principal tools are words.
- Medical schools often complain that medical students lack communications skills and experience difficulty in writing case histories.
- The Medical College Admissions Test includes sections consisting of questions on long essays to test what the candidate can rapidly derive from reading unfamiliar material, for which an English curriculum provides preparation.
- Mechanical engineers rate writing skills as more important to their future job success than any other group of professionals.
English as Preparation for the Business World
- The ability to communicate in written form, as in business reports, and in oral form, as in making presentations, is crucial for success in business. Industry hires English majors for editing, technical writing, advertising, communications, and other functions requiring grammatical accuracy and literacy skills.
- Businesses rate highly the ability to speak well in public and the ability to analyze, interpret, reorganize, and rephrase written materials.
- A basic understanding of human nature, learned in the deep study of literature, is essential in making sound managerial decisions.
- To read an article on how English prepares for the professional world, click on "English: The Pre-professional Major."
If you are interested in talking with one of the English faculty, please contact the administrative assistant at 330-471-8524 or the department chair at 330-471-8530.
Career Development Center
Malone University's Office of Career Services provides valuable assistance in preparing for a future career. The office has numerous resources, such as texts, materials, and internet sites, for those majoring in the liberal arts--including English. Visit Career Development Center.
Books for English Major Careers
Tim Lemire. I'm an English Major - Now What? Writers Digest Books. 2006.
Shelley O'Hara. What Can You Do With a Major in English: Real People. Real Jobs. Real Rewards. Cliffs Notes. 2005.
Robert W. Bly. Careers for Writers and Others Who Have a Way with Words. McGraw-Hill. 2003.
Marjorie Eberts and Margaret Gisler. Careers for Bookworms and Other Literary Types. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill. 2002.
Bruce Fife. Make Money Reading Books. 3rd ed. Piccadilly Books. 1993.
Julie DeGolan and Stephen Lambert. Great Jobs for English Majors. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill. 2006.