English Majors with Anxiety

Advice for English Majors attending Miami University’s Regional Campuses

Many so-called experts critique the economic validity of an English major, including Marc Andreessen who feels all English majors will work in a shoe store. But what some fail to understand- is Americans can no longer write clear, coherent, concise, and grammatically correct prose. That is disregarding everyone’s misunderstanding of what active voice is, or when to use or omit the oxford comma (trust me, it’s important).

English majors’ concern for employment prospects are justified considering the 3% job outlook through 2022 according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But companies give advice that conflict with the BLS job outlook= when asked on the career advice site jobipedia.org:

“There are many unique skills and experiences that you learn from being an English major, and having a passion for writing is a great skill to have. The areas that come to mind in pursuing would be in the area of education, communications- both internal & external and media- which involves alot of writing.”Rodd, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc

“It’s terrific that you have developed strong writing capabilities as they are a critical skill for many opportunities. Some examples of positions that require excellent written communication skills are corporate communication positions that help develop press releases or public relations material. Marketing positions similarly require strong communication skills to develop concise and impactful marketing messages. Other positions that may not seem immediately obvious could also be a nice fit. For example, consulting positions require strong written communication skills, and some engagements involve writing proposals and presentations” Deanna, Hiring Expert at IBM Corporation

But the best advice comes from Carrie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc, to those job market practicality fanatics:

“Almost every job requires great communication skills and as our workforce becomes more global and virtual, written communications are becoming even more crucial!”

Employers do value electives outside the English major:

“My advice for you would be to venture outside of your comfort zone of English Literature classes. I would consider taking a Business Management class. These types of classes will teach you how a business works and how to think of financial profits and needs. In addition, these types of classes will teach you how to work with people at all levels in the organization.”

John, Hiring Expert at Textron

Sharron, a Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, recommends one some electives that apply to a company’s technological needs: “Every job needs to know basic technology so consider curriculum in Microsoft Office if you don’t know it well. Also, a basic finance or business course can be very beneficial to anyone in their career.”

So what if I’m an English major at one of Miami’s regional campuses?

Good question here’s a better answer. You are smart for saving on tuition at regional campuses considering the cost of taking classes at Oxford, combined with the unwarranted assumption that English majors are “worthless majors”.

If you want to make yourself marketable and still enjoy your ENG 226 Creative Writing course, here are some courses that follow the advice of hiring experts from Jobipedia.org

Introduction to Business (MGT 111)This three-hour introductory business course emphasizes “the study of relationships between business and its environment” according to the University Bulletin. Let’s not forget it can count towards the Miami Plan.

Introduction to Financial Accounting (ACC 221)ACC 221 introduces students to “ the purposes of financial statements and the recognition, measurement, and disclosure concepts and methods underlying financial statements” according to the University Bulletin. You must be at least a sophomore student before attending this class.[Grammatical question: Are the purposes of financial statements methods underlying the financial statements?]

Business Computing (CSE 148)This course teaches students the basic and advanced functions of Microsoft Excel, Word Basic and more importantly,” problem-solving in a business context” according to the University Bulletin.

Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of Miami University, Miami University Hamilton Student Government Association, or other faculty and staff.I also reccomend students to consult their academic advisor and visit carreer counseling services at their respective campuses.

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