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English Language and Literature

Overview

Book-lovers and grammar queens unite.

Description

If you've ever silently corrected someone's grammar when texting ("you're" is a contraction of "you are," people), ranted about the not-so-subtle gender themes in the latest chick flick, or lamented the fact that there's just not enough time to read all the books on your "must read before you die" list, then English is the major for you.

As an English major, you'll get to do all of those things while earning a swanky college degree. This major requires a bunch of reading, analyzing, and writing on everything from Shakespeare to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

After college, lit-lovers usually head into teaching, journalism, and advertising, but there's room for them everywhere. Some English majors pop up as Hollywood writers or market researchers. Others try their hand at editing for a large publishing house. The analytical and top-notch writing skills they learn as English majors are pretty valuable and can be applied to many career fields.

It's true that sometimes English majors get a bad rap. We've heard the jokes about an English degree preparing you for a life of flipping burgers. Or the one about how analyzing poetry doesn't help pay your bills. Leave it to the nay-sayers out there to come up with a list of reasons not to tackle English.

However, these days, English majors are hired more often than a lot of non-humanities majors. Lit nerds might not be out-earning their science fellows, but they're employed far more often.

Percentage of US students who major in English Language and Literature:

1.79%

Stats obtained from this source.