What Can You Do With an English Degree?
What do all these people have in common?
- Sting, rock musician.
- Conan O'Brien, talk show host.
- Steven Spielberg, filmmaker.
- Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney.
- Angelo Bartlett Giamatti, former President of Yale University and Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
- Hank Paulson, former Treasury Secretary.
- Mitt Romney, politician and entrepreneur.
- Grant Tinker, television producer and former CEO of NBC.
- Andrea Jung, former CEO of Avon Cosmetics.
- Harold Varmus, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Director of the National Cancer Institute.
- Bob Woodward, journalist who broke the Watergate scandal.
- Mario Cuomo, former Governor of New York.
- Barbara Walters, television journalist, producer, and host.
- Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice.
- Anne Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox.
- Judy McGrath, former CEO of MTV.
- Emma Watson, actress.
- Stephen Fry, actor.
- James Franco, actor.
- Joan Rivers, comedian.
- Martin Scorcese, filmmaker.
- Renee Zellweger, actress.
- Jodie Foster, actress and director.
- Hugh Grant, actor.
Of course you know the answer: they were all English majors.
Lots of students shy away from an English degree, even if they love to read and write, thinking that all it qualifies them for is teaching, writing novels, or starving.
Not true! An English degree gives you the ability to communicate well and think clearly and analytically. People who have these skills are rare, and these skills are in demand everywhere. As you can see from the list above, being an English major doesn't narrow your opportunities. It broadens them.