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Is Being an English Major Worth It?

Holly Lipovits

Posted on March 6, 2020 19:35

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The saying goes, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." English majors have had it tough for many years and still continuously get knocked down. I break down the possible careers an English major has to choose from, bringing in a good chunk of change to go with them.

I'm an English major, and I always hear people tell me this is a waste of a degree as well as a waste of money. So I asked myself, "Is majoring in English worth my time and money?" And with a considerable amount of time thinking, talking with my friends and academic counselor, looking through different possible careers, and switching my major five times, I came to the conclusion that English is absolutely for me. 

On average, according to ZipRecruiter, students who major in English make around $49,000 annually. Keep in mind that depending on what career path you choose, that salary can fluctuate and be as low as $30,000.

I chose to major in English because I love to read and write, but I especially love to edit. My goal is to become a copy editor, therefore I need the skills of understanding various style guidelines; ensure I am able to work with many computer applications, such as Microsoft Word; and be able to firmly communicate my thoughts on my projects and tasks, whether that be verbally or orally. The numerous English courses and workshops I have taken in my five years of college have taught me those very skills and knowledge. 

With said skills and insight, I am able to tackle any job that I wish to pursue. Let me go through a few of these professions to prove my point, according to Glassdoor, a global job-seeking website.

The first, and most obvious, career is a Copy Editor. A copy editor utilizes the skills learned from those many English courses to assist you in doing a good job. This specific career has you tackling books and digital prints to ensure they are in the best shape for publication and roughly brings home around $50,000, give or take what level you are at (entry-, mid-, or senior-level) and the location.

A second option is a Technical Writer. Now I know this does not sound all that exciting, but there's a lot of work a technical writer does. This includes morphing technical documents, such as instruction manuals or project guidelines, and transcribing them to contain a basic understanding from in-depth information. You are going to bring home about $70,000, again, depending on location and level.

A third career choice is an Editorial Assistant. Similar to the tasks of a Copy Editor, these tasks could include a large amount of editing and proofreading magazine articles and other publications, but you could also be assisting in administration work. This career can mostly be found in New York City, taking home roughly $42,000.

No matter your major choice, always do what you love and "you’ll never work a day in your life," so the saying goes! Being an English major has taught me a significant amount of important skills and knowledge for any career I choose, and I'm happy to be one. 

Holly Lipovits

Posted on March 6, 2020 19:35

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