Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, September 29, 2014 8:19 pm

Why English majors are the hot new hires. (And, no, that not an Onion headline.)


Hey, take it from the American Express website.

I never had a lot of patience with people who asked me why I was majoring in English.

For one thing, I enjoyed it. Duh.

But for another, the skills you develop as an English major are the skills American business always says it needs more of: critical thinking, analytical ability, and the ability to communicate clearly. That was true 32 years ago and it remains true today. Those skills will prepare you for jobs that don’t even exist yet. I know that’s true because they did for me.

In fact, American business’s global competitors are finding they need the same skills, and that their job-focused college educations aren’t providing the people they need who have those skills. So they’re retooling their higher education along the U.S.’s traditional liberal-arts model.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t major in STEM if that’s what sings to you and/or you’re really serious about getting a particular job in that field straight out of school.

But it does mean that an English degree has a world of applications in a broad variety of business contexts. So does practically any liberal-arts degree, because they all teach the same skills, just in different contexts. And that, Pat McCrory, is why English majors (and Art History majors and Women’s Studies majors and on and on) are the hot new hires.

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3 Comments »

  1. […] I might need to dust off the old resume, because apparently my English degree makes me a hot commodity: […]

    Pingback by That Degree in English Might Finally Get Some Respect | Jon's Font of Worthless Information — Wednesday, October 1, 2014 5:44 pm @ 5:44 pm | Reply

  2. Lex,

    Absolutely agree. (Well, I would say that wouldn’t I, being an English major . . .).

    Our former WDAV-FM colleague Henry Doss has been talking and writing about the role of the humanities in shaping business for some time. And he is right –

    https://exchange.uncc.edu/alumni-executive-in-residence-intent-on-inspiring-innovation-leaders/

    Comment by Nic — Sunday, October 5, 2014 5:52 pm @ 5:52 pm | Reply

    • Indeed he is.

      Comment by Lex — Sunday, October 5, 2014 11:19 pm @ 11:19 pm | Reply


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