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English Program Career Facts

Those who choose to study English as their primary focus may become creative or technical writers, work in advertising, journalism, or teaching or work for magazines, Internet publications, or textbook publishers.

The study of English, however, is essential for any career. We all need to be able to communicate, both verbally and in written form. We are often judged as to our intelligence and level of competence by how well we use language.

In addition, by learning, through the study of literature, how others think and communicate their experiences, we expand our own understanding of the world and the people in it. Through the study of literature and our own reaction to it, we come to understand ourselves and our place in the world on a deeper level.

For the truly well-educated and well-rounded person, the study of the liberal arts, including English, should be an integral part of the educational experience.

Did you know?

  • College-educated workers spend, on average, 20 to 25 percent of their time at work writing, no matter what their degree fields or professions.
  • Writing is a crucial job-related skill for college graduates.
  • Writing ability affects a worker's prospects for advancement.
  • A study found that college-educated workers wrote an average of 8.5 different types of letters, memos, and reports per week.
  • Eighty percent of managers surveyed at 402 firms nationwide said that most of their employees need to improve their writing skills.
  • New graduates routinely experience shock at the amount of writing that is required by the employer in the routine performance of a job and over the bearing that the quality of their writing has on their success in the position, both in terms of salary and promotions.*

Whether or not you intend to enter a career such as journalism in which writing skills are the main focus of the profession, writing is vital in almost all career fields. Not only does the Bureau of Labor Statistics list 61 job categories in which writing is an essential skill, but effective writing skills figure to a greater or lesser extent in any job you may have in the future and is also important as you pursue your degree. The study and practice of writing fosters communication skills, develops powers of reasoning and analysis, and helps students learn to organize their thinking processes.

*Information from Virginia Technical University

English Program

Integrated English
Arts & Sciences Building, Room 1106
Phone: (517) 483-1061
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