Tuesday, April 13, 2010

English Majors Don't Get Jobs

It's funny how you can be [insert my age here] years old and still not know what you want to be when you grow up.

And when I say "funny" I actually mean mind-blowingly annoying.

I have never known what I want to be when I grew up. When I was a kid I would mostly say "teacher" because that's what all of my little girl friends wanted to be and that's what girls were supposed to say. Boys were supposed to say "firemen" and girls were supposed to say "teacher". Which now when I look back on it is really weird that I thought that because my father was a teacher. Hmmm....

Anyway, when I went to college I still had NO CLUE what I wanted to do with my life.

What to major in, what to major in..........how about Psychology? My friends tell me I'm a good listener and I think Freud is on to something, so why not???

Then I learn of the Stats for Psych requirement and I know I am totally screwed. Math and I do not play well together.

So I fail the statistic class.

Okay, now what? I clearly couldn't retake it because that would have been a whole new level of HELL. I needed a new plan.

What major doesn't require any math????


That's the ticket!!!

I'm a decent writer, my dad is a college English teacher, I like words, I'm fluent in the language. This has to be good.

And it was good. Except for the tiny little fact that was lost on me at the time: English Majors Don't Get Jobs.

I mean, it's not like I'm a "nursing" major or an "education" major. Those people will actually get jobs in their chosen fields, most likely.

For a while I thought about going into journalism and even took a path in that direction. But between a seriously bad relationship that I had with the one and only journalism prof at my college and a lack of any kind of REAL drive to do what it would take to actually land a job in journalism after college, I sort of gave up on that.

And I really never wanted to be a teacher, despite my canned answer from childhood.

This is a lovely picture that I paint of myself, isn't it? Unfocused much?

I am actually known for being responsible and organized to a fault. But when it comes to my career decisions, as I have said many times in the past on this blog, I just seem to lose my focus.

It's not entirely true that English majors don't get jobs. I have a job. And several of my good friends who were English majors have even better jobs. But THIS English major has her sights on much more than the path I am currently on.

Even more embarrassing and unhelpful? My minor: German. Ach nein!!!


  1. What's college for except to give us debt and useless skills? ;)

  2. one reason I tacked on social work. there are actual social workers not communicationers! ;)

  3. Good luck! I did a whole post on this... discussing my future career (http://melner.blogspot.com/2010/02/career-paths-re-visited.html).

    It's REALLY hard to figure out what you want to do... again, good luck figuring it out!!!

  4. I hear ya! I have a Religion major (and a German minor, of sorts). So I went to nursing school. Still not sure what I want to be when I grow up, but at least I can pay the mortgage now.

  5. HAHA. I had to laugh because...

    I started off college as an education major. Then I realized I'd never have my own kids if I had to take care of 20 other kids every day. And I want my own kids. Badly.

    So I switched to... JOURNALISM. Journalists do not get jobs. Print media is dying. And the hours are unpredictable, the pay sucks, and to be with a half way decent publication or broadcaster, NYC, LA, Atlanta, or DC are the places to be. And those jobs are next to impossible to land.

    So here I am with my degree in journalism (minor in sociology)and what am I doing with my life? Nannying and trying to get into nursing school. Haha.

    But I feel pretty dern confident being a nurse is my calling...

    Best wishes to you, as you try to find your calling :)

  6. Thanks for visiting I am following you now too...believe me History majors don't get jobs either because I now sell inflatable boats and life rafts...lol

  7. I have a journalism degree! And I write my blog. for free.

    I read Miles' story, he's a cutie BTW. I have some friends going domestic. It's crazy how any fool can birth a baby, but it takes an act of congress to give one a loving home.

  8. Yup, I have an English Major too, oh and a religion one, with an MA in systematic theology - over-educated and unemployable. That's what I want to be when I grow up!

  9. I have a marketing degree. I'm not sure I ever want to work in marketing again though. Life is always redirecting us.

  10. Right. There. With. You.

    While I graduated with a degree in a field that I loved (and was successful in) I think I am done. But I have yet to figure out what it is I want to do with the rest of my life. (And full-time mom is *not* it!)


  11. I think the post should be English and History majors (like myself) don't get jobs. I can totally relate to your post! I graduated with my degree in History--not specialized just History...I guess I can tell people I studied history of the whole world. :P
    But the irony of it all is I went back to school and earned a Masters in School Counseling only to graduate and have the local counties institute a HIRING FREEZE!!!!!!! So I feel like deja vu all over again.
    Sorry so long...your post struck a nerve.

  12. My daugther just asked me today what I wanted to be when I grow up. I told her I don't know. That was the short answer. The long answer is that I don't think going back to teach English is something I want to do again.

  13. You make me laugh...sorry. :) Ya, I hate math too...and I'm an accountant. How's that for ironic? I'm getting a little desperate in the job search as my current job is...well...I may be unemployed soon if business doesn't pick up a LOT. Good luck with your search. I started out looking for a better job...then I started looking for an equal job...now I'll take whatever will pay me more than unemployment. :)


  14. Well, you are not the only one. I wonder if I ever know what I really want to do for a living :)



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