This site offers some basic information about career paths, strategies, and resources available to English Majors, and features some of the interesting paths taken by graduates of John Jay College’s English program.
Here we offer here some ideas about the many different kinds of things you can do with with your B.A. in English, along with some very practical advice for how those with English degrees find and get these kinds of jobs.
BA in English: Benefits vs. Risks
You have probably heard the argument that getting a degree in English is a very risky project. The argument says that it isn’t clear how education in reading, writing, and literature translates into a professional career. Based on the success of graduates across the nation and from John Jay, we know this argument is not true. Quite the contrary: getting a degree in English (or in another field of the humanities or liberal arts) may in fact be less risky than getting a vocational degree which limits you to one kind of job for your entire career.
Studying English helps you to acquire transferable skills. These skills find application in a number of professions. This is what we know English majors can do:
- Apply theoretical approaches to difficult problems
- Assess and respond to the needs of staff/co-workers/audience
- Develop written and oral communication skills
- Develop critical evaluation and application skills
- Develop and apply hypotheses to solve problems
- Edit effectively
- Influence and persuade others
- Present and scrutinize alternative viewpoints
- Synthesize ideas and themes
English leads to many careers. Below are a sample of some of our alumni profiles under the many career path tabs that describe specific jobs our alumni do, how they were hired and learned to do their jobs, and their advice for you.
Career Information: John Jay and Beyond
This website contains a great deal of information about making the transition from the academic to the professional career using your skills. The navigation menu above will let you get to the various sections of the website dealing with different career paths or strategies for starting and developing your career.
The website has been put together with English graduates of John Jay College in mind, and some of our references and resources will be most specifically useful and accessible to our majors. The content is of course available to the general public, and may be of use to anyone going through the process of turning their academic credentials in reading, writing, and literature into a viable career.