English Majors, Note:
Despair Not; No Matter
What Many Will Argue,
The World Needs You
Now More Than Ever
'Where there are words, there are jobs for the English major. But don't think the only jobs for English majors involve words.
Because the preferred mode of communication nowadays is not semaphore or smoke signals but language, it may be said that where there is lingual communication--speeches, presentations, commercials, advertisements, podcasts and broadcasts--there are jobs for the English major.
Consider that many people, despite being graduates of the finest institutions of learning this country has to offer, cannot always use words to communicate effectively--or even correctly. Sometimes they themselves admit it. They say they don't have a way with words or a command of the English language (as if language were a dog to be brought to hell, to do one's bidding).
When I was a teacher, foreign-born students would come to me at the start of the semester to apologize because, they said, being new to America, they were still struggling with the English language. I always reassured them: Don't worry. You'll fit right in.
Where there are people who need help using words to communicate, there are jobs for the English major. Those jobs may be found in corporate America just as easily as in schools.
But don't think the only jobs for English majors involve communction.
When health care or social agencies need to translate valuable information about policies or procedures for their non-English-speaking audiences, they depend on someone who not only knows Spanish or Chinese, but also knows English. Book publishers translate English-language novels, nonfiction and textbooks into other languages, and this requires a knowledge of English, as does teaching English as a second language.
Consider, too, how bursts of technological innovation have introduced to people of all ages not only new gadgets, new hardware and new software, but also an attendant avalanche of new words, terms and phrases to learn, adopt and use.
When the government publishes an 800-page white paper or a federal court hands down a ruling that is recondite and complex, the media consult with someone who can put into plain language what is anything but plain.
Where there is English, there are jobs for the English major.'
--From the new book, I'm an English Major--Now What: How English Majors Can Find Happiness, Success and a Real Job.