From Novels to Poetry
Pursuing undergraduate or graduate English degrees is a natural fit for anyone who loves the printed word. College-level English schools emphasize the advanced study of literature from around the world and throughout history.
Topics of Study for English Majors
English degrees focus primarily on the study of poetry, prose and drama. In the first year of an undergraduate program, students are typically introduced to the major writers in the English canon and basic interpretive mechanisms for understanding literature. In the later years of a four-year English degree program, you'll be introduced to more complex critical theories and works of literature.
In English schools, there is a heavy emphasis placed on written assignments. The lion's share of your course work will be essays and other written responses to works of literature studied in class. This is true of both traditional programs and online bachelor degrees in English.
At the graduate level, you'll choose a concentration to focus on — this might be a specific period in literary history, a particular mode of interpreting literature or even a particular writer or group of writers. Both in-class and online master's degrees in English typically take one to two years to complete.
Career Paths for People with English Degrees
English degrees lead to a wide range of exciting careers. Not only can you combine them with education degrees to teach in elementary schools, high schools or English language schools, but they also lead to international job opportunities.
An English degree is very valuable if you want to teach ESL overseas. This is an exciting way to spend your post-grad years, and it's something more and more young people are choosing to do.
You can also work in publishing, advertising and a wide range of other industries as a copywriter or copy editor, if you develop your writing skills and learn the technicalities of proper style and grammar. Publishing companies also employ proofreaders, which are generally entry-level positions that can lead to editorial promotions.
Of course, you can also use an English degree as a springboard to professional studies, such as law school or graduate business school. English degrees teach you vital critical thinking skills that will serve you well no matter what career path you choose.