Career Development

Many students who enjoy literature and are interested in majoring in English are nervous about what they can do after graduation. They often believe that majors in the sciences or business lead to successful, lucrative careers but majoring in English isn’t practical. That is not true.

English majors are ideally suited to the contemporary job market. The evidence clearly indicates that English majors are just as likely to be employed as their peers who study business and that they are likely to earn as much over the course of their careers as their peers in science and technology fields. English majors, in fact, have a significant competitive advantage over other majors, According to a 2016 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the attributes employers most want in new hires are written communication skills, problem-solving skills, and verbal communication skills. These are precisely the skills that English majors develop, but this isn’t the most important reason to major in English.

English majors learn how to think critically, empathetically, and creatively. These are the most important skills a person can learn in college, and these are the skills that most contribute to a productive and successful career. After you graduate from Mercer, you will face the challenges of a complex and interconnected world. You will be presented with information is many forms, and you will be asked to understand it, interpret it, and make decisions based on it. Over the course of your career, you will likely have many positions across multiple fields, so you will be constantly required to adapt to new situations. The thinking skills you cultivate will always be useful no matter how the job market changes.

As an English major at Mercer, you will discuss literature in small classes led by expert scholars who are dedicated teachers. You will read broadly and deeply in a curriculum that implements literary study as a mode of understanding. Our major allows you not only to immerse yourself in great works of literature but also to analyze modern culture. You will learn how authorship, historical context, and genre influence the text. You will discuss works of literature from numerous critical perspectives, you will write frequently, and you will develop a strong set of critical thinking skills. You will also apply your skills in a learning experience that moves your thinking beyond the classroom through an independent research project, internship, study abroad program, teaching placement, or service project. When you finish the major, you will be well read, you will be an effective writer and communicator, you will be a versatile critical thinker, and you will know how to use your skills.

Mercer English majors have gone on to careers in business, medicine, law, teaching, publishing, and numerous other fields. They have earned extremely prestigious fellowships, including Fulbright scholarships and Davies-Jackson scholarships, and they have gone to graduate and professional degrees at some of the world’s best schools, such as Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard. After you graduate from Mercer, you will be prepared to do anything. 

Want more reasons to major in English?

The Value of an English Major
Aren’t you going to suffer economically in the long term if you major in the liberal arts?
Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return on Investment
Want a tech job? Study literature.
Why Every Tech Company Needs an English Major
Why Studying Literature Matters
Top Medical School Revamps Requirements to Lure English Majors
Future Law Students Should Avoid Prelaw Majors
Major in the Humanities for a Good Life
Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires
The Employment Numbers
Why I Hire English Majors
Lessons from the Humanities and Social Sciences