Is an English Degree Worth It? [Cheekily Answered]

Hey there! Are you considering getting an English degree, but not sure if it’s worth the investment? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve put together this article to tackle the age-old question: Is an English degree worth it?

We’ll take a look at the pros and cons and help you decide if it’s the right path for you. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive in!

Benefits of an English Degree

Increased Employment Opportunities

I can tell you firsthand that the employment opportunities for English grads are endless… sort of.

Sure, you could always go the traditional route and become a teacher, but where’s the fun in that? An English degree opens up a whole world of career possibilities beyond the classroom.

For example, you could use your analytical skills as a copywriter or marketing specialist in the business world. Or, use your way with words to become a journalist or author.

And let’s not forget about the power of social media. With an English degree, you could become a social media manager, crafting clever captions and hashtags for companies.

Employment distribution of workers with an English degree, by occupational group, 2019:

Occupational groupOccupational group share
Educational instruction and library occupations22%
Management occupations16%
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations9%
Office and administrative support occupations9%
Business and financial operations occupations8%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

As you can see in the table above, an English degree is versatile and can lead to various fulfilling and lucrative careers. So don’t let anyone tell you that an English degree is a “useless” degree – it’s only as useless as you make it!


Alright, let’s talk money. Is an English degree going to make you a millionaire? Probably not. But let’s be real, very few degrees guarantee that kind of financial success.

However, just because an English degree might not make you rich doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. In fact, according to data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), English majors have an average starting salary of about $50,000.

MajorAverage Starting Salary
Liberal arts/general studies$51,100
English language and literature$50,125
Visual and performing arts$48,714
Foreign language and literature$47,000
Source: Winter 2017 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

That’s not too shabby for a starting salary, especially considering the low cost of a bachelor’s degree in English compared to other degrees like engineering or business.

And let’s not forget about the potential for salary growth. As you gain experience and climb the corporate ladder, your salary has the potential to increase significantly.

Plus, with an English degree, you have the skills to potentially switch careers and try your hand at a different industry, which could lead to even higher earning potential.

So, while an English degree may not make you a millionaire overnight, it’s definitely worth considering for the long-term earning potential and career versatility it can offer.

Improved Communication Skills

An English degree may not have the same immediate prestige as, say, a degree in engineering or finance, but there’s one thing that English majors have that those other majors don’t: superior communication skills!

As an English major, you spend significant time analyzing texts and honing your writing skills. You learn how to articulate your thoughts and ideas effectively, and you become a pro at editing and revising your work. All of these skills are highly sought after in the job market, and they can give you a serious leg up on the competition.

But it’s not just about writing. An English degree also helps you develop strong speaking skills, which is crucial in a world where networking and public speaking are becoming increasingly important.

In short, an English degree can you a master of the written and spoken word. And in today’s world, being able to communicate effectively is priceless.

Enhanced Critical Thinking Abilities

Are you the type of person who loves to analyze, interpret, and question everything? If so, an English degree might be right up your alley.

One of the biggest benefits of an English degree is the enhanced critical thinking skills that it helps you develop. As an English major, you’ll spend a lot of time reading and analyzing texts, which helps you become a more analytical and interpretive thinker.

But it’s not just about reading and analyzing literature. An English degree also helps you develop strong research skills and the ability to find, evaluate, and synthesize information from a variety of sources.

These skills are crucial in today’s information-saturated world, and they are highly valued by employers across a variety of industries.

Some careers that would especially benefit from these skills include:

  • Research and development: Whether you’re working in a lab or a library, strong research skills are essential for success. An English degree can help you become an expert in finding and evaluating information, which can be a huge asset in the R&D field.
  • Management: As a manager, you’ll need to be able to analyze information, make informed decisions, and communicate your thoughts effectively. An English degree can help you develop these skills, making you a valuable asset to any team.
  • Marketing and advertising: In the fast-paced world of marketing and advertising, it’s important to be able to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions to problems. An English degree can help you develop the critical thinking skills needed to succeed in this sector.

So, if you want to become a master of critical thinking and analysis, an English degree might just be the ticket. Just don’t be surprised if people start coming to you with all their toughest questions – It’s a good thing you’ll have the skills to handle them!

Pursuing an English Degree – What to Consider

Financial Costs

When it comes to choosing a degree, it’s important to consider the financial costs – and an English degree is no exception.

Now, I’m not saying that an English degree is going to break the bank. In fact, compared to some other degrees, a bachelor’s in English is relatively inexpensive. However, it’s still important to be mindful of the financial implications of any degree program.

First, there’s the cost of tuition. While tuition costs for English degrees vary depending on the school and program, choose a program that fits your budget.

According to DATA USA, The average tuition cost for English majors at in-state public colleges is $7,321, while the average tuition for out-of-state private colleges is $34,402.

Then there’s the cost of living. If you’re attending school out of state or in a city with a high cost of living, those expenses can add up quickly. Make sure to factor in the cost of rent, food, and other necessities when deciding on a degree program.

Finally, consider your future earning potential. While an English degree may not guarantee a high starting salary, it’s important to choose a program that will give you the best long-term financial prospects.

Overall, yes, be mindful of the financial costs of an English degree, but don’t let that discourage you. With careful planning and budgeting, an English degree can be a financially viable and rewarding choice.

Time Commitment

Let’s face it – earning a degree takes time. And while an English degree may not be as intensive as, say, a degree in engineering or pre-med, it’s still important to consider the time commitment when deciding if an English degree is right for you.

First, there’s the length of the program. A bachelor’s degree in English typically takes 4 years to complete, though some programs may be longer or shorter depending on the school and program.

Then there’s the time commitment outside of class. As an English major, expect to spend a significant amount of time reading and analyzing texts, writing papers, and completing projects. Depending on your course load and workload, this could mean dedicating a significant amount of time outside of class to your studies.

Finally, consider any other time commitments you may have, such as a part-time job, family obligations, or extracurricular activities. Make sure you have the time and energy to devote to your studies before diving into an English degree!

So, Is an English Degree really worth it?

It really depends on your goals and interests. If you love reading, writing, and analyzing texts, and you’re willing to put in the time and effort to earn a degree, then an English degree can be a rewarding and fulfilling choice.

But even if you’re unsure if an English degree is the right fit for you, it’s still worth considering. With its strong focus on communication and critical thinking skills, this degree can open up a wide range of career possibilities and provide a strong foundation for success in any field.

And let’s not forget about the long-term financial benefits. While an English degree may not guarantee a high starting salary, it can offer good earning potential and the opportunity to switch careers and try your hand at a different industry.

So, if you’re on the fence about an English degree, don’t be afraid to take the plunge. You never know what amazing opportunities and adventures it might lead to!


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