Shaw University 150

Department of Humanities

Why Become an English Major?

There are almost as many good reasons to major in English as there are people who choose to do so. One of the oldest reasons is still one of the best: a major in English provides a solid "liberal education" in the broadest, most humane sense of the term--an education that develops the whole person in ways specialized career training simply cannot. To study composition is to learn how to inform, to persuade, to instruct, and to inspire others effectively via language. To study literature is to learn about people and how they express their experience of the world. Meeting these people through their words is also an excellent way to learn more about yourself and to grow beyond your current self-definitions. The use of language--to communicate, to inspire, to express--is inseparable from who we are as human beings, and to explore language in its various forms is to learn more about what it means to be human.

In addition to these deep and lasting benefits, an English degree provides an excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. If you're not sure what you want to do but want to be prepared to do many different things, majoring in English might be a good choice for you. People who can read closely, think clearly, and write well will always be in demand. In fact, employers today say that graduates with strong analytical and communication skills are in higher demand than ever before.