A degree in English, in Literature or Language, is a particularly good bet for future-proofing an undergraduate degree—that is, for making an Arts degree useful in five years or twenty. Studies of university programs and career trajectories report, more and more, that graduates who can process texts, understand systems of signs, read critically, and communicate effectively are especially well positioned for employment. Arts Co-op Director, Julie Walchli, reports that students with these skills are particularly sought after by Co-op employers.
On July 15, 2013, under the headline, “This Week in Small Business: Hire an English Major,” the New York Times reported, “A major part of what business owners do to gain clients has to do with writing, whether it’s writing an advertisement or a marketing brochure, a good sales letter or an e-mail sales campaign. Businesses also need people who can create powerful content for the company blog, develop a strong social media presence and craft a compelling description of products and services for the company Web site.”
In the same week of 2013, on the Open Forum web site of American Express, author Bruna Martinuzzi had this to say: “In a recent Job Outlook Survey, employers rated the ‘ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization’ as the most important candidate skill. Communication is at the heart of any business. Everything that happens in an organization requires communication. This is one of the areas in which English majors excel: They have learned to speak well; they are well-read and have an extensive vocabulary; they spend years learning how to present a thesis coherently, and how to construct an argument; and they are trained to debate and defend their point of view logically. Bringing an English major to the fold is a much needed salve for organizations today, where poor communication skills are the norm rather than the exception.”
An English degree, that is, is great preparation, personal and professional, for your future.
Here are links to the full articles:
- “This Week in Small Business: Hire an English Major ” from the New York Times
- “Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires” from Open Forum
Where are UBC English graduates now?
A small sampling:
Abraham An (BA‘13) is studying Law at UBC.
Pritpaul Bains (BA ‘10) is a Technical Publications Writer, Macmillan.
Genevieve Barrons (BA Hon.‘12) completed an M.Phil. at Cambridge in African Studies, and is currently teaching English Literature—and ballet—at the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.
John Blattler (BA ‘07) is a policy analyst with the Alberta Ministry of Education.
Liz Brant (BA Hon. ‘08) was the Arts Development Coordinator at Arts Umbrella, and is now the Development Director at SEVA.
Meghan Chapman (BA ‘11) is the Assistant Marketing Manager at Vancouver Aquarium.
Michelle Chua (BA ‘07) is a User Experience Designer at Microsoft.
Sulynn Chuang (BA Hon. ‘09) is teaching English in Singapore. Â
Milena Constanda (BA ‘11) provides Undergraduate Student Support for the Computer Science Department at UBC.
Aneeta Dastoor (BA Hon. ‘10) is a Masters student in Counselling Psychology at UBC and a private English and Literature tutor.
Brady Gordon (BA ‘09) is a PhD candidate in Law at Trinity College, Dublin.
Sasha Lallouz (BA ‘12) is a copywriter at Organika Health Products.
Megan Leitch (BA Hon.‘08) is a Lecturer at University of Cardiff.
Alex Leslie (BA Hon. ‘07) has won a Gold National Magazine Award for personal journalism and a 2008 CBC Literary Award for fiction.
Adrian Lou (BA ‘12) is beginning his Ph.D. in English, with a Science and Technology Studies specialization, at UBC.
Frances McInnis (BA Hon.‘08) is Associate Editor at Toronto Life Magazine.
Emily Mears (BA Hon.‘07) is a Web Developer at PNI Digital Media.
Visnja Milidragovic (BA ‘09) is the Online Marketing and Communications Strategist, Sauder Business School at UBC.
Kai Nagata (BA Hon.‘07) is the Energy & Democracy Director for Dogwood Initiative, a NPO for land use in BC.
Leanna Orr (BA Hon. ‘11), after completing a Journalism degree at Columbia University, is the Managing Editor of Chief Investment Officer Magazine
Amanda Reaume (BA Hon. ‘07) is a Development Officer for Land & Food Systems at UBC.
Kyle Robertson (BA Hon. ‘12) is a Tech Associate at Adbusters.
Stephanie Rudnisky (BA ‘07) is the Access Programming Coordinator at BC Deaf Sports Federation.
Philip Storey (BA Hon. ‘12) designs and develops games independently in Vancouver.
Chelsea Stout (BA ‘09) is a Human Resources Coordinator for the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.
Victoria Tang (BA Hon. ‘09) is Publications Assistant, Continuing Legal Education Society of BC.
Samantha Wagner (BA ‘09) is the Art Director at Seattle Weekly.
Shane Walters (BA ‘07) is a Regional Program Specialist with the Canadian Coast Guard, radio operations group.
John Wesley (BA Hon. ‘03) is an Associate Professor of English, University of Puget Sound.
Jolie Wong (BA ‘08) is the Operations Coordinator at Aritzia.
Basil Waugh (BA ‘04) is a Media Relations Specialist for Public Affairs at UBC.
Vinnie Yuen (BA ‘10) is the Communications Officer at the Law Society of B.C.
Like us on Facebook, for updates on graduates and for other news: https://www.facebook.com/ubcEnglish.
Find out more about careers and opportunities for English students here: http://students.ubc.ca/career/majors/english
Join LinkedIn on that page, to find out more about what English graduates are doing now.