An English degree can act as a utility degree

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It’s a fact that people with college degrees earn more than those without a degree — about $15,000 to $17,000 more on average, according to a 2012 Pew Research report. And 83% of college graduates feel that the money they spent on a college degree paid off in terms of a better job and higher pay. However, what kind of degree should you get?

It’s true that some degrees lead people to careers that pay more than others. People who get degrees in science and math tend to get paid more than those who get liberal arts degrees. The same goes for degrees in business. But not everyone is strong in math or wants to be a corporate executive. For people who would be much more comfortable with a liberal arts degree, there are choices, too. However, the degree that can often open up the most opportunity for a future career is an English degree.

A person with an English degree can of course go on to graduate school, get a masters degree and doctorate and seek to go into academia, but those jobs are dwindling as colleges cut costs and also put more emphasis on fields that bring in research dollars, such as science, math and engineering.

There are so many other jobs open to English majors, however. Many people with English degrees go into careers in a communications field, such as journalism or public relations. And even though many traditional outlets for writing, such as newspapers and magazines, are dwindling, there are constantly new ones opening up for people to write copy for websites and social media. And those jobs tend to pay better than the average starting salaries of $36,200 and mid-career salaries of $63,500 that English majors report receiving. Business careers in fields such as marketing or advertising also are logical choices for people who have received a degree in English.

English majors also can look to careers in teaching as well. A person with an English degree would need only to take a few additional education classes to become certified as an elementary or secondary school teacher. Many companies also are willing to give English graduates a try in careers such as sales, insurance, banking or financial advising.
So as you can see, having an English degree makes you a strong utility player, qualified for any number of careers in various fields.

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