Florida steering students toward majors that pay
According to the December 10th New York Times, Florida Governor Rick Scott wants to steer students toward majors that pay—in jobs and higher salaries. English is one of the offending majors.
It might seem like English is a bad bet for future jobs. When I graduated from the University of Michigan years ago with an undergraduate English degree, no recruiters were banging on my door. It’d be easy to conclude that I should have majored in something more practical. But really, I did. I got immense experience writing and learning to edit and refine my own writing. Becoming one of my toughest writing critics has been valuable in every position I have had since graduating. The skills I acquired as an English major and have honed over the years have paid off handsomely in my track record of writing successful grant applications and manuscripts that get published in peer-reviewed journals, compelling memos, and other communications.
I really like these five great reasons one young woman said she is proud to have been an English major.
Famous people who were English majors
- Nobel Prize winner and director of the National Cancer Institute Harold Varmus, MD is one of the most skilled communicators anywhere and proud to have majored in English.
- The musician Paul Simon, television personality Conan O’Brien, former NY Governor Mario Cuomo, producer/director James Cameron, Michael Eisner, former CEO Walt Disney and A. Bartlett Giamatti, former President, Yale University and Commissioner of Baseball, are just a few of the English majors who did quite well.
- Sting may be a musical legend now due to his work as front man of The Police and a profitable solo career, but there was a time when he was simply an English major known as Gordon Sumner.
The best careers don’t go in straight lines: witness Steve Jobs as a brilliant example. They’re built on knowledge, commitment, passion, skills and a lot of serendipity. Good writing and communication skills go a long way in every field.
Today, I am dean of public health, but being an English major helped me along the way. Happy Monday. Barbara