The enduring value of a Humanities degree in general and an English degree in particular is much in the news these days. See recent articles in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, The Chonicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, NaceWeb, and elsewhere on the topic:
- [E]mployers are seeking hires with communication skills and comfort in multicultural environments. . . . Those with degrees in English . . . brought home bigger paychecks, with starting salaries rising 14.3%." – Wall Street Journal (2016)
- "That 'Useless' Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket…. Throughout the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Tex., software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger." – Forbes Magazine (2015)
- "Pursuing a degree in English equips you with skills that are easily transferable and vital to professional roles, including time management skills, critical thinking, and logic." – Jordana Lopez-DaSilva (LC '11)
English majors begin their transition to the professional and academic world in a variety of ways, but should start close at home. Lehman's Career Exploration and Discovery Center is a resource not a resort - go early and often so they know who you are, what workshops you've taken, and what incoming internships or job possibilities may interest you. Register with Symplicity so you get email alerts about new opportunities. Bring in your resume and cover letter for each position you apply for, tailoring it for maximum effectiveness.
Also regularly visit Lehman's Experiential Learning Portal, which features an Internship site and a Resource Center - and be sure to take a good hard look at the CUNY/NYC Partnernship page, with particular attention to CUNY Cultural Corps (a fantastic opportunity for Humanities majors!). Find what interests you, talk with the folks at Career Services as well as with your family and professors, and work hard on submitting a stellar application (with resume and cover letter). Keep in mind that the Humanities Internship, HUM 470, may provide you with course credit for your internship!
For an overivew of how English majors develop valuable professional skills in research, analysis, writing, and multimedia communication and presentation, see the graphs concerning English Major Career Choices and Humanities Careers below:
Lehman English runs a series of workshops, panels, and speaking events for students in an effort to bring Literature, Creative Writing, and Professional Writing majors in contact with former English B.A. and M.A./M.F.A. students who have build a careers on the valuable skills they acquired in their college and graduate-school years. These "Conversatons" are informal, often spontaneous (with only a week or two of warning), and uniformaly excllent - all English majors and minors are strongly encouraged to attend.