30 day blog challenge – day 9
I’ve been hearing a lot of negativity lately about the BA in English. (Okay, I’ve said a lot of negative things about my own degree in the past, too!) People say the BA in English is a “useless degree” that you “can’t do anything with.”
Avenue Q asks the question “What Do You Do With a BA in English?” in song… with puppets
But today I would like to write about how the BA in English can help everyone – Even if you don’t go to grad school like I did or use your BA in English in the direct way that I do as a writer.
1. You will have better communication skills. This is essential for practically any job. Whether you are answering phones or managing a company, you will need to be able to communicate in a way that people can understand. So many issues that pop up in any job situation are a result of miscommunication or people not understanding each other. Having good communication skills will help you avoid this.
2. You will have a better understanding of the world. When you read a lot of literature, you are constantly viewing things from a different perspective other than your own. Reading frequently gives you a more expansive knowledge of humanity in general and how people from different cultural backgrounds, political affiliations, religions, or simply different perspectives may view things. If you are working in a diverse environment with a lot of different types of people (as I guarantee you will at some point), this will come in handy. As Sue Monk Kidd said, literature gives us the ability to experience empathy which helps us connect with others. When you come across a difficult co-worker who does things completely differently than you would, this will be helpful!
3. You will develop critical thinking skills and question things that should be questioned. In the study of literature, we are taught to question things constantly. We are taught to question the reliability of narrators, the content and ideas expressed in any given book, and we are taught to express our own opinions and thoughts. This will also be helpful in many jobs. This makes you an independent thinker and independent thinkers come up with good ideas, which is a great skill for anyone to have.
4. It will increase your creativity and ability to think outside of the box. This is very important if you work in marketing, advertising, or any field like that, but this is a good skill to have in any job. If you can look at things differently or change your approach to mundane tasks to be a more creative approach, you may find that your job will be more interesting, and you will come up with great ideas in your field.
There you go. English majors, I just gave you four things to say at that next job interview when someone asks you about your degree. You’re welcome.