An English or humanities degree will teach you skills in critical thinking, advanced reading and argumentative writing. A degree in these fields will help you develop your cultural sensitivity, historical awareness and ability to problem-solve. In these programs, you will also work on your creative skills and linguistic abilities. All of these skills transfer well into a variety of careers and prepare you for further study.
Publishing and Journalism
A degree in humanities or English gives you the skills you need to enter the workforce in the fields of publishing or journalism. These majors require strong writing, editing, reading and research skills, which are highly valued in publishing and journalism professions. To prepare for these careers while in school, you can work for your university's newspaper or literary magazine. Another idea is to get an internship with a local newspaper or publisher.
Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations
A degree in English or humanities will help you develop your communication skills. Class discussions and presentations will help you develop your speaking skills, while essays will help you learn to write clearly and persuasively. These skills can be particularly useful in advertising, marketing and public relations careers. If you are interested in these fields, you can get an internship or summer job to gain experience at an advertising agency, in a marketing department or at a public relations firm.
Nonprofits and Government Service
You might also look into jobs at nonprofits or in government service. These fields often value communication and research skills. If you're interested in these jobs, you should volunteer with a nonprofit organization or political campaign and take extracurricular classes in foreign language, social work or political science.
A BA in English or humanities will prepare you to go on to graduate school in either of these fields. With a graduate degree, you are qualified to teach at the community-college or university level. If you have a BA in English or humanities, you are also qualified to enter a graduate education program to get certified to teach these subjects in public K-12 schools. Your humanities or English undergraduate degree will also help you develop skills useful in law school.
Based in Portland, Ore., Miranda Sinclair has been writing professionally since 2009. She holds a B.A. in English and theater from the University of Oregon, as well as an M.A. in English and certificate in teaching college composition from San Francisco State University. Sinclair works as a tutor and teacher of writing.