Searching online degree programs can be an overwhelming process. There are so many variables to consider, and innumerable options to weigh. Maybe youâ€™ve thought about English as a possible degree path, but arenâ€™t sure itâ€™s the best educational investment. If youâ€™re considering an online degree in English, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you passionate about novels?
- Do you enjoy exploring themes with your book club, or starting a great political debate over dinner?
- Do you like to discuss what you read in magazines and newspapers?
- Do you love to write poetry?
- Do you keep a diary?
- Are you the person your family and friends count on to relay news via email, cards and letters?
If you answered yes to any of the above, youâ€™re obviously someone who appreciates the art of communication. Even though all of these examples are fun activities, itâ€™s important to recognize that reading, writing and discussing your thoughts arenâ€™t just simple pastimes. In fact, most employers are clamoring to find these exact abilities in prospective hires. The best way to demonstrate and build on these natural strengths, particularly for those who need to juggle work and family life, is through an online English degree.
In the last twenty years, opportunities for English majors have grown to include a variety of careers. Online English degree programs can prepare students for any number of fields, including journalism, law, business, teaching, politics, grant writing, freelance writing, editing or publishing. More and more students are discovering that a BA or MA in English â€“ sometimes mistakenly pegged as a â€œtraditionalâ€ degree, without modern day applicability â€“ is the most versatile and marketable tool they can carry in confronting a tight job market. Why is that?
Most careers are going to require some element of job-specific training. For example, a project manager who transfers from one company to another is still going to need some orientation and detailed direction. Employers know this, and anticipate the standard learning curve. What they donâ€™t expect (although they often encounter it), is having to tackle fundamental deficiencies in critical thinking and analysis. Businesses donâ€™t have the time or the inclination to remediate employeesâ€™ reading/writing comprehension skills â€“ the kind of basic, question and answer functionality that is required every day, in every field. English majors are already fluent in these respects. Theyâ€™re armed with the high level processing skills that are needed for challenges that canâ€™t be anticipated.
If you need more incentive to select the online college route, consider the fact that the English major, more than most, readily lends itself to the framework of online education. Online English degrees are an apt extension of traditional classroom studies because the nature of online courses â€“ usually conducted via programs like Blackboard – is implicitly dialogic and dialectic. That means that students are directly challenging each other, composing organized arguments that address specific points. Group work and individual research build studentsâ€™ knowledge; their postings and presentations ensure they can convey that knowledge. Through class â€œdiscussion,â€ students exchange points and opinions freely, while simultaneously learning to translate their thoughts into coherent, written form. However fundamental all of this may sound, a surprising percentage of the workforce struggles with communicatory tasks, resulting in muddy project reports, misunderstood memos, and overall inefficiency.
Keep in mind that natural strengths are what solid careers are built on. Donâ€™t dismiss your talents just because theyâ€™re things that you enjoy. You can make money doing what you love. With an online degree in English, you will get the attention of supervisors and hiring managers while leveraging your most powerful asset â€“ genuine enthusiasm.