‘But what can you really do with a literature degree?’
I’m Sidhi, a third-year English student here at King’s College London, and this is a question that English students are frequently asked, and a question we all equally dread. In order to answer this question, it is necessary to understand how studying an English degree shapes you as a person.
In an English degree, you don’t just read, but analyse what you read. The analytical skills help you to see all the different facets of a point or a problem. You can comprehend different views about a particular piece while developing an attentive eye for detail.
Studying English requires you to write a lot, but at the same time, it also requires you to constantly come up with new and unique ideas, which help you to develop strong creative thinking and writing skills.
Assessments include writing essays that are thoroughly researched and well planned. You read a multitude of critics and theorists and then either support or argue againgst their points to back up your own arguments. Basically, you become a little lawyer.
The fact that you have to write dozens of essays, all carefully researched, containing arguments which are convincingly put across, means that by the end of your English degree you develop a confident and convincing voice. In other words, you can sell your ideas to people.
Now that we know what it is that we gain while studying English, we can discuss where we can use these skills.
You can work at any place and position that requires you to be well-versed in research, written communication, content generation, and problem solving.
Here is a list to name a few:
- English teacher
- Freelance Writer
- Editorial Assistant
- Social Media Manager
- Advertising Account Executive
- Educational Consultant
One of the best parts about studying English is the variety of career options available to you right after graduation.
I would also recommend getting additional writing experience in the course of attaining your degree. A great part about studying English is that you do not necessarily need a job in order to develop your skills, but you can develop and enhance them by writing regular blogs, articles, reviews and/or through part time freelancing. The more you write and the more work you have to show, the easier it is to find a job.
So, in the future, if anyone ever asks you, ‘what can you do with a degree in literature?’