What most people don’t realize is that a degree in English Literature opens a lot of opportunities for graduates and they can work in a plethora of industries, get to wear many hats, and develop many valuable skills.
A literature major will acquire research skills that include applying theories to problems, establishing objective hypotheses, evaluating results, identifying problems, using sources, and gathering information. They are also taught how to read critically, write persuasively, use precise language, convey the most complex information in a comprehensible manner, create powerful messages, and assess an audience.
They are taught to develop an understanding of human relationships, identification of social and cultural considerations, objective comparisons of cultures, appreciation of history, and comprehension of cultural origins. A literature degree provides the student with a strong foundation in a humanities program while enabling the student to pursue some other interests.
It is an understatement to say that literature majors can write; they are taught and trained to write extremely well. This has been proven by the number of literature graduates who make pretty good money writing for search engine marketing, an industry that has been growing by leaps and bounds. Lit majors have highly developed analytical skills that are perfect for a job as a search engine marketer.
Google is always on the lookout for search engine-savvy graduates and for a literature major, this could be a good starting place. Google offers a number of certifications for major online marketing areas and once you become “Google certified,” expect employers to come knocking at your door. Each test is only $50 and learning how to prepare and pass the test can be done online.
You can be employed as a copywriter in advertising agencies as well as a direct response writer for mail-based marketing companies that send out offers, fundraising letters, and other forms of written communication. This writing job is perfect for a literature major because it requires creativity, the ability to craft words in a persuasive manner, and a psychological understanding of how potential customers will buy things.
Journalism is, of course, where most literature majors wander into and stay for the longest time. Whether it is broadcast or print journalism, the person will feel right at home as he researches, analyzes facts, writes concisely, and produces quality written or verbal work. He is just as competent with reportage as the next person who has a broadcasting or journalism degree.
Schools that Offer Literature Degree Programs
As mentioned, literature is a major in the Bachelor of Arts degree for liberal arts or humanities. Given that, you should choose the best nationally-ranked university or college based on personal preferences. According to U.S. News, the top five schools offering literature as a major are (in this order) the University of California-Berkeley, and Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and Princeton Universities.
The rest of the notable schools include the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Cornell University, the University of Chicago, Duke University, the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Brown University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Rutgers University, and the University of Texas-Austin.