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Can I Get a Job With English Literature Degree? watch

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    (Original post by anongeek)
    And normally after you've been published as well. Most authors don't make their living from writing. To make a basic living you need to sell about 50,000 books. The average novel sells around 7000 copies. Only about 5-10% of published authors make their living primarily from writing.
    And to be honest I think that I would have to devote most of my time to writing novels for them to be of the requisite quality to be published. It's definitely not a viable career option for me personally, I would either want to go at it full on or not at all, I don't think it's really worthwhile doing it in a half-arsed manner.
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    My other half is a civil servant in private office, working directly with the secretary of state for work & pensions, she has an English Lit. degre (2:1 from Sheffield university).
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    (Original post by nonswimmer)
    Employers might think that a degree in English just involves sitting on your arse reading books all day.
    No they won't. As some of these "employers" possibly took English degree themselves, or have friends who took them and/or employer up to thousands of english graduates in the past.

    They are actually experienced and informed people, you know?
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    (Original post by celestialteapot)
    My other half is a civil servant in private office, working directly with the secretary of state for work & pensions, she has an English Lit. degre (2:1 from Sheffield university).
    Good for her. More and more, though, I am considering just going back and redoing my highers with science subjects, as I think that this will be best for me personally.
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    I would say to go for it, but be wise when you are at University in regards to bulking up your CV. Join the media society and get involved in getting articles published, look for work experience, keep writing out of lectures to create a strong portfolio, and work hard. By going to Universities you will meet a wide range of lecturers, all with different connections- and ideas which keep you growing as a writer. You may come across areas you have not considered before, and for the life experience it is great! Perhaps look into moving to a city if you want to be published, and you have so many more opportunities for internships etc at your door. People sometimes forget that Uni is about more than getting a degree, it is somewhere to learn, and open your mind. There are options afterwards: teaching (primary, secondary or FE), obviously freelance writer, magazine junior, researcher, many graduate schemes for businesses & retail accept the degree, and so many more. Go for it!
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    (Original post by RoxyLite)
    I would say to go for it, but be wise when you are at University in regards to bulking up your CV. Join the media society and get involved in getting articles published, look for work experience, keep writing out of lectures to create a strong portfolio, and work hard. By going to Universities you will meet a wide range of lecturers, all with different connections- and ideas which keep you growing as a writer. You may come across areas you have not considered before, and for the life experience it is great! Perhaps look into moving to a city if you want to be published, and you have so many more opportunities for internships etc at your door. People sometimes forget that Uni is about more than getting a degree, it is somewhere to learn, and open your mind. There are options afterwards: teaching (primary, secondary or FE), obviously freelance writer, magazine junior, researcher, many graduate schemes for businesses & retail accept the degree, and so many more. Go for it!
    Thank you for the reply.

    I'm not entirely sure, I've already been enrolled in a course, which was an industrial design course, and at the start my mindset was very enthusiastic: "Yea, I'm going to work really hard, get good grades, meet people, get contacts from the industry, enhance my CV", etc etc. I managed to get a scholarship on this course, but by the end of my second year, I became aware that people who had graduated two or three years ago from the same course didn't have a job, and were really struggling to make ends meet. These graduates were the people I looked upto in first year, as I thought that there quality of work and work ethic were outstanding. When I found out that even these guys couldn't get jobs, I decided to cut my losses and do something really worthwhile in terms of employability. Therefore, I'm really not willing to make the same mistake twice, because I really don't want to go through another degree constantly wondering what the opportunities will be at the end of it, and I definitely don't want to work as a teacher or a struggling author/writer for the rest of my life.
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    (Original post by andrew1990)
    Thank you for the reply.

    I'm not entirely sure, I've already been enrolled in a course, which was an industrial design course, and at the start my mindset was very enthusiastic: "Yea, I'm going to work really hard, get good grades, meet people, get contacts from the industry, enhance my CV", etc etc. I managed to get a scholarship on this course, but by the end of my second year, I became aware that people who had graduated two or three years ago from the same course didn't have a job, and were really struggling to make ends meet. These graduates were the people I looked upto in first year, as I thought that there quality of work and work ethic were outstanding. When I found out that even these guys couldn't get jobs, I decided to cut my losses and do something really worthwhile in terms of employability. Therefore, I'm really not willing to make the same mistake twice, because I really don't want to go through another degree constantly wondering what the opportunities will be at the end of it, and I definitely don't want to work as a teacher or a struggling author/writer for the rest of my life.
    It really depends if you know what you want to do at all- the course you were previously on was fairly narrow in it's qualification; which is good because it is focused and intense, but if there are no jobs then you are somewhat screwed. I did Primary Teaching the first time I was at Uni, and after working in the 'real world' and seeing the lack of opportunities- I decided to take the plunge again. Worse case scenario upon graduating is that you end up in a non-grad job, which is what would happen anyway if you had not gone. With English, it shows a range of disiplines and skills, and getting a first in something you are good at is better than a lower grade in something you thought could be useful. There really are a lot of opportunities if you want to take them, volunteering non-academically and joining a society which teaches you skills can open doors you never knew you wanted opening! Plus, the job market could be a very different place in 3 years, and you will either have lots of chances to get good jobs with your degree, or the degree will at least get you a job of some description. A lot of my non-grad friends are looking for jobs, and to no avail even though they have good A levels and previous job experience. My grad friends all have a job of some description, and one has walked into a management job and is now above another friend who has worked there since school. In short, a degree subject may not land you your 'dream' job, but in todays world, it is the best bet. Research Unis a lot and see what they have to offer, and what 3rd years and course leaders have to say.
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    (Original post by RoxyLite)
    It really depends if you know what you want to do at all- the course you were previously on was fairly narrow in it's qualification; which is good because it is focused and intense, but if there are no jobs then you are somewhat screwed. I did Primary Teaching the first time I was at Uni, and after working in the 'real world' and seeing the lack of opportunities- I decided to take the plunge again. Worse case scenario upon graduating is that you end up in a non-grad job, which is what would happen anyway if you had not gone. With English, it shows a range of disiplines and skills, and getting a first in something you are good at is better than a lower grade in something you thought could be useful. There really are a lot of opportunities if you want to take them, volunteering non-academically and joining a society which teaches you skills can open doors you never knew you wanted opening! Plus, the job market could be a very different place in 3 years, and you will either have lots of chances to get good jobs with your degree, or the degree will at least get you a job of some description. A lot of my non-grad friends are looking for jobs, and to no avail even though they have good A levels and previous job experience. My grad friends all have a job of some description, and one has walked into a management job and is now above another friend who has worked there since school. In short, a degree subject may not land you your 'dream' job, but in todays world, it is the best bet. Research Unis a lot and see what they have to offer, and what 3rd years and course leaders have to say.
    With people I know who've graduated, it's a bit of a mixed bag to be honest, One did politics at strathclyde, and can't get a job, another did architecture, he's got a job, and there are others with and without jobs as well, so it really is a mixed bag to be fair. I know a couple of English graduates who are still working in retail, although to be fair they've only just graduated in June just there, so it's a bit early to draw a conclusion on that. I think I'm actually going to speak to my GP soon (I have an appointment anyways) and ask if it's possible to get a decent job in healthcare after doing a medical sciences or biomedical science degree, as opposed to a medicine MBChB, as I think their opinion will definitely be the most pertinent, and definitely the most informed opinion available to me at the moment. To be honest, since I became aware of what was happening on my old course and quit, I've become quite mixed up and don't really know which way my life is going. I've really got no idea whether to do English, science, or what, so I think I'll maybe just keep researching away for the time being, and hopefully make the right decision this time round.
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    (Original post by andrew1990)
    With people I know who've graduated, it's a bit of a mixed bag to be honest, One did politics at strathclyde, and can't get a job, another did architecture, he's got a job, and there are others with and without jobs as well, so it really is a mixed bag to be fair. I know a couple of English graduates who are still working in retail, although to be fair they've only just graduated in June just there, so it's a bit early to draw a conclusion on that. I think I'm actually going to speak to my GP soon (I have an appointment anyways) and ask if it's possible to get a decent job in healthcare after doing a medical sciences or biomedical science degree, as opposed to a medicine MBChB, as I think their opinion will definitely be the most pertinent, and definitely the most informed opinion available to me at the moment. To be honest, since I became aware of what was happening on my old course and quit, I've become quite mixed up and don't really know which way my life is going. I've really got no idea whether to do English, science, or what, so I think I'll maybe just keep researching away for the time being, and hopefully make the right decision this time round.
    Sounds like a good plan, really. Although many people overlook Pharmacy when choosing a career. If you want a guaranteed job (and I can say that- I used to work in a Pharmacy and there is such a high demand for them!), good money, an interesting but challenging course, and a varied career with lots of options and chances to gain extra skills for life, then maybe find out more about it. If I was Sciency and had good grades I would do that course in a heartbeat! Good luck with whatever you decide to do. If you do do a science/medical thing then remember you can always get involved with Englishy things on the side, such as the newspaper and things.
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    (Original post by RoxyLite)
    Sounds like a good plan, really. Although many people overlook Pharmacy when choosing a career. If you want a guaranteed job (and I can say that- I used to work in a Pharmacy and there is such a high demand for them!), good money, an interesting but challenging course, and a varied career with lots of options and chances to gain extra skills for life, then maybe find out more about it. If I was Sciency and had good grades I would do that course in a heartbeat! Good luck with whatever you decide to do. If you do do a science/medical thing then remember you can always get involved with Englishy things on the side, such as the newspaper and things.
    That is a very sound piece of advice, I have been pouring over endless degree courses and employment figures for weeks now, and I have to be honest I'm actually guilty of overlooking pharmacy as well! I never really went in depth enough when I looked at it, and I didn't realise just how high the demand was for the profession, apparently they're in demand in both the UK and the US, so there's significant opportunity irrespective of geographical location. I'm definitely going to be looking into this as a possible career route, as the opportunities are excellent. Thanks very much for your help, you've made a brilliant suggestion.
 
 
 
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