username3489684
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i wanna study english and ive always thought that it was a good degree because you can pretty much get any job (well not any but a lot) with it like there's so many career paths to choose from. i mean idk what iwanna do in the future but with english i could go into journalism like so many differet types of journalism, law, marketing, pr , commuication, novelist etc. But a lot of people say it's useless etc. But how... like ngl but some people dont ****ing know how to write even adults and you dont just learn hwo to write but like a 1000 other ****ing skill. But is it really useless?
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Lily048
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(Original post by justanotherchica)
i wanna study english and ive always thought that it was a good degree because you can pretty much get any job (well not any but a lot) with it like there's so many career paths to choose from. i mean idk what iwanna do in the future but with english i could go into journalism like so many differet types of journalism, law, marketing, pr , commuication, novelist etc. But a lot of people say it's useless etc. But how... like ngl but some people dont ****ing know how to write even adults and you dont just learn hwo to write but like a 1000 other ****ing skill. But is it really useless?
Typically it leads into teaching jobs, it’s not very employable because it isn’t practical nor heavily skill-based.
You rarely, if at all, get any industry experience. The occasions that you do, most people go on to do a PGCE (essentially a teaching degree) and then teach primary or high school English.
Language is more employable than literature because from that many go into speech therapy, child language acquisition, care work or overseas translation (rarely though I might add). It’s often done as a degree that’s needed to be built upon by another degree to make it more employable - PGCE, Child studies, Language Therapy, Psychology, etc.
English literature is also the study of literature so whilst you pick up good analytical skills, essay writing, report writing and history understanding, it doesn’t offer the broad spectrum of skills other degrees do- data analysis, group research, statistical analysis, IT, data input, legal knowledge, application of policy and data, training in industry, public sector/third sector training/study, etc.
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username3489684
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(Original post by Lily048)
Typically it leads into teaching jobs, it’s not very employable because it isn’t practical nor heavily skill-based.
You rarely, if at all, get any industry experience. The occasions that you do, most people go on to do a PGCE (essentially a teaching degree) and then teach primary or high school English.
Language is more employable than literature because from that many go into speech therapy, child language acquisition, care work or overseas translation (rarely though I might add). It’s often done as a degree that’s needed to be built upon by another degree to make it more employable - PGCE, Child studies, Language Therapy, Psychology, etc.
English literature is also the study of literature so whilst you pick up good analytical skills, essay writing, report writing and history understanding, it doesn’t offer the broad spectrum of skills other degrees do- data analysis, group research, statistical analysis, IT, data input, legal knowledge, application of policy and data, training in industry, public sector/third sector training/study, etc.
i mea i really like english lit but I REALLY DO nOT WAnT TO GO InTO TEACHInG
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artful_lounger
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It's as "useless" any non-STEM, non vocational/professional (i.e. Law, Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Medicine, etc, etc) degree - outside of these areas degrees are really what you make of them.

Just as with History, Politics, any number of social sciences or humanities degrees, and in reality virtually any business related course at the undergraduate level, the preparation it provides is not disciplinary but in terms of transferable skills. The underlying research, writing, communication (written and oral) skills are the attraction, as far as employers are concerned. Whether you are able to convincingly present this as the case in an interview is somewhat on you.

Do bear in mind as mentioned above, there is less in the data analysis/quantitative research methods realm than other subjects here, outside of more linguistics oriented options taken in a degree or if you do some dissertation in something relating to e.g. librarianship which uses a lot of data normally. Universities seem increasingly to be including "professional skills" type modules to try and develop this in humanities and social science courses where it is less evident though. Additionally there is usually more scope to take optional modules within humanities degrees including English where you could ameliorate this (and if you highlight how you developed and can apply these skills in an interview that will probably help you, at least relative to other Literature grads).

You can go into any number of generic business/related grad schemes (or e.g. the Civil Service) from an English degree - the main important thing being where you get the degree, rather than what in. You would certainly struggle somewhat more finding a role with an English degree from e.g. Portsmouth, than from Oxford (or perhaps in the less extreme, KCL or similar). Conversely though someone with a good engineering degree from Pompey could probably find a reasonable regional role to move into, so it does't necessarily go both ways.

Anyway as above you probably won't do anything directly related to the degree after graduating outside of teaching - you can stay in academia, but in the "arts" (i.e. essay subjects) this is considerably harder to do/more competitive than in other areas (also realistically, still involves teaching - just slightly older, although not necessarily better behaved, students). Probably the closest other area where you might use the subject background would be in librarianship.
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DrSocSciences
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I know graduates of English who now work in the City. To employers, your university credentials aren't based solely on your course of study.
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
It's as useless any non-STEM, non vocational/professional (i.e. Law, Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Medicine, etc, etc) degree - outside of these areas degrees are really what you make of them.

Just as with History, Politics, any number of social sciences or humanities degrees, and in reality virtually any business related course at the undergraduate level, the preparation it provides is not disciplinary but in terms of transferable skills. The underlying research, writing, communication (written and oral) skills are the attraction, as far as employers are concerned. Whether you are able to convincingly present this as the case in an interview is somewhat on you.

Do bear in mind as mentioned above, there is less in the data analysis/quantitative research methods realm than other subjects here, outside of more linguistics oriented options taken in a degree or if you do some dissertation in something relating to e.g. librarianship which uses a lot of data normally. Universities seem increasingly to be including "professional skills" type modules to try and develop this in humanities and social science courses where it is less evident though. Additionally there is usually more scope to take optional modules within humanities degrees including English where you could ameliorate this (and if you highlight how you developed and can apply these skills in an interview that will probably help you, at least relative to other Literature grads).

You can go into any number of generic business/related grad schemes (or e.g. the Civil Service) from an English degree - the main important thing being where you get the degree, rather than what in. You would certainly struggle somewhat more finding a role with an English degree from e.g. Portsmouth, than from Oxford (or perhaps in the less extreme, KCL or similar). Conversely though someone with a good engineering degree from Pompey could probably find a reasonable regional role to move into, so it does't necessarily go both ways.

Anyway as above you probably won't do anything directly related to the degree after graduating outside of teaching - you can stay in academia, but in the "arts" (i.e. essay subjects) this is considerably harder to do/more competitive than in other areas (also realistically, still involves teaching - just slightly older, although not necessarily better behaved, students). Probably the closest other area where you might use the subject background would be in librarianship.
Personally I’d take this comment with a pinch of salt.
BA degrees or social sciences are not inherently useless and if anything are more like to prove better academia terminology and grammatical accuracy/range than STEM (my sibling did chemical engineering finishing with a first yet does not have as competent skills as I do writing reports, inquiries, scanning, using expressive more verbose language, cultivating answers to intrinsic interview questions, etc - and my degree is a social science).
Unless you are applying to jobs where Maths, scientific knowledge or a specific degree (like medicine) are essentially required to do the job, then realistically you can use any skills you’ve acquired anywhere alongside your degree to aid an application to a job.
For example, civil service graduate schemes nearly always ask for proficiency in higher-academic level report preparation - something in likely more proficient at because my coursework was my heavily based around this area.
However I would urge people doing BAs/social sciences to acquire additional skills to boost an application/CV - learning to code, becoming more proficient in Microsoft Applications, usage of SAP, HTMLs, data input/statistical analysis. There are free courses you can do online to help this
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Lily048)
Personally I’d take this comment with a pinch of salt.
BA degrees or social sciences are not inherently useless and if anything are more like to prove better academia terminology and grammatical accuracy/range than STEM (my sibling did chemical engineering finishing with a first yet does not have as competent skills as I do writing reports, inquiries, scanning, using expressive more verbose language, cultivating answers to intrinsic interview questions, etc - and my degree is a social science).
Unless you are applying to jobs where Maths, scientific knowledge or a specific degree (like medicine) are essentially required to do the job, then realistically you can use any skills you’ve acquired anywhere alongside your degree to aid an application to a job.
For example, civil service graduate schemes nearly always ask for proficiency in higher-academic level report preparation - something in likely more proficient at because my coursework was my heavily based around this area.
However I would urge people doing BAs/social sciences to acquire additional skills to boost an application/CV - learning to code, becoming more proficient in Microsoft Applications, usage of SAP, HTMLs, data input/statistical analysis. There are free courses you can do online to help this
You seem to have either misinterpreted my comment. At no point did I intend to suggest STEM degrees were better for "generalist" roles; they are just the same for that, however going into detail on how they may be "less useless" overall was beyond the scope of this thread as it pertains to the nature of the specialist roles which STEM graduates can apply to that arts students cannot. The bulk of my commentary was, in line with this thread's focus, regarding "arts" subjects only and the roles they can collectively apply to, and noting that the intersection of the set of roles an English grad and a grad in any other "arts" role can apply to is in fact the union of those two sets...
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Lily048
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
You seem to have either misinterpreted my comment. At no point did I intend to suggest STEM degrees were better for "generalist" roles; they are just the same for that, however going into detail on how they may be "less useless" overall was beyond the scope of this thread as it pertains to the nature of the specialist roles which STEM graduates can apply to that arts students cannot. The bulk of my commentary was, in line with this thread's focus, regarding "arts" subjects only and the roles they can collectively apply to, and noting that the intersection of the set of roles an English grad and a grad in any other "arts" role can apply to is in fact the union of those two sets...
Look at the first line of your original comment...
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username2936508
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English graduate here (as of 2013).

Obviously it's not a vocational degree but there is unlikely any other time in your life where you'll be able to spend 3 years doing something purely out of academic interest and self development. Education isn't just for getting a job.

Your employability isn't irrelevant though, and luckily there's still loads you can do. I've been working in psychiatric research for years and I'm going to study graduate entry medicine in September. I don't regret doing things this way at all though - I learnt so much during my first degree.

My course mates all job jobs quite easily. Lots have gone into law, some are journalists for national newspapers, others civil servants, there's a few in publishing, some do copy writer type jobs, one got a funded PhD place, and I don't know anybody who did teaching. Actually all the teachers I know from uni did stem subjects and became Teach First maths teachers.

I would say that lots of us did a masters in something more vocational afterwards to help us focus on something, so think about that.
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Helper34
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
You seem to have either misinterpreted my comment. At no point did I intend to suggest STEM degrees were better for "generalist" roles; they are just the same for that, however going into detail on how they may be "less useless" overall was beyond the scope of this thread as it pertains to the nature of the specialist roles which STEM graduates can apply to that arts students cannot. The bulk of my commentary was, in line with this thread's focus, regarding "arts" subjects only and the roles they can collectively apply to, and noting that the intersection of the set of roles an English grad and a grad in any other "arts" role can apply to is in fact the union of those two sets...
People like you really annoy me lol. "It's as useless any non-STEM, non vocational/professional (i.e. Law, Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Medicine, etc, etc) degree". First off, specialist degrees are obviously better for their fields; I am doing English and Creative Writing (second year) and I went into it wanting to do teaching. I changed my mind halfway (hate secondary, wanna do primary IF ANY) and looking into different career services and paths, as well as sites like Prospects I can see there are a TONNE of jobs you can do apart from teaching. The bottom line is if you like the subject do it; Don't worry about who considers it useful or not, unless you are going for a job that requires a specialist degree (E.G. you can't be a game designer with our degree unless you had all the skills as well...) it really won't matter that much. I am an older student, I dropped uni from my life in favour of working in retail (I know right) and I came back years later. My choice was English and Creative Writing (which I love) or other degrees, I picked this one because I love to write. As far as careers, here is a useful link to all the fields you can do:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/english.htm

Even if you don't want to teach, you can go into companies solely where you have been accepted JUST for doing a degree. You can do all of the above, personally I want to help kids and I have experience (make sure you get experience, even volunteering helps massively) and I can do that with my degree. Think of this degree as a main point, you need to add little other points (such as experience, employability) etc just like any other degree. I was LITERALLY in the same position as you right now, if you need anything else just message and I will try to help
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I did a BA in English and if you enjoy it, go for it! Generally it's a well respected degree that gives you good all-round writing, communication and analytical skills. I used it to go into editorial work and my coursemates are doing all sorts of different things - marketing, PR, journalism, theatre, charity work, publishing, the civil service... it's very broad. Quite a a few did professional postgrad qualifications after finishing and are now teachers, lawyers, even a speech and language therapist. It's also a good base for further study in other subjects - I did a masters in anthropology a few years later, and know people with english degrees who've gone on to do research in history, sociology, gender studies and so on.

Obviously the degree doesn't lead to any particular job (or to some of the more higher paying sectors) in the same way that engineering or medicine does. But it's certainly a good basis to do a lot of different things with. So do what you want and ignore the naysayers!
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Jack9889)
People like you really annoy me lol. "It's as useless any non-STEM, non vocational/professional (i.e. Law, Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Medicine, etc, etc) degree". First off, specialist degrees are obviously better for their fields;
Demonstrating a complete lack of reading comprehension isn't going to do much to convince me even if I were, as you believe "on the other side of the table". Since you're clearly not at all familiar with my views on the matter or my background, which I'm pretty upfront about in any other post, I always recommend doing what one enjoys the most given my experiences doing the exact opposite and the subsequent mental health problems it gave rise to and/or compounded. The comment was entirely there to highlight as you stated that the specialist degree is necessary for their specialist fields and thus it is irrelevant to compare those. Following this I offered suggestions considering purely the "arts" areas that are directly comparable.

Being insistent on picking a fight of "STEM vs everyone else!" which at every point I have avoided and noted is not the point of this thread or my comments doesn't constructively add to this thread at all. Perhaps if you tried reading more than the first sentence of any post you might actually see that, and if you also left aside your bullish approach to the topic in the first place.

(Original post by Lily048)
Look at the first line of your original comment...
Look at literally every other line of the comment which discusses exclusively the other topics.

This thread is not about "STEM vs arts" no matter how much either of you want it to be, and no amount of pigheaded hyperfixation on a single comment (which was clearly a parody of the title of the thread, and as English students or those interested in the area it is extremely concerning you're not even able to pick up on the repetition of the OP's language used to introduce my comment) is going to change either that. Go derail another thread, or if you're so insistent on flogging this dead horse, make your own thread on the matter.
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Lily048
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Look at literally every other line of the comment which discusses exclusively the other topics.

This thread is not about "STEM vs arts" no matter how much either of you want it to be, and no amount of pigheaded hyperfixation on a single comment (which was clearly a parody of the title of the thread, and as English students or those interested in the area it is extremely concerning you're not even able to pick up on the repetition of the OP's language used to introduce my comment) is going to change either that. Go derail another thread, or if you're so insistent on flogging this dead horse, make your own thread on the matter.
Really? That comment alone just screams how triggered you are by this topic alone. You did not say anything parody or with fun (as much as you say it was just a comment), if you truly had any brain cells you would know that this is an online forum, therefore how you write and what you state has permanency - we cannot read minds and your first comment initially stated that they are “useless” which is a direct quote.
Stop being such a sour immature person and grow up. I was being so polite towards your initial comment considering how blunt and direct you were being over something subjective. Now look at you - I suggest you remove yourself from forums before you burst a blood vessel from several people disagreeing with you. Jesus Christ..
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Lily048)
Really? That comment alone just screams how triggered you are by this topic alone. You did not say anything parody or with fun (as much as you say it was just a comment), if you truly had any brain cells you would know that this is an online forum, therefore how you write and what you state has permanency - we cannot read minds and your first comment initially stated that they are “useless” which is a direct quote.
Stop being such a sour immature person and grow up. I was being so polite towards your initial comment considering how blunt and direct you were being over something subjective. Now look at you - I suggest you remove yourself from forums before you burst a blood vessel from several people disagreeing with you. Jesus Christ..
Read the thread title. Read it again. Read it again a third time and write down the thread title, underline and/or highlight the word "useless" in it, then cross reference this with my comment. Maybe you will see the connection now that I've spelled it out for you.

Also "triggered" is a term referring to how someone suffering from trauma can be affected by things seemingly removed from that trauma. It's not a buzzword to throw around in internet arguments, and even if fit were it immediately demonstrates you have lost any such argument as you have no further valid points to provide.

I have no further comments with regard to you as you've derailed this thread far enough in your absurd crusade against nothing.
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Lily048
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Read the thread title. Read it again. Read it again a third time and write down the thread title, underline and/or highlight the word "useless" in it, then cross reference this with my comment. Maybe you will see the connection now that I've spelled it out for you.

Also "triggered" is a term referring to how someone suffering from trauma can be affected by things seemingly removed from that trauma. It's not a buzzword to throw around in internet arguments, and even if fit were it immediately demonstrates you have lost any such argument as you have no further valid points to provide.

I have no further comments with regard to you as you've derailed this thread far enough in your absurd crusade against nothing.
Get over yourself, this is an online forum. 😂 you clearly misunderstand everyone in this thread AND your own statement, that has to be the worst I’ve seen a person on TSR, well done. You’ve officially out done yourself 😂...
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Parliament
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(Original post by Lily048)
Typically it leads into teaching jobs, it’s not very employable because it isn’t practical nor heavily skill-based.
You rarely, if at all, get any industry experience. The occasions that you do, most people go on to do a PGCE (essentially a teaching degree) and then teach primary or high school English.
Language is more employable than literature because from that many go into speech therapy, child language acquisition, care work or overseas translation (rarely though I might add). It’s often done as a degree that’s needed to be built upon by another degree to make it more employable - PGCE, Child studies, Language Therapy, Psychology, etc.
English literature is also the study of literature so whilst you pick up good analytical skills, essay writing, report writing and history understanding, it doesn’t offer the broad spectrum of skills other degrees do- data analysis, group research, statistical analysis, IT, data input, legal knowledge, application of policy and data, training in industry, public sector/third sector training/study, etc.
There's no 'typical' job leading out of a subject like English because, as OP correctly identified, it enables a wide range of careers. 'Teaching' is an outmoded (and somewhat unfair) characterisation of the opportunities afforded by an English degree. However, this user is correct in emphasising the importance of postgrad qualifications for English students. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does lead to more debt. Employability stats for my university's English grads are no worse than any other course, though the average salary after 3 years is significantly lower than for STEM graduates (for obvious reasons - further study can impede career progression, and many 'Englishy' jobs like copywriting, advertising, and journalism don't pay too well, though they're not bad).

I study English atm and here is a list of what my coursemates are doing next year when they graduate:

- Consultancy (management, cyber-security)
- Civil service
- Journalism
- Publishing
- Further study with goal of going into political/economic research
- Further study (drama school)
- Copywriting
- Financial services
- Further study (law conversion)
- Further study with goal of going into psychological research

So yeah, it's pretty broad. It's definitely still possible to go into lucrative work if that's what you want to do, but it's also worth remembering that life isn't just about money! If you find something you're passionate about at uni, chances are an English degree won't hold you back from pursuing it after you graduate Provided you go to a good uni, get good internships/work exp in your summers, and you have solid maths skills, doing English won't close any doors.
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