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Report: English Majors Employed at Comparable Rates, Educators Can Do More to Prepare Students for Careers

College students who graduate as English majors actually find jobs at about the same rate as those who major in other subjects, according to a recent report commissioned by the Modern Language Association (MLA).Dr. Paula KrebsDr. Paula Krebs

Report on English Majors’ Career Preparation and Outcomes draws on findings from a number of different sources, including the Hamilton Project, the National Humanities Alliance, the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, and Humanities Indicators.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for English majors, 2.3%, was not far off from that of all college graduates, 2.17%.

In fact, this rate for English majors puts it below the unemployment rate for computer and information services majors, 2.8%, though still higher compared to a number of other majors – business, engineering, philosophy, physical science, and history.

The salaries that English majors make isn’t far off from that of other pursuits either, according to the report. In 2018, at career peak, the median annual earnings for English literature and language majors working full-time were $76,000, only $2,000 below that of all majors, $78,000.

And for those who have gone on to earn graduate degrees, the median annual full-time salary at career peak was $86,000 for all majors and $83,000 for English literature and language majors, the report noted.

Similarly, the report cited research that showed that the median earnings of full-time workers with an undergrad degree in English and any graduate degree was $65,851, approximately $5,000 lower than that of all majors with a graduate degree, $70,917.

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