Field of Study Overview

If you love reading novels and writing you may want to choose a major in the field of English Language and Literature. This field of study involves reading significant works of fiction, as well as studying the history, structure, and use of language.

One of the most popular majors in this field is General English which focuses on the study of English language and literature as well as other subjects in the liberal arts. Students who love classic literature may want to major in Literature, while those who are more interested in writing can choose Writing Studies. Some colleges offer additional opportunities to choose concentrations.

Classes may differ depending on your major, but you can expect to be discussing ideas, reading literary criticisms, and be writing creative and analytical papers. While performing these activities, you will be taking courses in continental literature, history of English, linguistic analysis, creative writing, literary theory and criticism.

Required Skills

Strong reading and writing skills are recommended in this field. You must be able to express your ideas and analysis efficiently in your written work and class participation, so work on both oral and written communication. Attention to detail and creativity are important talents because you will be making connections and comparisons.

If you are interested in pursuing a degree in English Language and Literature, students are advised to take prior courses in creative writing, literature, English language, and speech. Some student choose to continue their education with a Master's degree in this field.

Career

This is a broad field of study that can lead to many different career paths. Many graduates are interested in education and go on to become a secondary or postsecondary teacher. Some states require a Master's degree to teach.

Grads who love to write may become copy editors, copywriters, editors, technical writers, authors, marketers or public relations specialists. Copywriters write ads and articles to attract consumers to buy products and services. Public relations specialists help promote organizations and individuals. The job outlook for these individuals is rising. Technical writers construct manuals and instructions for consumers and businesses related, related to science and technology.

Interested in additional education? Some graduates use a background in English as a stepping stone to an advanced degree. Students may go on to obtain Master's degrees in English, law, political science or other related subjects.

Average salary will vary depending on your chosen career path and education level. However, English Language and Literature graduates report an average starting salary of $36,072 with a mid-career salary of $63,414.

Field at a Glance

  • Yearly Graduations
    46,498
    (online) 2,956
    (associate) 248
    (bachelor) 46,250
  • Average Starting Salary
    $36,000
  • Average Mid-Career Salary
    $63,000

Explore Top Majors in this Field

Click Major to View Top CollegesPopularitySalary PotentialMajors Matcher
English Literature (Other) Low N/AN/A
General English Literature High Fair N/A
Literature Low N/AN/A
Writing Studies Average Poor N/A

College Ranking by Field of Study

Click rankings below to view the top colleges in this field
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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