What careers are possible?
An English major provides you with broad cultural literacy, analytical thinking skills as well as technical writing skills required for a variety of careers. Graduates that obtain an English degree can pursue professions outside of public and private schools, though this is definitely one of the more popular uses for the degree. Business, law, the military, administration, and even management positions might require an English major.
While coursework and credit hours vary among colleges, you can expect to take several years of schooling for Masters degrees, and even longer for PhDs.
Like other degree programs, most colleges offer a variety of ways to benefit from an English degree. A Bachelor of Arts are mostly introductory degrees that prepare students for entry-level jobs requiring an English degree. Bachelor of Science degrees prepare students for entry into adult education (“English as a second language”) positions as well as some administrative work.
If you’re looking for a job that is heavily dependent on English studies, you’ll want to pursue a Masters degree. Also, the Masters opens the door for your doctorate.
Distance Learning vs On-Campus
Distance learning classes put you in control since the class works around your schedule. Lectures are often recorded, while mandatory real-time class participation is limited and often accomplished using webinar and virtual classroom technology, broadcasting the class over the Internet for you to participate in real-time. In the end, the degree you receive is just as legitimate as if you had done your coursework on-campus.
With on-campus classes, you must adjust your schedule to fit the classes and coursework. Since all students meet as a centralized location, it may make it easy to participate in class discussion, though the pace of the class may be too fast or slow for you.
Tuition and Scholarships
Like any other college education, you may qualify for government grants – like the Pell grant – even though you’re obtaining your education through non-traditional means. You still have to qualify for the assistance, though, by filling out the usual FAFSA forms, applying for grants directly, and then play the waiting game until the funds start rolling in. Unlike on-campus schooling though, tuition may be waved or reduced for distance learning (depending on the school) which means you may be able to avoid the grant application process as well as a lifetime of student debt.
English degrees aren’t just for teachers anymore. A variety of professions require one. For example, copyrighting, publishing, public relations, paralegals, speechwriters, technical writers, marketing coordinators, proofreaders, and even librarians all require some type of English degree.
As such, your salary will vary according to the specific job you land. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean income of English teachers is $53,230 per year. Paralegals can expect to make an average of $42,000 annually while journalists may only earn $36,000. Technical writers, on the other hand, earn a median income of over $63,000 annually.
Is It Worth It?
If flexibility and control are important to you when going for your degree, then distance learning is going to be a good move. This comes with a caveat, of course. With freedom comes responsibility. Many students overestimate their ability to work independently. Since you’re not being prodded along by instructors, self-discipline is a must if you hope to graduate.