Many English majors wish they’d done something else
This major comes with major regret.
More than half (54.3%) of people who majored in English say they are not satisfied with that choice of major, according to a survey conducted by career training site Trade-Schools.net — making it the most regretted college major in America, at least in this survey. And many English majors say as much.
Idk what was going through my head when I decided to major in English…. Literally my biggest regret in life
— laur (@laurabodrug) February 4, 2017
The English major is closely followed by a fine arts major (51.6%) and a political science major (38.2%) as the most regretted.
Graduated last year as an English/Poli Sci double major. Absolutely useless
— Kevin (@KevinLOLsen) May 7, 2017
Meanwhile, accounting is the major people say they are most satisfied with (just 14.8% say they weren’t satisfied), followed by computer science (15%) and information technology (21.1%). And people who graduate with degrees in science, math or technology are the least likely to say they’d switch career fields entirely.
I've made some mistakes in my life, but deciding to be an English major is the one thing that I really regret
— Moose (@_szancs) June 1, 2016
So what’s going on with those who regret their English major? Some of this may be the earnings that graduates face depending on their major. People with a bachelor’s in English earn a median of $53,000 a year and fine arts $49,000 a year, according to Georgetown’s Center of Education and the Workforce. And a study from policy organization The Hamilton Project shows that over a lifetime, English and fine arts majors earn less than $1 million.
Meanwhile, an accounting B.A. can earn you a median of $69,000, a computer science degree $83,000 and an IT major $73,000. That adds up over a lifetime: The Hamilton Project shows that accounting majors will rake in nearly $1.5 million in lifetime earnings, and computer science majors top $1.5 million in lifetime earnings.
Someone just told me they majored in English, and I almost laughed out loud until I remembered that I was also an English major #useless
— Mr Squirrel (@trumps_squirrel) November 16, 2016
The likelihood of getting a job may another factor. A 2015 report from Georgetown’s Center of Education and the Workforce found that college grads with experience and a major in the computers, science and math field had an unemployment rate of just 4.3%. Meanwhile, humanities and arts majors with experience saw unemployment at 5.8%.
Even worse: The future might not be all the bright for English majors. Some of the jobs many of them desire like reporter or correspondent (the number of jobs in this field will decline by -9% through 2024, according to the government) and editor (-5%) have declining job growth, and other jobs like teacher only have average growth. Meanwhile, accountants will see 11% job growth, and jobs that are popular with computer science majors like software developer (17% growth) and computer systems analyst (up 21%) will boom.
But don’t shun the English major yet. Employers want grads who can write: Indeed, the No. 1 soft skill that employers say they’re looking for is good oral and written skills. And you can find plenty of success with the major — as Mitt Romney, Conan O’Brien, Barbara Walters and Clarence Thomas have.
Best decision of my life was becoming an English Major. I love writing.
— Tyrell Mann-Barnes (@MannBarnes) October 24, 2016
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