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English in University

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by d8g3jdh, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005

    I am currently in grade 12 (final year) just north of toronto and have decided that i want to go to university next year. I like english, writing and journalism, and so i was thinking i would take something along those lines. There are 2 very reputable universities nearby that offer top quality programs in journalism, so thats good.

    My question goes out to everyone who has taken english, writing or journalism in university. What is the usefullness of these degrees in the real world? I like the idea of english and creative writing, but am afraid they will get me nowhere in life, whereas journalism can get me a job.

    Also, if anyone here has gone to either Ryerson or Carleton (the 2 universities i mentioned) what did you take and what did you think?

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I knew several people who took English at University - they all ended up as Teachers!! ;)
  3. I posted a long response to a thread below this morning regarding a fellow who wanted to take history. It applies to English as well. http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=209381
    If you have acheived as much as you care to, or as much as you can, in general education then go for a technical education. If you think you might learn something more in the way of critical thinking skills, then pursue a liberal arts education.
  4. My son graduated with a degree in English - emphasis on technical writing. Found out he hates tech writing. At least he can teach.
  5. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    my friend recently switched from physics to english...

    on the first day of intro to theoretical physics, the teacher took a survey of our majors.

    when he found out my friend switched to an english major, he said to him, "so, you decided the job prospects were better?"

    we all had a laugh. :D
  6. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i was an english major, but also a comp sci minor...

    guess which background is paying off more. ;)
  7. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    Do what your heart tells you. I am almost done with my Professional Writing degree. The university I attend have two possible tracks--creative writing and/or professional writing. I chose the latter.

    Writing of course offers many more possibilities than that of English. As mentioned above, you could certainly get a teaching job with an English degree. But with a writing degree, you can get a job as a technical writer, journalist, freelancer, novelist, editor, and publisher among others.

    Getting what you want out of your degree takes work, but if you love what you do, and have a bit of natural aptitude, the success will come.

    I've been in the technical industry for six to seven years now, and pretty much hate it. I'd say 90% of those out there in the technical market are more qualified than I am. I've spent probably 400 dollars on programming books only to realize I will never understand it. I don't think analytically, so the chances of me finding another job in the technical industry is close to zero. So you have to be careful there. There's a boatload of people out there that know EVERYTHING about technology, and unless you get a degree in something new like Computer Forensics, which is now offered at two universities in the nation, you won't have much luck.

    So, while I agree with what Aaron said above, and in the other post, I don't think it's as simple as choosing a technical or liberal arts education. Usually people are good at one or the other, but not both. I'm a right-brain, which means that I'm better with the creative side of things like writing, music, and art. I am horrible with analytical thinking along the science and math lines. However, you can mix the two together if you know you're a right-brain, but want something marketable. Go into web or graphic design with a minor in writing. There are jobs opening up in the journalism field for those that know both the computer and journalism side of things.

    But just remember, get a degree in what you truly love to do, and you will be successful. Success comes easier to those who love their work.