To be or not to be an English Major

"In the beginning was the Word-in the end just the Cliche." -Stanislaw J. Lee

There are many reasons to be an English major--reading the great plays of Shakespeare is just one.

Black and white photo of older man with white hair, a mustache, and large eyebrows.Mark Twain.

On the practical side, a degree in English "serves as a broad base for a range of careers, many of them quite lucrative." English majors might become lawyers or lobbyists, educators or editors, researchers or reporters--and yes, even English teachers. Because employers value good communication skills, good reading and writing skills, English majors can often "sell" themselves to prospective employers in many different fields.

Boy watching another boy paint a fence with a paintbrush.Huckleberry Fin by Mark Twain.

An English major is not only practical, but personally satisfying as well. Reading poetry or great novels opens the doors to new worlds and new lives, allows us to think and dream, to better understand ourselves and to make sense of the world we live in.

You can start on the path to being an English major by completing an AA degree in English at Ohlone College (PDF). The required classes are ones you would take anyway to transfer; the core and elective courses you choose depend on your interests and where you would like to transfer.


Black and white photo of an older man with a bushy beard, mustache, and wavy over-the-hears hair.Metal plates carved with words and pictures.(Left) Walt Whitman; (right) Cast dies for Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

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