Yes, we love those burger-flipping gags and barista jokes; we adore Avenue Q (“What do you do with a BA in English?”); we even think the Professional Organization of English Majors (POEM) is pretty darned funny. But as Garrison Keillor points out, the best English Major jokes are written by English Majors, who can poke fun at themselves and get paid for it!  What do think Robert Lopez (Avenue Q) majored in at Yale? (N.B. Carleton English Majors have gone to write, inter alia, for Frasier and The Colbert Report.)

Joking aside, the skills you gain from an English Major are real and in demand. Employers prize them.

English Majors sitting pretty

Employers responding to National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2013 say they’re looking for “good communicators who can make decisions and solve problems while working effectively as part of a team.”

The Top-10 Candidate Skills/Qualities Employers Seek

  1. Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
  2. Ability to work in a team structure
  3. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  4. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
  5. Ability to obtain and process information
  6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
  7. Technical knowledge related to the job
  8. Proficiency with computer software programs
  9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports
  10. Ability to sell or influence others 

Now do you see Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires?