I am currently a major in English, and now that I'm done with my degree, I am starting to think about doing a graduate program.

I've had a few teachers tell me I should go into teaching, possibly to become a professor. One of my professors wants me to go to Japan to teach English there, but honestly I don't feel like teaching at this point in my life.

I have a IT Tech job right now, and I love it. I am very tech savvy, and I like science as well. From your perspective, what do you think would be better? Combining an English BA and a STEM graduate degree, or doubling up on English and going into teaching? Just because I don't want to teach now doesn't mean I won't in the future. Right now I'm fairly open to suggestions. I also have skills in video editing, photo editing, and advertising. But I don't want to pursue them as major.

To any other English majors out there, what do you do? Thank you for your help in advance. -Lost English Major

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last year

You'll find as more time passes since college, your major will matter less and less, and your actual education will matter more and more. When I get asked by college students, "What should I major in, if I want a career like you have?" I answer, "Whatever topic makes you the most excited to study, produce, and go to class. Pick the course of study that drives you to learn. It will teach you how to learn, how to think. And you'll get better grades, which will open more doors for you."

Now that you've already done that, you don't need to think of yourself as "English Major" anymore. You can think of yourself as "intelligent young man who can and likes to ." And you can let that be your guide.

Frankly, the totality of your skillset sounds like a great fit for marketing, which more than any other career requires great communication, creativity, and technical skills.

And don't worry about making the right or wrong decision. If you don't want to teach now, don't even prepare for a future in teaching. You can always pursue it later. My daughter's 4th grade teacher was a landscape architect for 10 years. One of my business school professors used to be a factory floor manager. The doors will open to you when you're ready.

Best of luck!

last year

Thanks, Eric! This is really helpful. I think my struggle is that going to Japan means I have a guaranteed job as a teacher, and if I go down the STEM graduate route, I can maybe get a job as an engineer or leverage my English major with my stem degree to becomes a PM. Those two paths seem really clear, but not going to grad school and not teaching means things are more uncertain.

But, if I don't go to grad school, then I won't have a bunch of debt which is also great. I guess my question is do you have any advice on how to use my IT tech experience with my English major to get a job at another company or startup?

last year

Graduated English major here. I ended up going down the tech route, working at eCommerce and app developers.

The questions you'll want to ask yourself is where do you see yourself in a few years and what makes you happy? If you want a nice house/apartment in a big city like SF or NYC, you'll likely have to go down tech to afford that lifestyle. If you want to help mold the minds of the future and you enjoy teaching, then you should continue down education, earn a graduate degree, and become a professor.

For me, the big decision came when I moved out to NYC after graduating, and I was debating whether I should continue to the second round interview at DC Comics for an entry-level position that would pay "mid-$30s" or accept an offer from an eCommerce site paying $42K. Although I've loved comics all my life, I couldn't take the paycut and chose the eCommerce site. It's been about five years since that decision, I know I made the right call.

Since you're currently in college, you have some time to figure this out, so ask yourself those tough questions (what do you want to be? where do you want to be? what kind of lifestyle seems the most enjoyable for you?) and see where those answers take you.

Best of luck and happy to answer any more questions you might have!

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