Why English?

“The report of my death has been grossly exaggerated.”

-- Mark Twain

In the competitive workplace of the early 21st century, what does someone who studied English have to offer a would-be employer?

As it turns out, a great deal.

The Atlantic reveals the benefits of a creative, holistic education compared to the the shortcomings of business majors in an increasingly interconnected, communicative world. The New York Times laments that corporate America is starved for decent writers. The Providence Sunday Journal declares that an “English degree can be a ticket to opportunity.” Maybe most compelling of all, a 2018 article from Inside Higher Ed includes the findings of a long-term study graduate job success and satisfaction. It found that many “students study English … for insights and a way of analyzing the world, without intending their careers to be specifically in English…”

What too many incoming college students and their parents fail to appreciate is the applicability of an English degree, second to none.

In a world where writing and communication are more important than ever before, the study of English prepares students for work in a vast array of fields. Among these are those historically-dominated by Humanities degrees, like education, marketing, entertainment, design, or government. But there are also the less-obvious careers, like business, consulting, administration, and more, where critical and creative thinking proves vital. English majors are trained to think with precision and nuance, to research and synthesize information, and to communicate clearly — skills that are the bedrock of professional success in any field.

At Pace’s Pleasantville campus, English majors enjoy small classes and mentoring from faculty with strong records in scholarly publishing, digital writing, and creative nonfiction. Many students enroll in unique study abroad courses that travel to Greece or Costa Rica. All our students complete one or more internships. Our undergraduates also present scholarly work at academic conferences, enjoy writing for campus publications, and take advantage of department literary, cultural, and social events. They also benefit from unparalleled career-centered guidance.

In Pleasantville we feel we have the best of both worlds: Close enough to New York City to provide easy access to the many cultural offerings of the most vibrant city in the world, while also providing the idyllic environment of a more traditional college campus. It is in this setting we prepare our students for the world: Coursework in English is preparation for what life will throw at us with all of its unexpectedness. Both personally and professionally, English graduates are prepared.