Let's talk about our majors

By Jay Krieger
Hi, my name is Jay Krieger and I’m an English major in the professional-writing track. I’ll be honest, I went into college with a very vague idea of what kind of career I wanted to pursue. Like most people, I have a dream job. I would love to work for a magazine or website writing about media.  Unfortunately, these types of jobs are incredibly competitive and even fewer companies have openings for the specific field I’d like to write for. But despite popular belief, there’s a multitude of other jobs you can get with an English degree. Are they easy to get? Most likely not, but they’re out there.
Who writes the dialogue for your favorite sitcom? Who writes the quips for your favorite Comedy Central show where an average guy makes fun of Internet videos? Chances are, it’s not him. Who comes up with the ideas for films? Sure, there are plenty of directors that write a script or a summary for a film, but do you really think they create a story, write all the dialogue, and film it without any help? Chances are they don’t.
It doesn’t surprise me that on a weekly basis at least one person feels the need to inform me, “Hey, that major is useless unless you plan on teaching English.” When you look at a major that isn’t specific to a single profession – not including education majors – you actually have a number of options besides teaching. With nursing you’ll work in the medical field, but you don’t know exactly what job you’ll end up using that major for. This isn’t to say that if you’re a film major you won’t be making video content of some sort, but how many of the people in that major are going to end up becoming Hollywood filmmakers? Probably not many. The same goes for my major.  There’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to write for a living, but then it doesn’t really matter what your major is. If you have a poor work ethic no one is going to want to hire or collaborate with you. When it comes down to it, a degree is simply a piece of paper that says you’re qualified in your field of expertise, but it’s what you do that proves you’re qualified.
Feel free to leave a comment below about any aspect of your major you’d like to discuss, or feel free to contact me on twitter @jay_krieger.