General English Literature
Types of Degrees General English Literature Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many general English literature graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What General English Literature Majors Need to Know
People with careers related to English were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.
Knowledge Areas for English Majors
English majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Skills for English Majors
When studying English, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for English Majors
English majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
What Can You Do With a General English Literature Major?
People with a English degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|English Language and Literature Professors||9.8%||$66,590|
|Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||7.5%||$60,320|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in General English Literature?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of English majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||258|
|Hispanic or Latino||367|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in English. About 4.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
How Much Do General English Literature Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in general English literature made a median starting salary of $39,400 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,500 (25th percentile) and $42,700 (75th percentile).
It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to English.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $64,340 to $78,150 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to English. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to General English Literature
Some degrees associated with English may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to English have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||4.6%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||8.0%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||2.9%|
Online General English Literature Programs
In 2018-2019, 1,550 schools offered a English program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||31||5|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||16||4|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||143||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||1||1|
Is a Degree in General English Literature Worth It?
The median salary for a English grad is $64,340 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 61% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $488,800 after 20 years!
Top Ranking Lists for General English Literature
Explore Major by State
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Majors Related to General English Literature
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to English.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|English Literature (Other)||175|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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