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
In an O*NET survey, English majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
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
A major in English will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
- 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?
Below is a list of occupations associated with English:
|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 Bachelor’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||2,544|
|Hispanic or Latino||5,045|
Students from other countries are interested in English, too. About 1.5% 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?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in general English literature made a median starting salary of $26,850 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $23,700 (25th percentile) and $30,200 (75th percentile).
It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in English, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.
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 careers associated with English require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 1,550 schools offered some type of general English literature program. 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
District of Columbia
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)||1,163|
*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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