Lately I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with an English degree. Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of things that you can do with a degree that basically says, “Hey, I write and speak really well.” And, also contrary to popular belief, there actually is some money in it. Obviously you probably won’t make six figures, but that’s not exactly impossible, considering that some of the higher-paying jobs for English (or other humanities) majors can pay up to $70,000 per year. So, to all of you English majors who are sick of hearing people ask, “English? What can you do with that?” or “So, you’ve read Shakespeare?” (Personally, I have not read a single Shakespeare play since high school. Although he invented over 1700 words that we still use to today, such as “eyeball” and “bedroom,” he is not one of my favorites, and English is not just incessant reading of his plays and poetry.)
So, to get back on the subject of career-changing-ness on my part, I’m thinking about going into journalism rather than teaching. I’d really like to write articles. That sounds weird, right? I want to essentially get paid to write research papers. But I sincerely believe that this will be a better avenue for me than teaching. I used to think, like so many, that all you could probably do with an English degree is teach or become an author. It turns out that those are only two of many, many possibilities ranging from sales jobs, to human resources and communication, to search engine marketing, to research, to journalism. And many of these actually involve decent pay, unlike teaching. It’s obviously not all about the money, but at the same time it’s nice to know that you might actually get some financial compensation for the time and money that you spent getting that degree that everyone thought was useless.
I have a passion for helping people, but not the type of help that most people think of (i.e. ER nurse). As an illustration, I’ll use this: If there is a burning building, you’ve got the people who treat burn victims, the people who get the victims outside of the flames, and the people putting out the fire. I want to be the one putting out the fire. Because until the fire is put out (yes, we’re all just going to assume that this fire is self-sustaining and will burn forever…bear with me) you will always need the doctors caring for burn victims and the people who do physical therapy, and the people pulling victims out of the building. I want to be the firefighter with the hose, extinguishing the issue. And I honestly think that journalism might be the best way to do that.
I’m currently considering getting in touch with a local group called Streetlight Tucson (currently being renamed Sold No More) and seeing what I can do with my writing. People think that I’m weird because I actually enjoy the process of writing research essays. But I do. Honestly. I think it’s fun, I think it’s rewarding, and I absolutely love writing. I want to start up another blog in the future (probably after I’m married, so that I have a place to work out of) writing actual articles, rather than just opinion. The main problem that I’ve run into is that 1) people don’t really like to read anymore, they want to listen or watch (hence the popularity of vlogs), 2) I much prefer writing because I’m super shy, and hiding my face behind words on a page is much more comfortable. Will I need to turn my blog into a video-blog? We’ll see. I don’t relish the idea, especially since I’m technologically retarded and don’t know how to post to YouTube. I can type things into the search bar. That’s about the extent of my expertise. Luckily, I’m marrying a wonderful man who knows all about YouTubing and computers and all that magic-voodoo stuff.
Until next time.