You want to study what?! (For Parents)

You want to study what?!

In the face of rising student debt and fears about graduate employment prospects, it’s understandable that many parents are concerned about the value of their child’s university education.

We’d like to reassure you that:

  • Students who choose an English degree typically do so because they enjoy the subject and find it rewarding. This enjoyment encourages them to finish their degree programme.
  • An English degree develops skills that employers consistently find valuable: communications, writing, and analysis, for example. Many programmes now offer work-related learning modules that offer opportunities to practise these skills.
  • English graduates work in teaching, law, and journalism; but they also become managers, advertising executives, and financial advisers. An English degree provides the flexibility to pursue almost any ambition.
  • Very few English graduates face unemployment – fewer than in other fields of the humanities - and the rate for English is the same as the average across all disciplines (see What do Graduates Do? 2009).
  • An English degree provides a broad perspective on literature, history, and society, helping students to develop their interests and enthusiasms.

On its face, a vocational degree like law or architecture may seem a ‘safer bet’ than a more general degree such as English. This is not necessarily the case. Architecture graduates have been badly hit by the current downturn in the property market for example. For students who don’t have a particular career in mind, for example, a vocational degree can be overly confining. By contrast, a humanities degree provides a breadth of valuable skills and experience.

The rest of this website provides more detailed information for prospective students about why and where to study English, what studying English involves, and the prospects for employment or further study after their degree. You may find the ‘YOU CAN’ section particularly interesting since it outlines career options and gives employment statistics. If you have more questions about English degrees, we encourage you to investigate the resources listed on our further advice page.