The concentration in English offers students the opportunity to critically and creatively examine literature; artistic expression; cultural, social, and rhetorical analyses; and a wide array of reading and writing practices. Students begin their studies with survey courses that introduce UH West Oahu’s four emphasis fields: literary studies, creative writing, rhetoric and composition, and cultural studies. After exploring a range of disciplinary approaches, upper-level students then move on to develop disciplinary depth in emphasis field(s) of their choice, selecting from a range of coursework influenced by cultural and rhetorical theory; drama and film studies; media theory; language and composition studies; literary criticism; and writing workshops. Finally, students apply this knowledge in culminating senior seminars or practica that engage the English studies emphases of their choice from original, critical, and transdisciplinary perspectives.
Careers and Earning Potential
A general Humanities degree helps students develop certain habits of mind that prepare them to enter and succeed in a wide range of careers and professions. Humanities graduates demonstrate higher and more nuanced levels of critical thinking, language proficiency, and communication skills. They are often able to more successfully view and solve complex problems in nuanced, informed, and holistic ways; they see the benefits and inherent opportunities in diversity of perspective and culture; they thrive in international and transnational settings; and they use these habits of mind to build successful and financially lucrative careers while also becoming contributing citizens, workers, and global community members.
By extension, English majors and graduates are therefore well prepared for entry into a variety of career fields including management, human resources, media and journalism, publishing, teaching (middle or secondary), academic careers, advertising and marketing, and non profit organizations (see expanded career list below).
- Search Engine Marketing, Direct Response Copywriting, Digital Copywriter, B2B Content Marketing, News Reporter, Technical Writer, Journalism, Public Relations, Corporate Blogger
- Editor, Freelance Editor, Publishing
- Non-Profit Communication Departments, Grant and Proposal Writer, Corporate Communications Manager/Director, In-house Marketing Department
- Print or Online Writer; Advertising Creative, Event Planner, Television, radio, Hollywood writer, Boutique Agency
Nonacademic research careers
- Marketing Researcher, Policy Analyst, Sales, Search Engine Optimization, Lobbyist, eCommerce Analyst
- Social Media Manager, Brand Strategist, Brand Manager
For more information and details about these careers paths please view: “35 Awesome Jobs for English Majors;” “100 Careers for English Majors: They Do Exist (Really!);” “Best-paying jobs for English majors;” “What can I do with an English Degree.”
Furthermore, contrary to some rumors, employment rates and earning potential for graduates with English degrees remain high. Fresh-out-of-college employment rates for English graduates are in line with the average employment rate for all graduates, and even outperform some STEM majors, like Biology. (“First Destinations for the College Class of 2014”) Finally, a major study produced by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found the median income for English majors with a bachelor’s was $48,000, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers, reported that English Language and Literature graduates report an average starting salary of $36,072 with a mid-career salary of $63,414.
Overall, a 2013 study by the Association of American Colleges & Universities found that the skills most employers desire are “critical thinking,” “the ability to analyze and solve complex problems,” “the ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing,” “the ability to locate, organize, and evaluate information from multiple sources,” and “the ability to innovate and be creative.” These are all skills and practices emphasized throughout UHWO’s English curricula.
The English concentration currently has a number of emerging and growing clubs and special interest groups including a branch of the national honors organization Sigma Tau Delta, a creative writing club, and a Writing Fellow cohort connected to the campus’ Noʻeau Center tutoring services. Overall, these clubs and organizations promote arts, culture, and writing within the context of the campus and the community at large. They offer wonderful venues for an increased understanding of the study of Humanities; provide opportunities to meet and learn from fellow students; and foster a sense of cohesion among UH West O‘ahu faculty and students.