UConn to offer English as major | The Boneyard

UConn to offer English as major

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Can any alumni/student clarify the reason for this? Is it a deeper understanding of the language origin, linguistics, accents or something meaningful? I could have used this class to boost my GPA if its what I hope its not.

John Wayne, said before he died, "Now why in the hell do I have to press one for English?"

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It just says that students will be able to major in English at all UConn campuses, that is they don't have to eventually go to Storrs to graduate.
 
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Can any alumni/student clarify the reason for this? Is it a deeper understanding of the language origin, linguistics, accents or something meaningful? I could have used this class to boost my GPA if its what I hope its not.

John Wayne, said before he died, "Now why in the hell do I have to press one for English?"

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Wayne didn't have to press one for English.
 

babysheep

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English has been a major for like...ever, right?

The article is about the campuses other than Storrs offering it I think. Regardless, it is widely considered a joke major. Kind of like Communications or something (not hatin just statin)
 
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English has been a major for like...ever, right?

The article is about the campuses other than Storrs offering it I think. Regardless, it is widely considered a joke major. Kind of like Communications or something (not hatin just statin)
I guess that mindset could explain the lack of clarity in some of the posts I've read.
 
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English has been a major for like...ever, right?

The article is about the campuses other than Storrs offering it I think. Regardless, it is widely considered a joke major. Kind of like Communications or something (not hatin just statin)

I was an English major at UConn... Do tell how it is a joke.
 
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I was an English major at UConn... Do tell how it is a joke.

Right there with you, but I have to agree with babysheep that it is a joke. I loved it, don't get me wrong, but it did nothing to make me marketable or help me get a job. I even worked as a writing intern (something that was ballyhooed in the department as being a great way to boost your resume and make the degree marketable), and it got me nowhere. A few interviews, but not many, and I had to turn down two offers because the pay was laughably bad for the work they wanted, while the other jobs I'm sure went to people who got a degree in something more useful. I'm teaching now and I love it, but I had to go get my Masters in Education at another school to get a teaching position. The English degree from UConn served as nothing more than an expensive stepping stone to another expensive stepping stone (the Masters program) before I could really get a career started. I could go on and on about how I really don't think English should even be offered as a major at any institution of higher education because it is just a scheme to take money from students who won't be able to find jobs to pay back their loans, but this is not the venue.
 
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I agree that kids thinking about it should choose a major that makes them more marketable. You can take a couple extra english courses to improve your writing skills, which is always a great idea, and get a library card. In this job market especially, it is just a little silly to be going down that road when you can easily end up with the skills you're looking for from the major, along with something that can get you a job. I've got a lot of friends who are history, comm, psychology, english, etc. majors complaining about how they can't get a job or internship, but that's something that should be much more of a thought for high school kids looking at college than it actually is.
 
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I was more of a failed Biology major than an English major by choice. Having said that, the degree program is far more than the study of your native tongue. As with any liberal arts degree, you may not be guaranteed a job with the piece of paper you get, but it is a solid foundation for those who are not sure what they want to do after graduation.

I've turned that English degree into a successful career in IT. I didn't get any direct training in that field at UCONN, but was well equipped to advance in any career field I chose. I can write the out of an email, and also clearly communicate day to day business activities. How many folks in IT do you know that can do that? Us technology folk could use more English majors... trust me.

It may not get you that solid gig right out of school, but you are more than the degree you hold. It is your job to prove that.
 
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Right there with you, but I have to agree with babysheep that it is a joke. I loved it, don't get me wrong, but it did nothing to make me marketable or help me get a job. I even worked as a writing intern (something that was ballyhooed in the department as being a great way to boost your resume and make the degree marketable), and it got me nowhere. A few interviews, but not many, and I had to turn down two offers because the pay was laughably bad for the work they wanted, while the other jobs I'm sure went to people who got a degree in something more useful. I'm teaching now and I love it, but I had to go get my Masters in Education at another school to get a teaching position. The English degree from UConn served as nothing more than an expensive stepping stone to another expensive stepping stone (the Masters program) before I could really get a career started. I could go on and on about how I really don't think English should even be offered as a major at any institution of higher education because it is just a scheme to take money from students who won't be able to find jobs to pay back their loans, but this is not the venue.

Go to payscale.com

You can see how people with the degree are doing. http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/degrees.asp

Between literature and English, there's starting pay of 39k, mid-career of 69k.

I don't know about the current job market, but I had a lot of students get jobs -- good paying ones -- prior to the meltdown. I don't know what the UConn English dept. is like, but typically such a department would require majors to be excellent at literacy and communication, to be experts in systematic research and information, critical theory and aesthetics. Education and law are the main avenues, but advertising, public relations, and especially business writing, are common. I had a friend who started as a tech writer but ended up leading computer programming teams in projects. Developing a customer relations website, for instance, for a Fortune 500 company. It wasn't only his communication skills and writing that they needed, but eye for aesthetics.

As for the rest of the argument, institutions should teach disciplines that aren't marketable in order to fulfill their #1 mission: expanding human knowledge. Most schools aren't there solely to help you find employment. You seem to imply that you got a Masters of Education in English. That's very odd. If people didn't study English at the university level, then why/how could you become an expert with an advanced degree? What would be your expertise?
 

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You can throw me on the list of English majors at UConn. I've ended up in Logistics and have had some modest success. If I could do it again, I would not repeat the degree. Sometime in the last 5 years it became much more important to have a differentiated and specialized major just to make it through the resume screening filter. It is tough on the new grads.
 
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Go to payscale.com

You can see how people with the degree are doing. http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/degrees.asp

Between literature and English, there's starting pay of 39k, mid-career of 69k.

I don't know about the current job market, but I had a lot of students get jobs -- good paying ones -- prior to the meltdown. I don't know what the UConn English dept. is like, but typically such a department would require majors to be excellent at literacy and communication, to be experts in systematic research and information, critical theory and aesthetics. Education and law are the main avenues, but advertising, public relations, and especially business writing, are common. I had a friend who started as a tech writer but ended up leading computer programming teams in projects. Developing a customer relations website, for instance, for a Fortune 500 company. It wasn't only his communication skills and writing that they needed, but eye for aesthetics.

As for the rest of the argument, institutions should teach disciplines that aren't marketable in order to fulfill their #1 mission: expanding human knowledge. Most schools aren't there solely to help you find employment. You seem to imply that you got a Masters of Education in English. That's very odd. If people didn't study English at the university level, then why/how could you become an expert with an advanced degree? What would be your expertise?

Oh I agree completely with your last paragraph there. I obviously would have no field of expertise if I did not first study English at the undergraduate level at UConn. I'm just saying, I don't think that degree alone could have gotten me a decent job, so I view it as having been a stepping stone into my M.Ed. program. Of course, I did graduate in 2009 when the job market was very bleak (and still is) for people with such a degree. I do not doubt that, had I graduated 7 years earlier, I could have found a good job with decent starting pay, especially given the internship experience which, incidentally, was in sports communications with the UConn athletic department, and probably would have helped launch me into the communications or PR field, as you suggested in your first paragraph.
In any case, I was not trying to say that English is or always has been completely useless as a degree (I was exaggerating a bit in the last sentence of my previous post), but right now there are much safer fields of study to enter if the main goal is gainful employment upon graduation.
 
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I would add one thing: In Walden Thoreau discusses what's needed for people to think and live freely. In a democracy, especially. He talks about sustaining oneself in employment, work, producing, and the impact on reading/thinking/writing (lack of free time to do so) when you're working. He lived in a time when people thought such things were wasted time.

By the middle of the last century, people had grown an appreciation for humanities and the liberal arts as one of the creative forces that set western civilization apart.

In the future, there might be a question of how we charge tuition. In Canada, they charge more for the sciences, and some schools, such as PSU and Michigan, do the same. There may be such a split eventually. I don't think it will be healthy for maintaining a unified public but it may come to that if the emphasis on utility/employability continues.
 

IMind

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I would add one thing:
In Walden Thoreau discusses what's needed for people to think and live freely. In a democracy, especially, or so it's implied.He talks about sustaining oneself in employment, work, producing, and their impact on reading/thinking/writing, living as he did in a time when people put little stock in such things as wasted time. By the middle of the last century, people had grown in appreciation for humanities and the liberal arts as one of the creative forces that set western civilization apart.

In the future, there might be a question of how we charge tuition. In Canada, they charge more for the sciences, and some schools, such as PSU and Michigan, do the same. There may be such a split eventually. I don't think it will be healthy for maintaining a unified public but it may come to that if the emphasis on utility/employability continues.

Maybe I'm an idealist, I thought that if you went to college looking for a 'job' then you were kind of missing the point. I guess this is just the old "do what you love" homily. I took courses that interested me. I switched majors two times, added two minors, ended up being a double major... and it wasn't because my course load was obscene... believe me that definitely wasn't it... and now my career is only loosely connected to my major. The skills I learned, however, are paramount. There's a level of discipline required of you in both science courses and higher level humanities courses that are very important and I use every day.
 
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