Why Minor in English?

Develop Your Skills

Is your degree in fields such as computer programming, accounting, or engineering? Great. These technical skills will help you find the career that you want. But what about additional skills that will ensure you are promoted and continue to grow in your career path? A minor in English will give you transferable skills that ensure your ability to succeed in a variety of situations. 

Find out how a minor in English can help you

The English minor allows great flexibility in choosing those courses that best match those skills you seek to develop. Check out our advising page for recommended courses that will help you in your goals. 

Develop Transferable Skills

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, you are likely to change jobs 11-14 times before retirement. And chances are you will change careers 5-7 times, as you change jobs. What does this mean? The technical skills you gain in your major are only some of the skills that you will need in your career. 

Good writing will be one of the most important non-technical skills you have in the workplace, and a minor in English will help you develop this ability. But there are other skills you can gain from an English minor that will also benefit your career. Industry standards such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Mathematical Association of America state that top skills for new graduates include

  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Critical Thinking
  • Analysis
  • Knowledge of Other Cultures
  • Conflict Resolution

A minor in English is a great way to build all of these skills. Regardless of what career you choose, or what technology innovations occur, you can always transfer these skills to your next job. 


Improve Analysis and Reading

As you read and write, you improve your analytical abilities-the skill of looking at individual pieces and seeing how they affect the whole. Are you going to work in Human Resources or be a product manager? Then analysis will be a key skill as you look at individuals and assess how their strengths will benefit the project. 

What classes might help with these skills? While any class will improve your reading and analysis skills, here are few that you might consider. 

ENG 251-Fundamentals of Literary Interpretation Introduces key reading skills and strategies for analysis.

ENG 314-Advanced Research and Literary Analysis Emphasizes writing and analysis, including interpretation and research.

ENG 328-Rhetorical Criticism Rhetoric means how people use language to persuade and make meaning.But today we often think rhetoric means deceiving others. Study language and images combine to persuade and influence audiences.

ENG 331-336-Literary Survey Courses These course focus on a specific literary period (e.g., American or British literature). Develop key reading skills and insights into the human experience.

ENG 350-373-Genre Courses Study a specific genre. Find out why we love superhero characters. Study Shakespeare (the ultimate insight into leadership flaws).

ENG 450-Rhetorical Studies Explore the different ways people making meaning, what improves communication and understanding, and what hinders it.

Check out our advising page for more courses to consider.


Improve Writing

"If you want to be thought of as a smart thinker, you must become a better writer. If you want to be taken seriously by your manager, colleagues, potential employers, clients and prospects, you must become a better writer." (Dave Kerpen, CEO Likeable Local)

As you read and write, you improve your analytical abilities-the skill of looking at individual pieces and seeing how they affect the whole. Are you going to work in Human Resources or be a product manager? Then analysis will be a key skill as you look at individuals and assess how their strengths will benefit the project. 

At minimum, you will spend approximately 1-2 hours each day writing emails to clients, supervisors, and co-workers. Learn how build your reputation and increase your effectiveness by taking English classes that can build these skills:

ENG 252-Fundamentals of Research and Presentation Focuses on written and visual arguments and using multiple technologies to present information for a variety of audiences. You wouldn't just copy/paste the same information from your company's website to a brochure to a press release. This course looks at how the medium affects your message.

ENG 321-Technology for Professional Writers Learn how to condense and adjust information to specific audiences through a variety of software.

ENG 325-Grammar and Usage Learn to be confident in your grammar and usage.

ENG 326-Editing Gain practical experience editing a variety of documents; work with real clients on issues of content, copyediting, and document design.

ENG 328-Rhetorical Criticism Rhetoric means how people use language to persuade and make meaning. But today we often think rhetoric means deceiving others. Study language and images combine to persuade and influence audiences.

ENG 400-Genres of Professional Writing Gain experience writing for the real world. Work with a variety of genres, and build your writing portfolio.

ENG 450-Rhetorical Studies Explore the different ways people making meaning, what improves communication and understanding, and what hinders it.

Check out our advising page for more courses to consider.


Get Promotions and Salary Increases

According to The National Commission on Writing's survey of 120 major American corporations, "business writing skills strongly affect decisions to hire or promote salaried and professional staff. Poor writing and communication skills have long been listed as key factors to denying promotions." 

Not only will good writing lead to promotions, but being promoted means you will write more. You might be asked to prepare reports for your team's project. You might be asked to prepare presentations and proposals. You might be asked to write employee evaluations. Prepare now for career success by improving the skills you will use as you rise through the ranks.