How Can I Specialize an English Degree?

English degreeWhen you specialize an English degree, you give yourself an advantage over others who may not have a specialized degree. With so many different career paths that English majors can embark on, earning a specialized degree within the field can help you focus your studies and find a niche where you can thrive.

What Do You Want to Study?

The first thing that you need to figure out what you want to study within the discipline. If you wanted to be a writer, you may decide to add a writing concentration to your degree. From there, you could further refine your concentration to focus on studying to be a blogger, an SEO specialist or a business writer. While all three of those fields pertain to writing, they all require different skills to be successful at each craft.

Find a Program That Allows You to Gain One or More Minors

You may be able to specialize your English degree by taking a minor that clearly establishes what you want your English degree to do for you. By getting a minor in philosophy, you could be on your way to writing poetry or academic papers on abstract subjects. Obtaining a minor in communications may help you find work in a newsroom or as a broadcaster after you have graduated from college.

Take Core Classes That Align With Your Goals

English majors who are unable to declare a specific minor to go along with their major can still meet their educational goals by taking classes that meet their needs as well as requirements for getting their degree. Many schools offer specialized elective classes that count toward the number of credit hours needed to get your degree. For example, taking several journalism classes can help you develop your skills as a newspaper reporter while taking several classes about ancient Greek mythology can establish you as an expert in that subject. When you graduate, you can highlight those classes or anything that you accomplished in a specific class to help catch the eye of an employer.

Go to Graduate School

If you are unable to add a specific concentration to your undergrad degree, you may need to go to grad school to add that specialization, according to author Tara Kuther. For example, you may want to to get your Master’s in English History┬áif you want to write about historical subjects such as the fall of Rome in Britain or how the era in which Shakespeare lived influenced his writing. Those who want to become a business writer may wish to get their advanced degree in business or marketing to help them combine and develop their writing and business skills.

Related Resource: Types of Jobs with English Degree

When you specialize an English degree, you make yourself more marketable because you have established yourself as someone with unique skills. Having the ability to tell an employer that you have a thorough knowledge of SEO best practices is much more specific and appealing than simply saying that you had an English degree with a writing concentration and gives an employer a reason to hire you.