Alumni English Careers

What do you do with a BA in English?

“What do you do with a BA in English?” Puppet Princeton muses on Avenue Q. What do you do with that magical paper that states your completion of a Bachelor of Arts in English? This parody musical (which references Rent!, Avenue B . . . which speaking of Rent!, places the opera La Boheme in 90s New York City) . . . anyway. Where was I? Yes!

We look at the degree as a pass to a job. I have paper. You give job. But ask any engineer: that paper is a base requirement for their jobs but is no guarantee of success. You still have to interview. You still have to WRITE a cover letter, resume . . . maybe an email or two. In my own life, who do my engineer cousins go to in order to help them get a job? The English major.

Fun fact: Did you notice Hades and Persephone are super talked about right now? Did you know Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Hadestown, turns the desire for Broadway to be mostly comedy to the old tradition of Greek tragedy? “It’s an old song. It’s an old tale . . . It’s a tragedy . . . we sing it anyway.” Thank you, English literature classes.

So when people tell you to get a real degree, remind them of the benefits an English degree carries.

Are you a Sigma Tau Delta Alumni member? Consider submitting a blog to WORDY by Nature to share with your fellow Sigma Tau Delta members how you have been using your English degree.

JGerlick-headJo Gerlick
Alumni Epsilon Chapter
Alpha Psi Chapter, Alumnus
Metropolitan State University of Denver
, Denver, CO


Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society, was founded in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University. The Society strives to

  • Confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies;
  • Provide, through its local chapters, cultural stimulation on college campuses and promote interest in literature and the English language in surrounding communities;
  • Foster all aspects of the discipline of English, including literature, language, and writing;
  • Promote exemplary character and good fellowship among its members;
  • Exhibit high standards of academic excellence; and
  • Serve society by fostering literacy.

With over 900 active chapters located in the United States and abroad, there are more than 1,000 Faculty Advisors, and approximately 9,000 members inducted annually.

Sigma Tau Delta also recognizes the accomplishments of professional writers who have contributed to the fields of language and literature.

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