English majors are often considered as unpopular, impractical majors by many students and parents. A question like "What in the world are you going to do with a degree in English?" is often expressed by parents, relatives, and friends of students who consider majoring in English (Berube, 2013). Although the demand for English speaking professionals continue increasing over the years, public opinions that English majors do not offer prospective careers have worried students and parents about choosing the majors. This school of thought is definitely misleading as many colleges offering English majors today have ensured students are receiving a well-rounded education, keeping the balance between establishing students' knowledge and preparing them for successful careers.
If you like reading and writing, sharing your ideas about the literature you read, issues you hear, then studying English could be the best choice of study. Don't you think of it exciting and rewarding when you can pursue your interest while preparing yourself for your future carreer? Imagine, you can possibly choose your favorite novel, poem, or other texts and earn your grade for a course, even a degree by examining one of them. The thought of it fascinated me when deciding for my undergraduate study years ago.
English Department students read a diverse range of classical and contemporary texts. Courses are designed to help students understand the texts they read at the same time challenging their critical and creative thinking. English Department graduates are expected to be good thinkers, skilled writers and communicators, and creative problem solvers. These skills are undoubtedly needed in numerous job fields.
Today, English Department graduates are in high demand in a wide range of work places like journalism, tourism, education, translating, publishing and editing, advertising, marketing, and public relations. Ukrida Department of English in particular, prepare its students for entrance to these various job opportunities. Three major concentrations: Creative Writing, TESOL, and Translation/Interpreting are offered to help students improve their communication skills and nurture their imagination and intellectual inventiveness. Minor and elective courses in English for Business Purposes will also supplement the students with the skills needed to work in business areas.
Choosing the right college and study program can be a difficult, life changing decision. Therefore it is not surprising that the involvement of parents in their children's college decision-making process is dominant. Students and parents unfortunately seldom have access to information to help them make informed decisions regarding college majors to choose. Most choices are usualy given to popular colleges and majors. What constitute popular is however often ambiguous and requires clarification. English for example, is not considered as a popular study choice in Indonesia whereas it has become one of the ten most popular degrees in the U.S. for many years (Stockwell, 2014; "Top 10 College Majors," 2014). With the arrival of Asean Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015, movement of people and businesses across the region will be much easier. Ability to communicate well in a global language, especially English, will absolutely become a crucial skill to acquire. It sounds logical for English majors to gain popularity in Asia soon as they are in the U.S. (Picture : Ukrida Department of English (UDE) at the Career Day of SMA Katolik Marsudirini in Kemang Pratama, Bekasi)
Berube, Michael. (2013, January 4). My View: What will you do with an English degree? Plenty. CNN. Retrieved from
Stockwell, Carly. (2014, October 26). Same as it ever was: Top 10 most popular college majors. USA Today. Retrieved from
Top 10 College Majors. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.princetonreview.com/college/top-ten-majors.aspx