When I tell people that I’m an English and Political Science major, they mostly assume that my ultimate goal is to become a teacher. While I wouldn’t mind becoming a professor at some point, I want to be able to be in the workforce beforehand, and although I haven’t decided what exactly I want to do after college, I know that I have plenty of options whether I go the English or Political Science route.
According to Washington University’s Career Center, 56 percent English majors from the class of 2018 are currently employed, with another 32 percent in graduate school. They are working at places like the APA Agency, Hudson Legal Group, and the U.S. Federal Government and going to schools such as University of Chicago, Vanderbilt, Yale, and, of course, WashU. For Political Science majors in the class of 2018, 63 percent are employed, with another 19 percent in graduate school and 12 percent doing research. Their employers include AmeriCorps, the City of St. Louis, and the New York County District Attorney’s Office. Those in graduate school are at Columbia, Georgetown, London School of Economics, and Stanford, to name a few. More facts and figures about outcome data can be found here. If nothing else, this data proves that I will be in good company when I graduate from WashU and enter the professional world.
For an expanded answer to the age old questions of “What could you possibly do with a degree in the humanities?” there is a long list of examples. There are plenty of successful English majors in wildly different fields: Mitt Romney (politician), Harrison Ford (actor), Toni Morrison (author), John Mulaney (comedian), Sally Ride (astronaut), Sting (musician), Carol Browner (Administrator of the EPA), Alvin Hansen (economist), Clarence Thomas (Supreme Court Justice), etc. A major in Political Science is a bit more self explanatory, but I’ll name some big ones: Hillary Clinton, Anderson Cooper, Dick Cheney and Barack Obama, who also coincidentally majored in English. These majors help people to critically think, have high reading comprehension levels, write technically and creatively, communicate effectively, and analyze current and past events.
I am passionate about both of my majors and am always excited to learn new things, whether it’s about another early modern poet or the current political system in an island country. There is no shame in being in the humanities and social sciences, especially if it’s the area that you have fallen in love with and want to pursue for the rest of your life.