Personal and Professional Success

Personal and Professional Success

Whether you start out wanting to teach, and then decide you want to work in publishing, or you start out wanting to go to law school and then go into business, MU English will prepare you not only for those career paths, but also for negotiating your changes as smoothly as possible—whether they happen in college or 20 years down the road.

We give our students confidence across varying life/job opportunities by providing them with sound foundational skills to maximize their versatility in analyzing patterns, problems and structures; with styles and genres of writing/language/media; with audiences on different platforms; and with diverse teams of people. This flexibility of mind makes our resourceful students valued in almost any organization, as the research below attests.

According to a 2013 national survey of employers by Hart Research {link}, in evaluating new hires, employers value innovation, critical thinking, clear communication, complex problem solving, integrity, intercultural skills, research abilities, and analytical skills—all abilities and aptitudes developed in English majors (source below).

  • Nearly all employers surveyed (95 percent) say they give hiring preference to college graduates with skills that will enable them to contribute to innovation in the workplace.
  • 92 percent agree that “innovation is essential” to their organization’s continued success.
  • Nearly all those surveyed (93 percent) say that “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.”
  • More than 9 in 10 of those surveyed say it is important that those they hire demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity; intercultural skills; and the capacity for continued new learning.
  • More than 75% of employers say they want more emphasis on 5 key areas including: critical thinking, complex problem-solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge in real-world settings.
  • Employers endorse several educational practices as potentially helpful in preparing college students for workplace success. These include practices that require students to a) conduct research and use evidence-based analysis; b) gain in-depth knowledge in the major and analytic, problem solving and communication skills; and c) apply their learning in real-world settings.

Source: It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success. 2013. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities and Hart Research Associates.