Home / Trends In E-Marketing & E-Business / Marketing Needs English Majors: 3 Highly marketable business skills that English majors have in spades

Marketing Needs English Majors: 3 Highly marketable business skills that English majors have in spades

Marketing NeedsI received my B.A. in English in May, 2008. It was one of the worst years in recent history to graduate from college. Hiring at every company in the country had all but stopped. And at the time, it seemed like there was no hope for anyone without a computer science degree who could work at Google. Almost everyone else who graduated in those few years was expected to either take an unpaid position or do manual labor.

I chose manual labor for the first few months until I found a semi-paid position at a nonprofit writing grant proposals. The program I worked in was funded by Americorps, so they could get away with paying me close to nothing. It was my first legitimate job out of college, and I made $11,000 that year working 40 hours a week.

Luckily, my new wife was able to take a job waiting tables to supplement our income while I padded my resume out.

That job lasted a year due to the nature of the Americorps commitment. By then it was the beginning of 2010, and job prospects were still pretty bad. So I started freelancing. I slowly learned how to build and write for websites and began making them for local small businesses.

Finally, in May 2011, work and education paid off. I landed a salaried position here at MarketingExperiments, and I’m doing what I love: writing for a living.

How did I get here?

My English degree was the one thing I could point to that helped me get through one of the toughest economic periods in recent history. Here are the three skills I learned while pursuing my degree that almost every English major has in spades.



Three skills that I learned as an English major that helped get me to where I am today:

  1. The ability to creatively analyze data.

The ability to analyze data is in high demand and short supply in the business and marketing world. Most businesses have so much data and so little time to learn what it all means that there is a significant feeling of overwhelming loss about what to do when a given problem arises.

Most of the time, however, the data is there, and problems can be solved — they just need to be thought through with a creative lens.

How do English Majors have this skill?

Every piece of great literature ever written is also a complex problem to be solved. The words a great author uses are just pieces of data encoded with meaning waiting to be snatched up by creative readers who see, not words, but the stuff beneath the words. The most complex problem of them all: the human experience.

Analyzing all that literary data and turning it into meaning for yourself and your peers isn’t just good for your soul; it’s also a crucial skill for the business world.

  1. The ability to graciously empathize with consumers.

Marketing and business majors are typically the worst at empathizing with customers. Take any ad you see on television or any billboard you see on the interstate as an example.  The entire premise of capitalism hinges on self-interest.

What’s ironic about self-interest, however, is that it blinds business people to the self-interest of their customers. This, of course undermines their business.

The truth is, while you can’t escape your own self-interest and be completely altruistic in the business realm, you also can’t ignore the self-interest of the customers you serve.

How do English Majors have this skill?

While business majors tend more towards their own self-interest, English majors are taught from day one to empathize. Literature at its root is a call for empathy. Anyone who has read the poetry of Mary Oliver or the novels of Fitzgerald knows it’s one of humanity’s greatest tools for fighting loneliness and isolation.

Reading and studying literature is the practice of empathy. We empathize with the characters;   we empathize with the author; and as a result, we can empathize better with our fellow human beings.

That empathy is also what drives businesses forward. The best businesses anticipate what their customers want and authentically deliver it using their heightened sense of empathy.

  1. The ability to clearly communicate to peers.

The ability to clearly communicate is a pretty obvious skill that most English Majors have. What’s not obvious is the dearth of communication skills in the business world. Of course, everyone thinks they can communicate clearly, but most people don’t.

How do English Majors have this skill?

Every paper I wrote in college was structured in the same way every interaction I have with my peers is structured in the business and marketing world. I have something I want to say, and I need to say it in a way that leads them to conclude what I have concluded.

Every single project I do in my career can be reduced to a series of emails, phone calls and meetings. All of these are simply mediums for the communication of an idea or a thesis.

The most effective communicators lead more, accomplish more and ultimately earn more.

A lot has changed since 2008. The job market has improved significantly. Businesses (including mine) are beginning to hire again. But what they need, even if they don’t know it yet, are English majors.


You might also like:

MECLABS Career Page

Marketing Career: 5 tips for building a personal brand

Marketing Career: 4 questions every marketer should answer (and what you need to know to start asking them)

Marketing Careers: 5 sites to develop and enhance your skills with free online courses

Click Here For Original Source Of The Article

Check Also

Digital Marketing News: ROI Acronyms, Google Ranking Factors and Twitter’s New Look

Digital Marketing News: ROI Acronyms, Google Ranking Factors and Twitter’s New Look

The Hipster’s Guide to ROI [Infographic]
Marketing lingo has expanded and with all of the acronyms, it’s hard to decipher and differentiate combinations of letters. This infographic will show you the most common acronyms and esoteric language related to marketing ROI, giving you an explanation of what they are and why they matter. (LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog)

SEMrush Ranking Factors Study 2017
Google ranking factors constantly updates with every major algorithm change. In this report, the 12 most substantial and controversial factors (including website visits, pages per session and content) were chosen to show what impacts search results and to identify consistent patterns in the ranking mechanism that could be helpful to the SEO community. (SEMrush)

Check Out Our New Look!
Twitter has listened to the feedback from its users and have made some updates to the design. Some of the new features include: Typography has been refined to be more consistent with bolder headlines and rounded profile photos, Tweets are now updated instantly on the mobile app with replies, retweets and like counts so you can see real-time conversations and links to articles and websites now open in Safari’s viewer in iOS so you can easily access accounts on websites you’re already signed into. (Twitter Blog)

LinkedIn Adds Images in Comments, New Opportunities for Job Listings
There have been many small yet impactful new updates to LinkedIn recently, due to audience demand. One new feature is you can now add images into comments on posts within the LinkedIn platform. Another boost for LinkedIn is Google’s new tool which helps people find jobs directly through Google search, which sorts through various listings, including LinkedIn. (Social Media Today)

Instagram Stories Now Has 250 Million Daily Active Users, Heating Up Its Rivalry With Snapchat
Instagram Stories is the section of disappearing posts, which recently pulled ahead of Snapchat with an increase of 50 million users in just two months. Instagram also announced that users are now allowed to replay live video instead of it immediately disappearing. (AdWeek)

Google’s Job Listings Search is Now Open to All Job Search Sites & Developers
Google is now offering a formal path for outsiders to add job listings in Google search. Although it doesn’t have an official name, it’s part of the Google for Jobs initiative. You can also track how well your job listings are doing in Google search with a new filter in the Search Analytics report in the Google Search Console. (Search Engine Land)

Oh, How Pinteresting!
Pinterest rolled out a fresh new look for Lens, and instead of only being able to recreate your favorite restaurant dishes at home, Lens can now recognize and recommend outfit ideas including shoes, shirts, hats and other styles. The new interface and built-in tools make it easy to Lens the world around you. (Pinterest Blog)

The Most Important Skills for B2B Tech Marketers
B2B technology marketers rely on many skills for their niche market. The most important skills among Millennials, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers were soft skills, including communication and people management and writing skills. Others included digital media marketing and content marketing. (MarketingProfs)

What were your top digital marketing news stories this week?

We'll be back next week with more top digital marketing news stories. Craving more news in the meantime? Check out TopRank Marketing on Twitter @toprank!

The post Digital Marketing News: ROI Acronyms, Google Ranking Factors and Twitter’s New Look appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *