English Department 

Welcome to the Department of English at North Idaho College!  

Happy students stock image 

Why should you major in English?  At North Idaho College, we love our English majors.  We work hard to send them out into the world with the skills they need to succeed no matter what path they might take—and we make sure they have a great time here while they are with us, in our vibrant community of teachers, writers, and scholars.  

Here are some reasons why we think English Majors matter more than ever in the 21st century, gathered from a number of sources, including from the English Department at the University of Massachusetts - Boston:

1. English is THE major for our 21st century world—a world in which we are consistently bombarded by different forms of ‘texts’ and by different ‘narratives’ in every hour of every day. The ability to read critically and to write clearly gives you control over this dizzyingly-complex, word-laden universe.  The close study of language and cultivating the art of deep, close reading also allows you to resist the broader cultural move towards thinking in short ‘sound-bites.’ You will leave our English classes, and your college education, as a much richer, deeper, and more patient, careful thinker.

2. English Majors get good jobs.  Yes, they really do—in fact, an English degree on your résumé shows employers that you can read, write, think critically, think creatively, speak clearly, and that you have the tools to tackle complex ideas and to solve complex problems.  In the globally-connected network that is the 21st century job market, now more than ever, employers are looking for careful readers and excellent writers.

Here are more facts from a range of sources:

  • A USA Today survey lists “writing skills” as the #1 skill employers want (USA Today: “What Employers Want”). Surveys repeatedly find that the “ability to speak and to write clearly” is the top skill employers want. (NBC News: “Why Johnny Can’t Write and Why Employers are Mad”).
  • The Association of American Colleges and Universities’ LEAP Compact finds that employers most value critical thinking, innovation, the ability to write and speak well, and the ability to think clearly about complex problems (AACU report).
  • Forbes Magazine lists “critical thinking” as skill #1 in their article “10 Skills That Will Get You Hired”.  

And we especially like this recent article, “Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires” (American Express.com). 

3. You can earn your English B.A. Degree right here in Coeur d’Alene!  Thanks to NIC’s new 2+2 degree in collaboration with the University of Idaho, students can receive a B.A. in English right here at home.  Choose either the Literature emphasis or Professional Writing.  Please contact Laura Godfrey (lggodfrey@nic.edu) for more information.

Careers in English

The professions related to majoring in English, according to the Idaho Department of Labor and Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc., include these:

Writer  Author  Editor  Technical writer
Grant proposal writer Web content editor Freelance editor Copywriter
Digital copywriter Direct response copywriter Editorial assistant Librarian
Secondary teacher Post-secondary teacher Public relations Journalism
Search engine marketing Business-to-business marketing Corporate blogger Search engine optimization
Social media manager Brand strategist Brand manager Communications director manager
Broadcast analyst Publishing Reporter Correspondent
Film and video Paralegal Many graduate fields
of study include an

undergraduate emphasis
in English as preferred