Careers and English Alums
The English Department takes seriously the Luther College Mission Statement emphasis on our graduates' responsible leadership and service in church and society. Through classes, formal advising, and informal interactions, we help students clarify their personal vocation and the "ethical challenges confronting human beings in the world" ("Goals for Student Academic Achievement").
What do English majors do after graduation?
Some decide to share their joy in literature and writing with others. Luther offers a secondary education certification to complement the English major, and our majors have been very successful in finding positions. Some majors attend graduate school to prepare for college teaching.
Students majoring in English learn to read literary works which develop their ability to think critically and to respond to human experiences both familiar and alien. Through continual practice in writing, they develop aesthetic sensitivity and learn how to use language for creative and analytical purposes, how to compose metaphors as well as how to research and document ideas. So English majors have honed their skills in careful reading, clear writing, solid research, and thoughtful analysis, which means that our majors can be found in almost any kind of career.
Our alumni do technical writing, news reporting, editing, publishing, and advertising. They have become admissions counselors, public relations consultants, account managers, computer executives, arts organizers, law librarians, and computer programmers. Many use their English major as a foundation for professional schools like law, medicine, urban studies, international affairs, and the ministry.
For statistics on what Luther English graduates have recently been doing after graduation, go to the following page: Recent Grad Statistics.
Each year the English faculty hosts a Life after Luther event, with English grads returning to share their experiences and advice with current majors and minors and reflect on how well their education in literature, rhetoric, and writing prepared them for the work world. At regular points, we survey our graduates to seek their response to their Luther education. And we love to see our graduates—old friends—face to face at the annual Homecoming coffee for our English grads (and sometimes grads from other majors drop in to see favorite former English teachers). We catch up on what our grads are doing currently, we learn about their families and their life lessons. And we take photos—the photo above was taken at our Homecoming 2011 coffee! Click here to see more photos from the Homecoming 2011 coffee.
To further keep in touch, each year the department sends out an update letter to all English grads, with each faculty member summarizing his or her past year of teaching, research, writing, and living. Alums tell us they can't wait to get the letter, and we often get precious updates on their life stories. Our letter also reminds them how to donate to English Department special funds, which help us and our students go to conferences to present papers and creative work (see Giving). We'd love to welcome you as a donor to our strong and creative program.
- Since the mid 1970s, the department has organized annual mini-conferences on careers. Here is a list of those who have participated in previous career conferences.
- Why teach English? What about jobs?
- The English major provides excellent preparation for a wide range of graduate programs.
- See photos of English alumni chatting with their former teachers at the English Department Homecoming coffee.