A career in literature is still looked down on. It is believed that there are no options which one can pursue after taking English literature as a major subject. It is often prejudiced against English literature, or any literature for that matter, that it deals with nothing but stories and poetry and therefore has nothing of value.
This is, however, not true. The true essence of the discipline lies in the skill set it provides to the learner through its various means, like poetry and stories.
What literature is can be summed up through the words from Dead Poet’s Society, “We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, and engineering are noble pursuits necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
English is the language of the world in the times that we live in. As a means of communication, English as a language serves the very lives of people in our world, who sustain themselves because they can express themselves in this language.
English Literature After graduation
English Literature can be pursued directly after class 12th. Basic eligibility criteria are that the students should have passed 10+2 from any recognized Board in any stream, and they should have secured 50% or more aggregate marks at the qualifying level.
English should be one of the subjects in the +2 or the equivalent level. There are no entrance tests for college admission, but there are also certain exceptions. Usually, an undergraduate course in English Literature is of three years duration.
English Literature can be taken as an elective subject in B.A or it can also be taken up as B.A English Literature Honours. B.A English literature is three years undergraduate course, which can be done in regular as well as distance mode.
Distance Universities like IGNOU offer B.A English Literature Hons. Following are some of the top colleges and universities in the country for undergraduate in English Literature-
- University of Delhi.
- Banaras Hindu University.
- St Stephens College, Delhi University.
- St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.
- Presidency University, Kolkata.
With a bachelor's degree in English literature, further studies can be taken up in the same subject in the forms of M.A English Literature, PhD in English Literature, etc.
A degree in English Literature is also helpful when one wants to study abroad further.
Usually, the following are included in the undergraduate B.A English Literature syllabus-
- Different Periods of Literature like the Victorian Era, Romanticism, Neo-Classicism etc.
- Changing trends in literature
- Society and its effect on literature and vice versa
- Changes in language
- Development of the various genres of literature
- Creative Writing
- Women’s Writing
- Literature and Media
Here are the top five of the most popular career choices in English Literature to choose from:
1. Working as a Teacher
There is a huge scope in the field of teaching after taking up English Literature. With B.Ed., one can be an elementary school teacher. If one clears the UGC NET exam after their Masters, there is the scope of being an assistant professor in the same field.
English Literature needs to be understood as a discipline. Proper and verified information has to be imparted, and at the same time, students need to be encouraged to take up English Literature for further studies.
Prejudice against English Literature as a subject of poems and stories needs to be reduced, and this can only be done by teachers and professors who teach the subject.
With the growing political and huge circulation of misinformation, there is a dire need for educated, unbiased professionals to maintain reality impartially.
2. Maintaining Public Relations
As a student of literature, good intrapersonal and language skills are the most important skill set required to excel in the field of public relations.
A PR or Public Relations Officer is someone who, along with a team, manages the public affairs in any organization and is responsible for the communication between the company/ organization and its clients, therefore maintaining a proper and right image of the organization.
As this job requires exchanging of ideas and messages from one party to another, communication has to be very strong to avoid any unnecessary misinformation or confusion. Hence the learning of language proves helpful here.
3. Managing Client Services
Providing for the needs of the clients is an important area for any client-based service provider company.
To understand and cater to the needs and demands of the clients, any organization requires an effective client service team which looks into the needs and problems faced by the clients and then provides a suitable solution for their problems.
Such a job requires effective communication, problem-solving and negotiation skills that would make it easy to deal with a variety of clients and meet their demands. At times, client services include advertising too, and therefore the need for skill sets provided by a degree in English Literature proves immensely helpful.
4. Web content Writing
A web content writer is someone who writes content for a client, which can be a company, organization or any individual, to promote a particular product or webpage.
Companies require content writers to add traffic to their websites and blogs. A web content writer's job is to improve any organisation's websites and articles and add more engagement through SEO-optimized relevant content.
It requires a hand on the language along with proper technical knowledge that would help meet the demands and needs of the client organization or company.
5. Working as a Journalist
Being a journalist is to deliver accurate information without many problems in communication. A degree in English Literature offers precisely that. News writers, anchors and mass media workers need to have a hand in their expression.
Mass media is another important part of journalism which requires excellent analytical and intrapersonal skills. Therefore, it becomes really important for journalists to have a strong and efficient language provided by a degree in English Literature.
It not just involves own independent research but demands the critical evaluation of others’ works also.
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