[Introduction] Despite being a very unpopular major, many people still choose the English major with the idea of becoming a translator. So what is it like being an English major in North America? This article will cover the major’s courses, employment prospects, income, professional skills taught, as well as the views of netizens and UtoCanada.
Photo by Mikhail Pavstyuk on Unsplash
Introduction to the Canadian English Major
As an English major, what do you learn? Although the specific compulsory subjects of the English Department vary from university to university, the basic purpose is still the same: to explore and analyze English literature and English language. In the broadest sense, English literature generally refers to the written forms: novels, biographies, short stories, poetry, and drama, as well as non-fiction works such as popular science and business management bestsellers.
In the English major, students are taught various literary analysis methods, which enables them to fully analyze and judge a literary work. You are introduced to literature of different writers, historical periods and themes. You can also choose to specialize in the history and composition of English.
What knowledge and skills do students learn in the Canadian English major?
In the eyes of local Canadians, the English major is not a major with "employability as the main goal." Actually, this major also develops some very practical skills for students:
》Investigation, research and editing:English majors, like journalism majors, can teach students to focus on topics or events though interviews and readings, understand the primary and secondary sources of information, conduct in-depth research, and adding own research and opinions.
》Objective analysis:carefully read and analyze complex written descriptions; evaluate ideas and research; record sources.
》Efficient expression and communication:On the basis of good research and investigation, the English major also teaches students how to formulate expression of ideas, effectively explain arguments, choose vocabulary that caters to a wide range of audiences, and achieve the purpose of persuasion.
》English level:After 3-4 years of extensive reading, presenting and writing, it is difficult not to improve your English level. It should be noted that if you have a poor English foundation, choosing to study this major is a very unrealistic choice, not to mention that admission to many schools require an IELTS band 8.0.
Employment prospects of Canadian English majors
For most international students, returning to China as a translator or English teacher after graduation may be more realistic than becoming a writer. In fact, the vast majority of local students in English majors did not eventually become a writer. Since the English major is not a trade skill program, in addition to your studies, your skills are also important include in your comprehensive resume. For example, during college, many English students (Native Speaker) wrote for student newspapers and magazines, participated in student radio or film clubs, or volunteered in communities or local schools.
For international students that are really talented in language, they can take a look at where local people work after graduation. Native speakers can find opportunities with different employers. Public and private sector organizations such as the National Health Service (NHS), educational institutions, local and national governments, financial and legal companies, and voluntary and charitable organizations employ English major graduates in a variety of roles, including:
- Integrated management
Other typical employers who usually recruit English majors include:
- Advertising marketing and public relations agencies
- Media agencies
- Publishing companies
- Retail, leisure and tourism industries
Job description of an English teacher
Some graduates can become English teachers after some training. So, let’s focus on the job responsibilities of English teachers
- Prepare lessons and teach according to approved courses;
- Use lectures, discussions, audiovisual and media presentations, laboratory research and field research to teach middle school students;
- Assign, review and grade homework;
- Assess student progress and discuss results with school officials and parents;
- Determine the individual needs of students where applicable;
- Participate in staff meetings, education meetings and teacher training workshops;
- May require participation in the supervision of student teachers;
- Ensuring that students’ behavior conforms to the school’s code of conduct
》Salary for English major graduates: The decisive factor for English students’ salaries & how much they earn annually
According to a detailed report on graduate salaries found on the English major website, Dear English Major, in the United States (which can reflect the situation in Canada as well), the average annual salary of English majors who work in entry level positions is $36,180 USD, intermediate positions earn an annual salary of $63,419 USD.
The best English programs in Canada
There are many excellent English majors in Canada. The following are rankings of some universities.
|School||Ranking in Canada||World Ranking|
|University of British Columbia||1||10|
|University of Toronto||1||10|
|York University||tied for 4th||tied for 51st|
|University of Alberta||tied for 4th||tied for 51st|
|Queen’s University||tied for 4th||tied for 51st|
|University of Calgary||tied for 4th||tied for 51st|
|Université de Montréal||tied for 8th||tied for 101st|
|The University of Western Ontario||tied for 8th||tied for 101st|
|McMaster University||tied for 8th||tied for 101st|
Summary: UtoCanada’s views on English majors
For international students, this major can be very challenging. If you can successfully graduate, it naturally means that your English level is high. It is certainly more than enough to pursue a career as a teacher or interpreter after returning to China upon graduation. If you want to stay and work in Canada after graduation, your choice of career may be the same as the locals.
Typical positions for local English majors are:
- English teacher
- Social Media Manager
Are you mentally prepared for this?