Where MA English/MED English align with 21st Century Leadership Skills

At the moment, I cannot begin to count how many times I have been asked what sort of work I will find with an English degree, and an advanced degree at that. I’ve begun to ignore these questions, because they do nothing but fog my mind with serious doubt. Yes, I have doubted what I can do with an English degree. But the truth is that there is so much that can be done. An English degree does not limit you to one specific field of work. A teacher is not the only option. It has been widely assumed that that is what I will pursue after completing my Master’s degree. I can assure you now, that is not my planned career path. 

An MA and/or MED degree in English will provide students with an increased sense of satisfaction and confidence, thus making them leaders in the career paths they choose. To become a leader is to come from a field of study that you love, and the MA/MED English degree program gives its students a chance to express and extend their love of reading and writing to new heights. This newly instilled sense of confidence translates into something more, leadership skills in the field of study they came from.

An MA and/or MED degree in English provides so much more than meets the eye. Most believe the pursuit of an English degree requires nothing more than reading and writing papers, and that is all it takes to obtain your degree. I have learned early on in my undergraduate studies of English that that belief is greatly outdated. 

Many classes require that you dig deep into the material that you are studying and find new meaning in readings that you have once deemed ‘boring’ or ‘confusing’. My eyes have been opened by numerous English classes as well as professors. I have written many papers and stories for classes that attempt a deeper dive into areas of particular interest, whether that be a novel we are reading or a specific theme. This ability to synthesize information to develop new ideas is essential in a digital work place beyond one’s education. It is important that graduate students make the most of this skill as it will benefit and prepare them to become future leaders.

An English degree provides you with the skills to examine things with a fine-tooth comb and understand the deeper meaning and context. It is critical thinking like this that will pay off well in future job opportunities. I cannot stress enough how important critical thinking is, and it is a major part of English MA and MED degrees. The ability to think critically is also of vital importance because graduate students who display the skill to think critically will also show the skills required to become a leader. The ability to think critically will pave the way to becoming a future leader.

In my own pursuit of an English degree, I can honestly say from experience, that English scholars and students never stop learning new things and they also never stop finding new ways to think critically. Writing itself is a skill. Writing professionally and clearly is a skill that takes years to master. To write a scholarly paper is to find your professional and assertive voice. This is a skill that is particularly useful in the 21st century. Students seeking job opportunities must retain a professional demeanor in person as well as in their writing. 

Professional writing is a skill that English MA and MED students seek to learn and master, because it undoubtedly pays off in the end. This sense of professionalism also allows them to develop the leadership skills needed to succeed in future career paths. A professional demeanor puts one’s leadership skills on display, while their writing shows their skills on paper, thus exhibiting the student’s skills to lead in a professional setting, both by speaking and writing clearly and effectively.

English students, along with other majors, often present their works at conferences. The need for leadership skills is apparent when presenting at a conference. To be a successful and convincing leader, as is the case with other majors as well, one must present themselves as an expert of their topic. It is this needed confidence that make English MA and MED students great leaders.

The English MA and MED degree in English provides students with not only the skills needed to accomplish complex tasks in the job force(which involves a need for critical thinking), but also the confidence and strength to pursue their goals and career opportunities that fit into their area of study and expertise.

English degrees, not limited to the MA and MED degree, instill students with the ability to think critically and approach digital spaces and other areas of work or study with great perseverance and analytical strategy. They also gain great levels of reading comprehension, revision techniques(ability to critique someone else’s work), and professionalism in their writing. To be a leader is to be confident. The more conferences and presentations one attends and speaks at, the higher their confidence and the more it will build. An English MA and/or MED degree in English helps instill students with the leadership skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century.

It is assumed, but not expected of English MA and/or MED degree students to go on to be teachers. Surely the English programs are not limited to one field of work after graduation. Though it does give one excellent skills as a leader and confident presenter/speaker, English degrees are more than teaching degrees. They represent comprehension of difficult subject matter, understanding of the complexities of new places of study(the degree itself along with 21st century technology is always adapting to the changes happening around it), and the ability to think critically and remain critical of other works and fields of study within the degree.

It is important that the power of an English MA and/or MED degree not be underestimated, as I have already mentioned that this degree can be used for other areas of work besides teaching. English degrees represent an impressive accomplishment. The ability to write professionally and think critically can be applied to a wide range of jobs not just rooted within the English area of study.

English MA and/or MED degrees instill students with a sense of confidence and control over their future endeavors. Thanks to the many opportunities the programs offer, students will gain the skills they need to succeed in their future career paths. Many of these options include learning what it means to be a leader and what it takes to lead a project. These skills are then applied to job opportunities that will arise in the future. The English program is not simply concerned with reading and writing, rather, it is concerned with helping students acquire the skills they will need to succeed in the future. This includes presenting papers and projects at conferences, working with and developing an understanding of technological and digital spaces which will therefore, allow students to develop the leadership skills needed for their future career pursuits.