English at Work

English 497

Last offered: Spring 2020 (syllabus)


Contrary to what you’ve been told, English majors do get jobs! You have developed a range of valuable and marketable job skills in your time as an English major. Our mission in this upper-division writing course is to discover how English majors can most effectively put their academic knowledge and skills to work in professional workplaces after graduation. We will reflect on individual goals and values, learn strategies to research careers and organizational cultures, and compose texts in key professional genres. Your examination of the learning you have done as a college student will prepare you to enact a vision for bringing that learning to life in your future work.

Learning Outcomes

Students will understand and be able to articulate the value of English language arts skills and competencies in particular professional workplaces. They will also identify values and goals for their working life after graduation, including thinking critically about inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in the workplace.  Students will learn to understand key genres in the job search process and experiment with writing their own documents. 

Background image is of a DEC PDP-11/34 minicomputer, data drive storage cabinet, modem, a covered typewriter, and DECwriter terminal under a window with mustard yellow curtains open to show a sunny day. The photo was taken circa 1984 in the basement playroom of my childhood home.