Students who graduate with a degree from the Department of English meet multiple state, regional, national, and international needs. The department trains English teachers prepares professionals equipped to work in a variety of roles and environments in society, and provides personal and professional opportunities likely not available to students if not for their course work in English (such as technical and/or professional writing).
One of the most critical needs at the state, regional, and national levels is the growing demand for English and Language Arts teachers at the K-12 level. The department prepares students to become such teachers and, therefore, enables schools to not only continue with required English courses but also to maintain their programs and activities related to English (plays, literary magazines, etc.).
Roughly half of our English students choose to pursue the English Education major and/or double major. For example, many students choose to major in Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Pre-Law, Modern Languages, Journalism, and Communication Studies & Theatre. Students find that they are more marketable when pairing an English major with other areas of study, and the department supports the needs of these students.
Many of our graduates attend graduate programs in English, starting with the M.A. Several have gone on to attend Ph.D. programs and are faculty members at universities across the nation (Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota, for example).
In addition to teaching and/or graduate school, the department trains and equips majors and minors with the written, oral, and critical thinking skills necessary to find placement and work here in South Dakota, regionally, and nationally. Many of our majors find work in business and industry. For example, one local opportunity arises from a company based right here in Brookings. Daktronics routinely hires many of our students to work in apprentice or internship roles (often in technical writing) while still taking courses toward graduation. Upon completion of their degree, most of our majors are offered permanent jobs, if they choose. We have graduates placed in businesses across the state and a host of other public and private sector companies.
Career tracks taken by graduates include:
- Law School
- Secondary teaching positions
- University teaching positions (M.A.)
- University professor (Ph.D.)
- Medical School
- Sales positions in Ag Products and Services, Pharmaceuticals, Insurance, and Real Estate.
- Marketing, especially in the banking industry
- Public Relations
- Technical Writing