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English & History Majors

From the New Yorker:
“The biggest undergraduate major by far in the United States today is business. Twenty-two per cent of bachelor’s degrees are awarded in that field. Eight per cent are awarded in education, five per cent in the health professions. By contrast, fewer than four per cent of college graduates major in English, and only two per cent major in history. There are more bachelor’s degrees awarded every year in Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies than in all foreign languages and literatures combined.”
Where will the librarians come from?

Posted on: May 16, 2007, 4:44 pm Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I was thinking about this the other day as I was encouraging one of my staff to apply to library school. He’s got a banking background and is extremely analytical. He was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to do the research/write the papers needed to succeed. I had to convince him that librarians come from everywhere and bring a unique set of skills no matter what their background.
    The problem is that it’s the business folk that don’t “fall into” librarianship the way other, more liberal arts degrees, do. But it’s another in the ongoing changes in librarianship and libraries that make it an interesting time to be in the field. Think about what these business majors can bring to the field: understanding of budgets and management techniques that they don’t teach in library school, non-traditional ideas about staffing. Could be it’s well time for these ideas.
    Course, I could just be one of the 4% of English majors who fell into librarianship, so what do I know? 😉

  2. That was an interesting article! I had no idea I was part of such an exclusive club as a history major. I’d also assumed there was a far more serious glut of English majors than 4%. Maybe that song should be “What Do You Do with a BA in Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies?”
    Except, of course, it doesn’t fit!