Why English?

“Literary study can become central once more to the academic enterprise precisely because it provides students imagined opportunities to learn of experiences and cultures not their own and to encounter and to begin to judge different values”
–Paul Lauter


There are two ways of looking at education.

Some students choose to see education as a means to an end. In this perspective, the classes they take have the purpose of introducing them to specific skills that will help them find employment or get a better job.

Other students prefer to see education as an end in itself. In this perspective, the main purpose that classes serve is one of enrichment, of opening one’s eyes to the surrounding world and its mysteries, its people, its traditions, its histories. Such students believe that the most important things we learn in any class are not necessarily measurable. In these students’ views, education allows us to better understand ourselves and each other, and in so doing prepares us to participate more fully in the worlds around us.

Most students would probably describe their own outlooks as combining elements from the above two. However, no matter where you fall in these categories, the study of English will benefit you in innumerable ways.

Many English majors have gone to work in a variety of fields, such as business, communications, management training programs, education, consulting, advertising, law, and social services.


Because talking and writing about literature, in all its forms, require and hone one’s creative, communication, and critical thinking skills, and all of these skills help make someone a more attractive job candidate.

Moreover, studying literature helps us to see and understand the world. As Nadine Gordimer contends, “Writing is making sense of life.”

The Palomar College English Department offers a diverse and stimulating range of writing and literature classes. Each one reflects the unique perspective and approach of its teacher and students. There is one constant among them, however: all of these classes, the ideas that they raise, the questions that they address, and the thoughts that they help express will stay with you, in a variety of ways, long after the final class has met.