Why English Students Should Take Business Classes

A lot of English majors would scoff at the idea of having to take a business class. The same can be said for business students who have to take an English class, too. As a business major who took several literary studies classes, I found them incredibly valuable. But, my English-studying friends weren’t so fond of the business side of things.

So, I figured I’d make my case for why it’s so crucial for English students to take business classes. Here’s 5 solid reasons:

1. Critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills applied to the business industry will help you in a many different ways. For example, what if you have to write about something you’ve never written about before – say, business. This not only takes critical thinking skills to solve the problem of writing about something so ambiguous, but it takes research, business knowledge, and a dash of whit.

2. Learn business writing + sales copy

A lot of people can write literally novels, short stories, and comic books. But much of what gets written is persuasive copy to convince people to buy things. Plus, there’s advertisements, web pages, tweets, Facebook posts, and more. Learning how to write for business is incredibly important because you’ll likely end up working for one (if not for yourself — see point #4).

3. Management (of people and resources)

I’m a firm believe that everyone (regardless of background) should take a management class. Why? Because we all have to manage people – and resources – at some point. Whether it’s co-workers, family, or friends, managing people is a full-time job. Take a couple classes in management and you’ll be a pro in no time.

4.  You may actually end up running your own business

A lot of writers are freelancers. They work for several different clients at the same time. That means you have to manage time, finances, accounts receivable, etc. And, you have to know your costs, make sure you’re charging enough to put a roof over your head and food on the table. It can be a challenge to run your own business, but it may be the only way you earn a living as an english major. Not everyone can be a greeting card writer like the guy in 500 Days of Summer :p

5. It’s always good to be well-rounded

Where I went to school, business majors had to minor in liberal arts and liberal arts majors had to minor in business. The president of the college thought it would make for well-rounded students – and he was right. I have gained new perspectives and enjoyed many of my english classes more than my business classes. Being well-rounded helps students prepare for the real-world. If you can’t write for a living, you may end up in retail, construction, etc — all business-to-business industries. And that business knowledge is really going to pay off.

What do you think? Is it important for students to be well-rounded or should they focus on one discipline? Let me know by leaving a comment below and get the conversation started.