What is the value of an accelerated English degree program? What can you actually do with an English degree?
You could learn marketable skills like critical analysis, clear communication and how to be an effective and creative writer.
Believe it or not, every career field could benefit from employees that are good writers. That is how you get a company message out to your customers! Or your boss. Or the people you are supervising.
English is also the most dominant language in the world. More than 54% of the information on the internet is in English. Every country around the world has an interest in the English language. Being able to communicate well in English allows you to pursue a career not only as an English professor but also to teach English as a second language. A highly valued skillset that can allow you to travel the world AND get paid to do it!
An English degree can set you up for a fulfilling and meaningful career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average salary when you have a Bachelor of Arts in English is $48,000.
But you can also join the ranks of famous authors, TV hosts, anchors and columnists who have shaped the worldview of millions of people.
What if I mentioned:
- Stephen King
- Toni Morrison
- Katie Couric
- Mary Hart
- Diane Sawyer
- Barbara Walters
- Bob Woodward
All these noteworthy influencers hold a degree in English. And you can too.
But you need to play it smart! Quitting your job and committing to 4 years of full-time schooling and $200,000 in student tuition debt sounds like a quick path to homelessness.
Or moving back into your parents’ basement, broke and desperate.
Feel free to move back in with your parents but not because you are broke and desperate. But maybe because you are completing your Bachelor of English in 18 months for only $31,000. Then you are heading to Thailand, Saudi Arabia or New York for a brag-worthy career as an English teacher, writer, or broadcaster.
Accelerated English Degree Programs Overview
An English degree program can teach you how to write intelligently. Beautifully. The written word can convey so many messages whether you are writing a novel, business memos or blog posts!
You can learn skills that will never go out of style like being able to read and write analytically. How to explain the world around us and the study of everything.
Literature teaches you to look at all aspects of the world from science, politics, history, religion, philosophy, psychology, economics, music, art, film and even the greater human emotions of romance, desire, love, power, identity and change.
All this wrapped up in great literature that you just can’t put down! What other degree program lets you read great, engrossing novels as your classwork?
Your classes could include runaway hits like:
- Postcolonial Literature
- Multiethnic Literature
- How to Write Fiction
- How to Write Poetry
- Professional Writing and Speaking
- Introduction to Children’s Literature
- Studies in Young Adult Literature (yes, you might be reading Harry Potter or Twilight!)
- American Poetry
- British Literature
- The Written Legends of King Arthur
- The Genre of Shakespeare’s Plays
These are classes that not only let you explore common themes throughout human existence but can help you be a well-rounded communicator. And prepare you for a career that you love!
Careers with an Accelerated English Degree
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for writers and authors will grow by 8 percent in the next 8 years. This is the same as the averages for all other occupations.
But writing is not the only career that an English Degree can give you. Many English degree holders will move onto a career in:
- Public Relations
The skills you learn have the potential to make you highly valuable to future employers. There are great differences in the salaries you might find from $38,000-$118,000 (or beyond!).
J.K. Rowlings (famous author of the Harry Potter series) graduated with a degree in Literature Classics and currently has an estimated worth of $95 million. Not all who write will become rich and famous! But there is potential.
|Writers and Authors||$61,240|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||$107,320|
|High School Teacher*||$58,030|
|English as a Second Language Teacher||$52,100|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
A degree in English can set you up with skills that can prove to be valuable over your entire life. What you do with your knowledge will be up to you.
Accelerated English Degree Programs Offer Year-Round Admissions
Are you looking at the course descriptions and want to buy the books because you can’t wait to get started? There is no reason for you to wait.
Most universities will give you the option of starting your online English degree whenever it suits you. There are start dates each month.
You can choose which class you want to start with and then sign up. Before the end of the month, you could be diving into the great world of literature.
Accelerated English Degree Programs Online – Accelerated Classes vs. Self-Paced Classes
One of the hardest parts of trying to complete a degree is re-working your life around the school’s class schedules. A class that runs twice a week on Monday and Wednesday afternoon will really hurt your ability to keep on working your full-time job. Or be able to make it for daycare pick-up.
That’s why taking classes online is a beautiful idea.
You can choose the time of day that works best for you to complete your coursework. You can read the assigned readings on your Kindle at your child’s soccer practice and then jump in on the online class discussions after everybody is asleep. Or early in the morning. You’re in charge.
The 2 best options for online classes are accelerated or self-paced classes. The biggest difference between the options is how you complete them.
Accelerated classes run on a set schedule with deadlines and a set day when you finish the class. Self-paced classes are completed at whatever speed works best for you, you have a start date, but you can finish the class material faster if you want.
Option 1: Accelerated Online English Classes
When you look at a traditional in-class school calendar you will see that most classes are set on a 16-week term. That means attending class 1-2 times a week for 16 weeks. That can be a lot of time to dedicate to each class!
Lucky for you, there is a faster option. And yes, it is online. An accelerated online class typically runs on a 6-8-week schedule. You can then complete your classes twice as fast.
But the material that you cover will be essentially the same. You still read the same literature, have online class discussions, learn how to write beautifully. The classmark you receive is indistinguishable from an in-class mark on your transcript.
The biggest difference is that it is twice as fast, and you work from home. If you want to take the genius route than you will be sure to take another class as soon as you finish one.
Option 2: Self-Paced Online English Classes
A self-paced class puts you in the driver’s seat. And there is nothing wrong with a little (or a lot!) or speed in your degree. With self-paced classes, you can choose to complete as many classes as you want in one semester.
You are not limited by a school’s timetable or when a course is being offered. You could register with a school like Capella University for a Flex Choice semester. You pay a one-time fee of $2300 for the 12-week term. During that time, you decide which classes to focus on and pick up the course materials. Then you finish up one class after another as fast as you like.
You will typically have projects or assignments that you need to complete to show that you have covered the course objectives.
Types of Accelerated English Degree Programs
English degrees all involve a focus on reading, writing and analyzing the English language. Usually through literature. But there are many different slants that a degree in English can take. Which of these Bachelor of Arts in English sounds most appealing to you?
- Creative Studies: Literature
- Creative Writing
- American Literature
- Comparative Literature
- Literary Journalism
- Literature and Writing
- Literature and Cultures
- Literature of the World
There are so many different options for what direction you take your English degree. You get to choose the one that will best suit your interests and your future career plans.
3 Ways to Accelerate Your English Degree Even More
Although you want to take the time to savor and ponder all the great works of literature, you also don’t want to waste 4 years and $200,000. A bachelor’s degree will normally have at least 39 credits that are your core competency classes.
That means there are at least 13 classes that you HAVE to take but you don’t really want to. These 3 tricks are excellent ways to help you fly through your core requirements and leave you more time and money to enjoy the classes you want to take.
1. Test out of college classes (up to 1 year)
Here’s your first tip to get your degree faster. Don’t go to class. Attending classes can be a waste of time!
Please don’t close this page before you read the whole plan! Through a program like the College Level Examination Program, you can register to take the exam instead of the whole class.
A class will take you about 48 hours. An exam takes you 90 minutes. You can take up to 30 credits through Credit by Exam and check off those necessary core competency classes in hours instead of months.
You don’t even need to be an expert on the subject, you can pick up the study guide and study for a couple of days beforehand. The exam is only 90 multiple choice questions and if you get 50% right than you can earn all 3 college credits.
2. Get college credit for your life and work experience
If you have been working for a few years before starting this degree you might already have earned credit without even knowing it.
Universities often have a program called Credit for Prior Learning. Ask your advisor about this option. You may need to put together a portfolio with your training, experiences, credentials and letters of reference. The portfolio will show the faculty how you have already met the course objectives for the classes you are applying for credit in.
Once your portfolio is approved you could be eligible for 15 credits. Just because you already know stuff.
3. Stay continuously enrolled with max course load
Here is where you get to focus on the classes you’ve been dreaming of. But the speed that most students complete classes is slower than necessary. If you are serious about completing your degree quicker than you need to buckle down and work hard.
You can decide to do only 30 credit hours each year. That’s the norm. But it will also take you 4 years to earn your degree at that rate.
Your university will most likely allow you to take one extra class each semester. That adds up to 18 credits each semester.
Because you are completing your classes online, you can also work through classes all summer. You can still catch some sun and enjoy a few barbecues all while you are earning 18 more credits.
By the end of 12 months, you could have 54 credits done. Add in your 30 credits by exam and 15 credits for prior learning and you now have 99 credits in 12 months. That would usually take 3 years!
Transferring Your Existing College Credits
Did you start a degree program or take a few college classes in the past? If you were attending an accredited college and passed those classes with at least a C, you will want to transfer in that credit.
Pre-existing credit is valuable to you now! Every credit that you have already earned can save you time and money with your English degree.
Ideally, the class you took would fit perfectly into your English degree but even if it doesn’t you still want to use it. The class can be used as an elective and save you from taking another class.
Lower Tuition Costs
Tuition and time are the 2 biggest obstacles to conquer when you are looking at getting a degree. You have already seen how you can accelerate your degree and save yourself years in getting your degree.
The same strategies will save you $10,000s as well. Every time you take a class you are looking at paying $1014- $5140. For each 3-credit class! Your degree will require at least 120 credits and tuition ALONE can cost you up to $205,600. Don’t forget to add in student fees, textbooks and living expenses.
But tuition will be the biggest money drain. You don’t need to spend this much on tuition. Just use your class skipping skills to save money!
If you were to take 10 classes to earn yourself 30 college credits for your core competency requirements you are going to pay $10,140-$51,400. Or you could pay $870 to take the exams instead.
Crazy how much money you can save!
English Degree Accreditation
The classes, professors and viewpoints you learn will differ from school to school. But the one thing that should always be the same is accreditation.
Accreditation might be regional or national, but it is important to attend an accredited school. When your future employer or grad school looks at your degree, accreditation will prove that your degree was fairly earned.
Some of the names to look for in national accreditation are:
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
- Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
You can’t go wrong with any of these names attached to your school.
No matter what your goal is in earning an English degree, you can learn skills that will never fade. You are not earning a degree full of technical knowledge, you are learning how to think, write and read.
You now know how you can earn that degree without putting yourself in $200,000 worth of student loan debt. Your degree can be finished in 18 months instead of 4 years.
You can have an English skill-set that has a value that never depreciates. What will you do with that?