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Career Resources

What do Employers Look For?

“Inside Higher Ed makes an excellent point about what employers say they want in the ideal employee: someone who has a broad knowledge base, who can collaborate to solve problems, debate, communicate and think critically. Those are all skills that humanities programs insist students learn before they graduate.”

 “Majoring in the Humanities Does Pay off, Just Later,” Forbes, Jan. 22, 2014.

“You want people who can think. They won’t necessarily have specific skills anyway ... I used to joke that if you can find me someone who has a degree in figuring out patterns of imagery in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, I can teach him to break down a balance sheet in 30 minutes. What you want is a mind … A liberal arts education is extremely valuable for someone coming into business because increasingly business is about context as well as about technical aspects.”

Matthew William Barrett (former Chairman of BMO and Barclay’s Bank) outlines what he looks for in aspiring employees, The Globe and Mail, Aug. 23, 2012.

“Well, strange as it may sound, if you’re an employer who needs smart, creative workers, a 50-page honours project on a 19th century French poet might be just the thing you want to see from one of your job applicants. Not because you’re going to ask him or her to interpret any poetry on the job, but because you may be asking him or her, at some point, to deal with complex material that requires intense concentration – and to write a persuasive account of what it all means. And you may find that the humanities major with extensive college experience in dealing with complex material handles the challenge better – more comprehensively, more imaginatively – than the business or finance major who assumed that her degree was all she needed to earn a place in your company.”

Michael Bérubé, President of the Modern Languages Association, 2012.

What Our Graduates are Doing

Laurier English and Film students have gone on to pursue a wide range of exciting careers in traditional and non-traditional areas. All the testimonials stress the importance of writing, communication and analytical skills — command of language is crucial to all fields. These statements demonstrate how fundamental English and literary studies have been to success in postgraduate education and careers straight out of undergraduate degrees.