Before the early 20th Century, a college degree was not meant to train a person for a job. A college education was for personal enrichment. To turn you into an educated person with skills in critical thinking to allow you to take up a career in public administration, the clergy or business where you would learn on the job.
There was no intention for a degree to train you for a specific career.
However since the 1940’s the expectation of the public about a college or university degree has changed and a college or university education is now expected to lead you to a career.
Unfortunately the college and university system has not changed with the times.
A degree in Anthropology, Archeology, Art, Art History Creative Writing, Film, General Studies, History, Humanities, Language & Culture, Liberal Arts, Liberal Studies, Literature, Political Science, most any language including English, Media, Music History, Paleontology, Photography, Philosophy, Religious Studies or Sociology is considered a "personal enrichment" degree. Journalism is heading this way too. Also pretty well anything called “Something Studies”. That is, these degrees are degrees that are meant to enrich you personally in the classical sense of a university education without leading to any specific job.
Psychology requires a PhD in order to do well.
These degrees sometimes result in a position in academia if you go on to get a PhD though there is an oversupply of PhDs for all the academic jobs that come up in these fields.
However, in today's world where people go to university to enable themselves to get a job and hopefully a career a bachelor's in these fields is essentially useless. With a degree in these fields and a GPA generally over 3.0 you can:
1. Get into law school. However law schools today graduate far more lawyers than there is business for lawyers.
2. Get into graduate school in a different field. Hopefully one without too many prerequisites you do not have. Consider getting a masters in Technology Management. You can make a similar salary to an engineer but you need essentially no sciences prerequisites.
3. Get into graduate school in the same field and eventually into a PhD so you can become a college professor in this field someday. However, there are far more PhD grads in some fields like Philosophy than there ever will be professorships or any kind of teaching programs.
4. Take a teaching qualification, which is usually 2 more years, so you can teach the subject at a public K-12 school.
5. Look for a job in a field where they want you to have a degree without any concern what it is. Where they only want the degree because they want educated people who have proven they can stick with something difficult and see it to completion. Like the insurance industry.
6. If you join the military you are more likely to enter as an officer instead of enlisted personnel.
Do note that if you do go for a more advanced degree, no one cares where you got your bachelor’s degree. Only the school where you got your most advanced degree counts. And that counts for a lot less than the name schools would have you believe.
If your GPA is over 3.0, don’t take a second undergrad degree if you already have one of these degrees. A graduate degree will be more valuable to you.
So, what exactly IS an English major supposed to do after college?
Here is a listing of the average starting and mid-career salaries for most 4 year majors. The issue here is that these only apply to people who actually got a job in their field. Little problem for BSc holders but things are not as rosy for BA holders. Many graduates in the lower half on the list never get a job in their field and are not counted.
The ones with the highest salaries are the ones in the most demand by employers. And the higher they pay, the harder they are. And generally the more math they require. And remember this survey only covers the students who got a job in their field of study. The lower paid the job on this list, the few the number of graduates in a particular major got a job in their field.
The Highest Starting Salaries of 2010
Look here to find the job prospects for most all occupations in the USA.