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The Sun
Never Sets on
the English

The Many Faces
of Western
North Carolina

The Mystery
of Rick Boyer

Just Do It!

Just the

How to Get

English on the
Fast Track

Telling (True)


Change of Heart
Leads to New

The World

Writers Bring

Slam Your

English Freaks
and Geeks

Outside the




Technically Speaking
by Michael McCollum
So you don’t really want to be a writer, and teaching isn’t for you either. What good would it do you to major in English?

Stacey Guffey Ask Stacey Guffey, an alumnus of Western Carolina University and an English Literature major. Since graduating, Guffey works as the e-Commerce Program Coordinator for nearby Southwestern Community College. Far from simply sitting in front of a computer writing all day, Guffey hires instructors, creates and maintains the program’s web site, and recruits and counsels students.

Guffey credits his education at WCU with preparing him for his job duties. Whether you plan on it or not, writing will be a major part of your career, and you’ll need good verbal skills in a computer-oriented environment. As Guffey explains, “If you are going to enter a technical field, you will compete with thousands of people. One thing that can set you apart is your ability to write effectively.”

In addition to stressing the importance of good communications skills, Guffey offers this advice to students interested in web writing:
  • Take lots of classes that have nothing to do with technology. Employers and clients hire people they can have a conversation with.
  • Don’t do it for the money; do it because you love it. Employers and clients recognize drive and energy and value these even more than your technical skills.
  • Make sure you have a hobby that doesn’t involve computers. If you don’t, you will burn out early.
  • Take an art class. If you do web design, an appreciation of art will spur your creativity and keep your design from looking “canned.”
  • Make lots of friends in the field. Friends and good business relationships will keep you employed and help you achieve your goals.
For students interested in pursuing writing for the web as a career, WCU offers a course titled “Writing for Electronic Environments,” which prepares students for both technical and stylistic issues involved in creating content for new media. This course, along with the core classes in the Professional Writing concentration, gives students the skills they will need to communicate effectively in the increasingly digital workplace.

Even if you don’t plan to work in the traditional “English” fields, this major can help prepare you for a variety of careers by ensuring that, no matter what you say, you will always say it well.




For more
visit the
web site for
the e-Commerce
Program at
Community College.