Knowing What You Can Do With a Major
Academics like to promote a university education as an enriching experience that leads to an educated citizen. Certainly there is a lot to support this perspective of your college education, but the reality is that you and most of your classmates pursue a college degree to get a job.
A decision that you may need to make is how to decide between a major where you have a passion and a major where you are confident you can get a job. How do you make this decision? Unfortunately many students don’t give this decision the care that it needs. As a result, they end up with few career opportunities and eventually a job that they hate.
Here is some guidance on some things you should do to research your choice of a major.
- Visit the majors you are interested in. Here are some questions to ask:
- What jobs did graduates from last year’s class obtain upon graduation? Judge not only the jobs mentioned, but also how informed they were in their student’s jobs after graduation.
- What percentage of last year’s class went to graduate school? Also ask the names of schools and graduate degrees they were pursuing.
- Ask what a graduate might be doing 10 years after getting their degree.
- Visit the website (http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/major/) You will also find guidance on how marketable you will be with a degree in this majors.
- Identify an organization you would like to work for in your local area. See if you can meet with someone in a hiring position. Discuss how they would view someone with the major you are thinking of pursuing.
- Have a conversation with yourself about your choice of a major and what you would like to do for a career. Often there is a disconnect between these two. Often students are unwilling to make the academic commitment needed to pursue a major that will give them the career they want. All too often students opt for the short term rather than the long term in their decision making about a major.
One final comment. If an academic department is unwilling to help you gain the information you need, it is probably a good indicator of how the department supports its students. .