The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Often, in your 2nd year at University, you get to choose your major – the subject you are going to focus on in your remaining years. With the excitement of finally being able to choose your own subjects there also comes a big worry. Most students, including me, worry about where a particular major is going to take them. Is it going to help them sustain their livelihood? Are they going to earn enough money? What job are they going to get by doing a major in a subject like History?
However, many experts say that you should not worry too much about your college major. While it does open many doors for you and it may even help you a great deal, it is not something that will necessarily decide what you are going to do in the future.
Let’s look at some of the reasons these “experts” give for this:
It’s only a Pre-Requisite!
Long ago, it used to be important and very special for someone to have a degree, but now the degree has just become a pre-requisite to joining the workforce. Your major of choice does not really matter that much anymore. That means while your job will require a Bachelor’s, the topic wouldn’t matter. According to a 2013 research study published in the Washington post, only 27% of college graduates tend to pursue a job in the field of their major. While according to a 2009 Cornell University alumni survey, 38 % of the class which graduated in 1998 was working in a position unrelated to their undergraduate field of study.
But I won’t earn much!
Research shows that students who decide their profession based on their field of study, whether it be law or medicine or business, don’t necessarily tend to earn more than those who arrive in those fields with a completely unrelated degree.
While your degree may not matter as much, your work experience does matter. You should not let opportunities during your undergraduate years and high school years go to waste. Your Resume and experience in fields of your interest are what are going to help you bag a good job, rather than your major. This will show future employers how motivated and interested you really are.
Focus on Sharpening Your Skills
According to Yuval Noah Harari in 21 Lessons for the 21 century, the workforce as we know it is changing rapidly and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s not the same as it used to be when your parents started working and it will change even more by the time we are ready to join the workforce. Employers care more about your soft skills rather than what your major was. Skills like critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving are wanted by most employers. Many also look for people who think out of the box, are innovative and creative. Which explains why Silicon Valley companies want to hire liberal art students.
Build your network
Lastly, you should focus on building your network during these important college years. People need to know you to be able to consider you for a job. You can start it right now by doing internships and volunteer work, by reaching out to people who work in your fields of interest and your own professors! It is never too early to start building your network.
Your major is something that you enjoy and like studying and not something that is aimed at getting you a big payday. Your goal should not be to get a million-dollar job with your undergraduate degree, but rather to understand who you are and what is it that you want to do.