It's Okay That You're Not In STEM

As an English major, immediately after I tell people what I'm studying I get asked if I want to be a teacher, and when I tell them no, they are utterly confused. Their confusion stems from the STEM agenda, which includes the hard sciences and basically is labeled as more important than the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Now, people are choosing job security to get the best “value” out of their tuition over genuine interest thanks to the Great Recession.  

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I used to immediately rush to justify my choice in my major by following up with saying “oh it’s good preparation for law school,” just to make them feel better about my choice. However, that was not productive. It showed them that I might be a little bit insecure about choosing English, and it even made me doubt myself. Recently, I took a senior seminar class about the purpose of English majors and researched job options available. Do not ever feel like you have to be a STEM major to be successful. There are many pathways in life and we cannot all have the same interest or natural aptitude for only one kind of profession. The social sciences, humanities, and arts are very much needed as we all contribute to the human experience in our own way. It’s kind of like Divergent-esque factions: some are naturally fit for some majors, and others can try to fit the mold that might not be the best fit for them, but hopefully they can manage it for the rest of their lives.

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Do not scare yourself into thinking that job security is more important than job satisfaction. If you are genuinely satisfied with your career because your interest in the job, it will be noticed. Your future boss (and hopefully you become your own boss someday!) will notice your enthusiasm and dedication to your work. These are the types of things that gets you promotions and nice bonuses. It’s okay to love what you do, even though it is made to be a joke in some circles. I’m an English major, would you like fries with that?  

You are still very valuable and needed in the world.