Posts Tagged ‘college majors’

How to Align Your Major with Your Future Career

Categories: Majors & Minors

When choosing a major, in addition to considering what you like to do and what you’re good at, you may want to think about what you’d like your future career to be. It’s not as far away as you think! While there are majors such as elementary education that essentially spell out your career, other majors such as psychology, chemistry, sociology, history, leadership, and countless others don’t have a specific job title linked to it, so choosing a career path after graduation can be complicated and frustrating. Check out these tips that will help you create a plan so you can adequately prepare yourself for the job you want!

What Does Your Career Mean to You?

Before you start looking at majors and career options, you may benefit from defining what your career will be to you. Will you eat and breathe your job, making it your life’s work? Will your career be a passion that brings happiness to you everyday? Do you want to be home nights, weekends, and holidays? Is your job nothing more than a way to make money? Is your goal to make lots of money? What’s going to be the most important thing about your job? This will give you an idea as to what direction you need to be heading.

Choose a Career

Many will find it helpful to work backwards when it comes to picking a major. Instead of majoring in something you enjoy and then deciding what to do with it later, think about your potential job first. What do you need to get you to that job? Is there a minor, or another major you could get that would give you an advantage in the job market?

Choose a Degree

While you may not think there’s a big difference between biology, chemistry, and biochemistry, there is. A bachelor of arts, a bachelor of fine arts, and a bachelor of science may all mean the same thing to you now, but it can be the difference between being qualified for a job and not being qualified. Do your research. Make sure you’re getting a degree that will prepare you for the career you want.

What Else Will You Need?

Sometimes a bachelor’s degree won’t be enough to get you the job you want. Those who wish to be psychiatrists, for example, will find that a bachelor’s in psych won’t cut it. Those who want to pursue publication may find that, despite their degree, they’ll have to take a six week workshop in another city just to be qualified for an editing job. There may be certification tests, training, and unpaid internships even after graduation. Before you begin your coursework in a major, be aware of everything it will take to get you to the end destination. For many students, knowing all of the steps to reach the end goal is exciting! For others, it’s just too much work to bother. Know what you’re going to be in for before choosing a major.


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13 of the Best Paying Majors

Categories: Majors & Minors

Choosing a major is a big deal and a hard choice. Most students don’t have the ease of going into college knowing exactly what they want to be doing the next forty years of their lives–those that do are rock stars of decision making, though!

If you don’t know exactly what you want to study in college, it may be helpful to think about majors that lead to lucrative careers. The Daily Beast recently published an article about the most useful college majors based on research from Georgetown University that charted two years of census data to determine the likelihood of positive financial returns in relation to college majors in conjunction with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about employment projections.

Still, choosing a major based on future monetary prospects isn’t the only factor that should go into your decision. Being able to head to class excited about what you’re learning is worth its weight in gold. So, hopefully financial success and passion with what your studying wind up going hand in hand. But in a rough economy, knowing you’ll have job stability might just be worth it for you.

Here are thirteen of the most useful college majors:

1. Nursing

Unemployment, recent grad: 4.0%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 1.9%
Earnings, recent grad: $48,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $64,000

2. Mechanical Engineer

Unemployment, recent grad: 8.6%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 3.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $58,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $86,000

3. Electrical Engineering

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.3%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.2%
Earnings, recent grad: $57,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $90,000

4. Civil Engineering

Unemployment, recent grad: 8.1%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.5%
Earnings, recent grad: $50,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $81,000

5. Computer Science

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.8%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.6%
Earnings, recent grad: $50,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $81,000

6. Finance

Unemployment, recent grad: 6.6%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.2%
Earnings, recent grad: $44,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $72,000

7. Marketing & Research

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.3%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 6.0%
Earnings, recent grad: $37,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $65,000

8. Mathematics

Unemployment, recent grad: 6.1%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.1%
Earnings, recent grad: $40,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $71,000

9. Accounting

Unemployment, recent grad: 6.8%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $43,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $65,000

10. French, German, Latin, and other Common Foreign Languages 

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.9%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $32,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $50,000

 11. Business

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.0%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $37,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $60,000

12. Elementary Education

Unemployment, recent grad: 4.8%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 3.4%
Earnings, recent grad: $33,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $40,000

13. Economics

Unemployment, recent grad: 9.4%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.7%
Earnings, recent grad: $48,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $76,000

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“Help! My Major is Useless in Today’s Job Market!”

Categories: Majors & Minors

If you happened to catch a few minutes of the evening news in your residence hall lobby, or overheard recent unemployment statistics at breakfast one morning, you might be questioning your college major. For those of us who have chosen to follow our passions for the arts or humanities, that questioning may have turned into full blown panic. Is this field going to be realistic when I graduate? Will I be able to find a job? Should I change my major to something in demand? Should I add another degree? Am I just wasting my time and money here?

The thought of not being able to find a job after graduation is something that haunts college students, especially those who are about to graduate this spring. But before you do anything crazy, consider the following:

Don’t let the news scare you: You’ve wanted to be a music teacher since you were nine years old. You can play six instruments, have been the star of every musical in high school, and are about to graduate college with high honors. Don’t throw that away for a science degree because the news is showing budget cuts to the arts. If you’ve spent years working toward a career, don’t abandon it over a few months of scary unemployment stories.

Think outside the box: College students often make the mistake of assuming what they major in is what they learn. Psych majors learn how to be psychologists and education majors learn how to educate. Defining what you learn by the title of your major is limiting. Instead, think about the courses you’re taking and what skills you’re gaining from those courses. What does your college major require you to know and be good at? It’s these skills and abilities that will someday get you a job.

Become your very best: Despite what the statistics and news stories may indicate, there are jobs out there for everyone in every major. They’re just harder to get than before. You can improve your chances by becoming your very best when it comes to your field of study. Instead of coasting through your classes until you get your degree, take the extra time to master concepts you know your classmates have problems with. Spend a few extra hours in lab. Save your notebooks from previous classes, and browse through them once in a while. Read extra material on your field of study that hasn’t been assigned to you. By taking the drivers seat when it comes to your passion and your education, you’re going to know more and you’re going to do better.

A degree is never useless: There are many people who find themselves incredibly happy in careers where they didn’t necessarily earn their degree, because the skills they learned to get the degree took them there. In addition, some entry level jobs only require that you have a bachelors degree without considering the subject in which it’s in.  Despite what you’ve majored in, having a degree will always make you more marketable than not having it.

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