Posts Tagged ‘picking a major’
While you shouldn’t pick your major solely based on what’s popular or what’s going to be in demand upon graduation, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some knowledge about where the job market is heading! Here are the top 6 majors that are quickly increasing in popularity.
Doctors, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, home aids, physician’s assistants and pharmacists are all in high demand right now. Many of these positions have a high starting pay. Accelerated and flexible degree and certification programs are also an attractive incentive for college students!
As concern for the environment continues to grow, colleges and universities have found themselves creating “green” majors, or degree programs that deal with environmental issues. These majors include bioethics, food science, and horticulture. According to The Princeton Review, even degrees like fashion design and packaging are incorporating an environmental emphasis.
The computer science major has undergone something of a resurrection since the burst of the “dot-com” bubble. An article in the San Francisco Business Times dated August 3, 2012 mentions that the University of California at Berkeley saw an 87% increase from 2007 to 2011 in their computer science department. While this major continues to grow in popularity, there is much debate regarding its future need, with some believing this field will remain in high demand, and others who believe this demand has already been met.
Kinesiology, the study of human body movement, has been reported to have an increase in popularity as well. According to an article from the San Francisco Business Times, since 2008, Notre Dame saw a 160% increase and the University of California at Berkley saw a 48% increase in this field. Kinesiology can lead to careers in the sports or medical fields.
Engineers continue to be in demand, and with a high starting pay, many students find themselves interested in pursuing this route. Engineering has many different branches including civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering as well as combinations of these. With strong coursework in physics, math, and science, expertise in this field seems to always provide a career.
There has been a large increase in statistics majors, with the University of California at Berkeley citing it as their second fastest growing major in the last several years, per the aforementioned article. Statistics students, who have a strong background in math and specialize in processing and analyzing data, are highly useful and in demand for businesses that are joining the online community. Companies that have only recently started using Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts need statistic majors to evaluate the new data these sites are providing to them so they can make better decisions about their digital presence.
If your major isn’t on here, don’t get discouraged! Jumping on the current trend or focusing only on the most popular majors isn’t always the best choice. If you’re good at something, and if you’re head over heels in love with it, you will have the passion and motivation it takes to find a job you like, and get paid well for it too!
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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