Like it or not, sometime during your college career you’ll be asked to make an important decision that will help decide what you do upon graduation: selecting a major. There are a few things that all college students and prospective college students need to know before they commit to a program. Here are a few things that need to be considered and a few myths that need to be shattered.
1. Myth 1: You need to select a major that will give you a good salary once you graduate (i.e. accounting, pharmacology, etc.).
While it is true that you don’t want to be stuck struggling to start a career upon graduation, selecting a major that commands a high salary can hurt you as well. For example, I hold a degree in supply chain management degree from the top supply chain management program in the United States: Michigan State University. Unfortunately, in part due to the large salary that graduates can garner, it is becoming difficult to find an entry-level position in some areas of the country (particularly, Michigan). It is better to study something you are passionate about rather than pursue a degree that may be hot now but fades when you graduate.
2. Myth 2: Never pursue a degree in literature, language study, history, or philosophy. There are no jobs upon graduation.
As I stated earlier, many times you come out ahead if you pursue something you’re passionate about, even if your parents and friends aren’t exactly happy with your choice of major. It may be harder to get ahead professionally, but in the end, you’ll end up with a career you love.
3. Myth 3: You need to declare a major as soon as you enroll (i.e., your freshman year).
Well-meaning parents, academic counselors, and others perpetuate this myth, but it simply isn’t true. Most college freshmen don’t come in knowing what they want to pursue. They need time, at least a semester or two, to figure out exactly what it is that they are passionate about. Parents especially need to be patient. As long as freshmen and sophomores are completing the basics, there should be no cause for alarm.
4. Myth 4: You’ll end up getting a job relating to your major once your graduate.
This may be true regarding your first job out of college, but even then, there are plenty of cases in which people end up with careers completely unrelated to their college major. For example, I never dreamed that I’d be working as a freelance writer. Quite frankly, I never thought that I’d have the opportunity. If I knew then what I know now, I might have pursued a degree pertaining to English or writing during my college career. There are many stories out there similar to mine.
Above all, it is important to pursue something you love. If that one piece of advice is followed, you can’t go wrong. You’ll end up with skills that will serve you for a lifetime, no matter what your career has in store for you. It is important not to take yourself too seriously.