“What’s Your Major?”
It’s a perennial question for college students to ask each other, and a frequent question asked of students by family, friends and prospective employers. At college career fairs, I use the question as an ice breaker to encourage the often nervous student to talk about him/herself. Unfortunately, but realistically, the question also serves as a screening device to identify people whose major would not appeal to the clients whom I serve.
In today’s world, with new graduates taking many months to find their first “real” job, and with over 40% of recent college graduates working in jobs that don’t require degrees, the question “What’s your major?” has taken on increased importance. Some students will go to college knowing exactly what they want to do – but most don’t. Most have to make that decision while in college, often having to choose from a list of 250 or more majors.
As you go through this daunting task, I can only give you some old advice and maybe some that you haven’t heard. The old stuff involves math, science, and technology – if there is any way that you can be passionate about any of these three subjects, you will absolutely maximize your future employability. Looking at the top 10 most needed jobs for many years, the healthcare and technology industries dominate the list, and of course, these industries rely heavily on the three subjects cited.
But looking back on my own six years in college, where I dropped out of pre-med and never liked math much, there were some electives I took that have furthered my business career. I took two Logic courses, where I learned how to think logically and reach sound decisions based on evidence, rather than on emotion. And I took Writing courses to enable me to set my logical thinking down on paper and convince others of my positions and decisions. The hardest elective I ever took was Library Science, but it taught me how to do credible research and find reliable information.
Later, I formed the belief that the two most valuable skills that I learned in college were writing and logical thinking, and I haven’t changed my mind. If you learn to think and write logically, you will also be able to speak in the same manner, giving you convincing verbal skills.
One last suggestion: I continue to thank my Mother for forcing me to take Typing in high school- keyboards are best handled with ten digits, not two!
Good luck to you in your own careers.
Doug Hart, Incepture, Tampa