Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
STUDENT LIFE / SEP. 03, 2015
version 13, draft 13

Why Your College Major Doesn't Matter

Oh, September. The smell of fall is in the air even if it’s still pretty hot outside, and it’s time to go back to school. Whether you’re leaving high school and your childhood home and everything you know for your freshman year of college, or whether you survived freshman year and are going into your second or third years, you’ve most likely given a lot of thought to your college major. After all, it’s the most popular way to introduce yourself at a party, and everyone you meet while pursuing your university degree, will ask you what you’ve chosen to study. You’ve most likely spent more than a few sleepless nights wondering if that English major is going to get you a real job or if you should switch to something more practical, like medicine. But your college major doesn’t actually matter as much as you might think, and here’s why.

Your Major Won’t Affect Your Career

You’re probably asking, what? How is that possible? Isn’t what you choose to study at university the ultimate defining factor for what kind of jobs you get? Well, not exactly. While it’s pretty rare for an English major who reads more books in a week than the average human, to magically become a doctor, you can still achieve your career dreams and goals no matter what you studied. How? You can always go onto graduate school or work towards a certificate in order to get the skills that you need for a certain job. So, if you’re going to graduate from college next June and you’re scared that your choice of major spells disaster for your career plans, and it’s too late to change since you’ve only got one year left, stop sweating it. You’ll be okay.

There’s another reason why your major has nothing to do with your future career. You might end up doing something you never even thought was possible. You could start a blog just for fun and then, boom, you’ve got a book deal. Your book becomes a huge bestseller and you leave your legal job to become a full-time author. You didn’t study creative writing or even English in university -- this opportunity just happened, and now you’ve found what you were meant to do. And it had nothing to do with your college major.

No One Will Ask You Once You’re 25

Taking about majors may be pretty common at every college party, event and get-together. And you will probably have to confess that you spent four years studying something pretty useless like medieval history for a few years post-college, as people will still be interested. But once you blow out the candles on your 25th birthday cake, you can be 100 percent confident that the people you meet and interact with aren’t going to care what your college major was -- at all. They’ll be more interested in the kind of career you’ve made for yourself. Besides, if you’re still hung up on what you studied in university and talk about it to everyone you interact with, they’re going to get pretty sick of it and pretty bored with you.

It’s Just School

Of course getting a higher education is super important, and it’s also a privilege to be able to work towards an undergraduate degree. But at the end of the day, it’s just school. That’s it. It’s not the entire universe. It’s like when you meet someone and you figure out that the two of you went to the same university. You share stories and laugh about the same weird teachers. But the people standing next to you aren’t laughing or smiling at all, because they didn’t have the same experience and can’t relate at all. To them, it’s pretty boring listening to you guys. If your school was the center of the universe, then everyone would care, right? But they don’t. When you’re in school, it’s hard to imagine that there’s more to life than test scores and thesis statements, but in fact there’s a whole world out there that has nothing to do with how much you studied for your December exams. You shouldn’t slack off -- you don’t want to get kicked out of school since it’s pretty important -- but you shouldn’t take yourself and your academics too seriously.

The Job Market is Tough

Let’s be honest here: it can be rough out there when you’re trying to get a job with a liberal arts education. That’s not to say that this kind of degree is worthless -- it’s not. You still need a four-year degree. But it’s super difficult to land a position these days, so your choice of major won’t make it any easier for you. You’ll still have to compete and prove your value to potential employers. And besides, no job listing ever says you must have studied one specific thing in school. In reality, the posting will ask for a number of related specialities, like English or journalism or political science. So stop freaking out!

The Best Memories Aren’t Academic

Do you remember every single piece of information you learned in your lectures? How about the days upon days of research you did for every essay you wrote? What about the content of your tests and exams? What’s that -- you don’t remember any of it? That’s definitely not a surprise, and most people are in that same boat. College is about so much more than your decision to study art history over chemistry. The best memories have nothing to do with exams and essays. Instead, you remember those silly nights hanging out with friends in the common room of your dorm, those inside jokes, the truly awful dining hall food. It’s hard to realize that when you’re in the thick of it and buried under papers and looming exams but knowing this will definitely make you feel better.

You Can’t Predict the Future

I know, you thought you could. But I’m here to tell you that unfortunately, you’ll change your mind as you get older and hopefully, wiser. All the careful planning in the world can’t force you to stick to ideas you had when you were 18 or 19. Maybe you thought science was the smartest, most logical and practical choice, and then once you walk across that stage during graduation you realize you’ll never make it as a doctor. Who cares about that biology major now? You’re not exactly going to use it now that you’ve decided not to pursue the medical profession. It doesn’t make any sense to put so much pressure on yourself, when you should be enjoying your present and really experiencing all the great stuff that college has to offer. Aren’t you tired of worrying, anyway? Why make life any harder for yourself than it has to be?

See Also: Top 10 Stupid Things You Are Doing in College That You’ll Always Regret

Stressing out because you love to read but you’re worried that your English major won’t land you the right job? Stop the anxiety right now because your choice of college major doesn’t matter at all. You can still follow your dreams and have the career that you want, no matter what you decide to study.

What is your college major? Do you think this major will influence all your future plans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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