How Important is Your College Major?

kim cattrall graduating The Guardian

Deciding on a major takes a lot of time and consideration. That’s because it forces you to think about what type of job you see yourself in and what skills you need to succeed. But what’s interesting is that most students make their decisions on majors based on which one is a) the easiest and b) most likely to bring in the big bucks. Sounds familiar? Of course, it does.

But what happens in terms of employability? Isn’t that what we are supposed to watch out for? This raises yet another question: Does your college major have any say in your career success? Does it limit or boost your chances of finding a job? Well, let’s find out.

See Also: 10 College Degrees That Won’t Get You a Job

Research shows that your college major is in fact as irrelevant to getting a job as your high school grades. Statistics make this ongoing debate interesting, as they show how graduates are spending their time after college. According to a recent study, 62 percent of graduates are working in jobs that require a degree but only 27 percent of graduates are working in a job that relates to their college major.

What does that mean? Well, these graduates have either changed their mind about their preferred career at some point or while they were searching for a job in their field of study, they found one that made them happy and satisfied their needs.

However, this doesn’t get close to answering the question of whether college major’s matter at all. So let’s take a look at some of the facts that back up the idea your major may not be as important as you think:

#1 You Need the Degree

The truth is that your college major isn’t as important as you think, but the fact that you hold a degree alone is a great asset. So I think we all agree on one thing: there is no doubt that you need a degree. Without it, you don’t stand a chance in today’s competitive job market. In that sense, a degree is the main requirement you need to enter the workforce. Although, it is important that you have that piece of paper, some employers don’t care what your field is. This makes your college major irrelevant to finding a job.

However, there are some jobs that are subject specific. Many employers won’t hire you unless you hold a degree, in the fields of science, medicine, computers or social sciences. I mean you can’t go into engineering, computer science or architecture without having studied the subject.

#2 Work Experience Matters

Sometimes knowledge is found in the simplest of things and in this case it’s work experience. Showing that you have been taking advantage of opportunities while at college is more important than showing off your major. Not to mention, that’s what employers need. Whether you have built experience in or out of a job while volunteering, this alone proves that you are motivated and passionate about what you are doing. That’s an essential quality for any jobseeker.  

#3 The Era of Soft Skills

Soft skills can make your college major, even more, irrelevant to finding a job. Positive attitude, problem-solving, initiative, decision making, communication skills and teamwork are some of the skills that you will need to succeed in any job you find yourself in and guess what, it has nothing to do with your college major. Employers can even confirm this. A survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities shows that 93 percent of employers think of critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills more important than a candidate’s undergraduate major.

#4 What About Networking?

If you think about it, the only thing that you need to find a job is a good circle of contacts. Considering that networking the best way for someone to get hired who needs to know what your college major is in really? If you manage to build a strong network through your college years, then you won’t even have to look for a job, it will come and find you. So the best way to invest in your career would be to network like crazy.

Don’t get me wrong I do believe that choosing a major is a big deal, but what really counts is that you get that degree. My advice to future college students out there is to choose a major that can boost your employability, but also one that you enjoy and you are good at. This should do the trick.

So is the college major important? Some people say it is some say it isn’t. What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below…