Considering I graduated from college in 2003 and law school in 2006 I feel like I am pretty far removed from academia. That became even more evident when I went to my younger brother’s MBA Graduation Ceremony. He received his MBA from where I received my undergraduate degree and if you think I enjoy life now then back then can only be described as crazy, but I digress. At this particular ceremony was not only those graduating with their MBA, but also those graduating with their Masters in Education and Masters in Human & Health Services. I am not exactly sure what one does with the latter Masters, but I can only assume those graduating with a Masters in Education were going to become teachers.
This lead to a very simple question for all those recent Grads out there,
Did the Current Economy Come into Consideration When You Chose Your Major?
I am not interested in discussion specific majors or professions, like teaching, as such I am not going to research any statistics. I think non-statistic based discussions can often provide logical arguments without all the pressure of determining the basis of the studies.
Why I would Consider the Current Economy When Choosing a Major
Your first “real” job out of school is probably going to depend on the major you chose. Will the fourth or eighth? Probably not, but that first one will or you wouldn’t have chosen it! That is, if you even get your “first” job. Maybe the current economy is now the new economy. For example, is it possible the major you chose is in a changing or dying field? Take the aforementioned teachers for example. I don’t think the “heyday” of teaching is ever going to return. Governments have less and less money to spend on teachers (regardless of whether you think this is the right move) and the job security you think you had is gone…is that still the major for you? Would you still choose teaching if they take away those pensions? What about Tenure?
Take it away from the grim, we will assume assume that you can find a job and that it isn’t changing in any major way – is it possible that while you love your classes you hate the jobs associated with your field. For example, lets say you loved your communication classes and thus became a Public Relations major (The Wife’s Path)….but given she had no interest in starting at the bottom working events 15 hours a day she may have benefited from a different major.
Similarly, maybe your major won’t provide you with your definition of success. There are few social workers that make large fortunes so if your goal is money then maybe social work isn’t the right path. Alternatively, lets say your definition of success is academic praise then maybe a finance degree is likely not going to lead to a whole lot of opportunity for scholarly papers.
Why I wouldn’t Consider the Current Economy When Choosing a Major
First thing is first, things change. Just because it is tough for those in real estate heavy majors (whether that is building or financing) doesn’t mean it always will be. Actually, one may be even able to argue that this would be a perfect time to jump into that major since by the time you are done with your studies hopefully the economy will turn around and you can be there willing and waiting.
If you are happy then success will follow. If you are smiling everyday and loving whatever you are doing, I believe it is likely that success, however, you define it will follow.
Lastly, College is 4 years, enjoy what you are studying regardless of what you plan on doing later on. How many of us know people that are doing something meaningful with their life that has absolutely NOTHING to do with their major? College is 4 years enjoy what you are studying as the discipline and critical thinking are the two most important items you’ll pull out of school.
Alright end of random thoughts strung together loosely.
Did you consider the economy when you chose your major? What was your Major? Are you doing ANYTHING associated with your major?