Monday, August 18, 2014

You're Majoring in What? (aka, do you want fries with that?)

Triogenius would never want to stomp on the dreams of anyone....but there are some college majors that are going to prove fruitless once one graduates and is looking for a job.

 Degree                      % Unemployed/New Grad       Experienced
Fine Arts                                      12.6                                7.3
Drama/Theater Arts                       7.8                                8.8
Commercial Art, Graphic Design 11.8                                 7.5
Architecture                                   13.9                               9.2
Philosophy and Religion               10.8                               6.8
English Literature                            9.2                               6.2
Journalism                                       7.7                                6.0
Anthropology and Archeology      10.5                                6.2
Hospitality Management (Hotel Mgmt)   9.1                        5.7
Music                                                9.2                               4.5
History                                            10.2                               5.8
Political Science                               9.1                                6.0

*There has also been a noticeable reduction in hiring in majors such as Registered Nurses, Law Enforcement, Postal Workers, Florists, and Teachers.

So, what do you do if you are interested in one of these majors?

Music: You're not limited to teaching or performing music. Check out this substantial list of options, including composing, studio work, instrument repair or building, and writing for music magazines or online:

Have a plan in mind while achieving your degree. You enjoy working on a degree in English, but what do you most want to do with that degree? Teach? If so, what level?

With a degree in English, you could become a writer. This does not mean that you would write books, necessarily. Another alternative is to become a technical writer, which means a largely increased vocabulary; you might want to find a niche in a particular field that could use a good writer. Some companies need people to write instructions as to how to use their products.

You might want to be someone who writes grants for other people. You might become an editor. You could write scripts for anything from commercials on TV to print ads to posters.

Consider pursuing a minor in something related that has a better chance of getting you hired. As an example, keep your major in English but also pursue a minor in another language so that you might become an interpreter.

You might want to choose something similar or related to your first choice: for example, if you are thinking about doing social work, which has quite poor pay and high stress if you can find a job in that field, consider instead psychology, teaching, or the health field. These careers also have you interacting with people and helping them, if that was your intent when choosing your degree.

Here are some other ideas from the University of Texas:

Specialize. Become expert in one part of your major: for instance, if you like archeology, you might be especially knowledgeable in arctic exploration, a particular time period, or you might become a leading authority in pottery made by a particular group of people.

If you are currently undecided or torn between several majors, do a little research on them: which careers seem to be hiring? Is there something related that might have better job potential? What is the "supply and demand" of the major right now? Would a graduate degree help -or be required- to start your career, and how do you feel about that?

Flexibility on your part can help you get a job you want: Are you able to relocate to take a job?

You can sometimes request an "Informational Interview," where you make an appointment with someone in that field and ask all sorts of questions about his or her career, because you aren't necessarily looking to be hired by that company. You may even know someone who works in the field you are interested in. Ask lots of questions, because the career may be different than you thought.

What about doing volunteer work for a company you find interesting? It can give you a 'feel' for the work atmosphere and possibly some valuable experience. Volunteering will always look good on a resume. It will also give you contact people, and you will probably be made aware of job openings in that company if you're there on a regular basis. If you're in the process of getting your undergrad (4 year/bachelors) degree, tell them: they may offer you a paying job now or after you graduate, since you have shown interest in their company. Many times you will find a mentor through volunteering who can be valuable in answering questions you may have, and also may be used as a reference in the future.

To summarize: Be informed as to job opportunities that will be available with any given degree, and make a smart decision as to whether you will need to specialize. Pursue what interests you, but be realistic. When your student loans come due, you'll be glad you were.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.