You Want to Major in What?
The Value of Liberal Arts Majors
It is common for parents to be concerned about their student's choice of major. Will jobs be available? Will the investment in this education have long term career benefits? It can be tempting to make recommendations such as "Be an X major. That's where the jobs are." This, however, can be a source of great anxiety for many students. When mom or dad pushes a major that does not align with the student's passions and interests it can be difficult to successfully navigate the decision-making process.
The truth is a student's undergraduate major is typically not the critical key to
success. Major does not equal career. How is this possible? The key is transferable skills ; abilities that can be translated to any career and any employer. Students may gain
these skills in the classroom, but many are developed through internships , extracurricular activities, volunteer experiences and other out-of-the-classroom endeavors . Employers and graduate programs are interested in students who not only perform
well academically, but who are also well rounded and engaged in their undergraduate
experience. In fact, many seek students who come from academic programs outside of
their own field and therefore have fresh ideas and new ways of thinking.
Excerpts from a report that provides a detailed analysis of employers' priorities
for the kinds of learning today's college students need to succeed in today's economy:
Employers recognize capacities that cut across majors as critical to a candidate's
potential for career
Employers recognize the importance of liberal education and the liberal arts.
For more information, visit the links below:
- Binghamton Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development: Choosing a Major or Career
- Transferable Skills Quick Reference Guide (34.5kb pdf)
- Career Advice for Liberal Arts Parents
- Choosing a Major or Concentration
- Choosing a Major : Quick Reference Guide
The website of the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development at Binghamton University contains links to other websites as a convenience for its users and is not responsible for the contents of any linked site.