Updated: Jan 27, 2021
One of the most challenging aspects of college every student faces is picking a major. A major is a big commitment because it is the subject that a student will be focusing on for the next four years. Many students also have the misconception that the major they chose will determine which types of jobs they will be able to obtain after graduation. This is definitely true in some cases, for example, nursing. However, even with a major in nursing, there are still opportunities to leverage the education you received in different fields. College majors can determine what future career lies ahead- however, this is only to a certain extent. The key is leveraging the skills obtained from higher education and finding a network. For example, student A is a history major, but ends up getting a job in marketing after college. How did student A accomplish this? Student A prioritized their time networking in the field of their interest and was able to learn the skills needed to efficiently perform as a marketing executive without being a marketing, business, or communications major.
So what does this example demonstrate exactly? It demonstrates that college is indeed a great investment because most of the skills learned despite any major will help prepare for the real world. In any major, there will be deadlines, writing, critical thinking, communication, and some sort of creativity. No matter what major is picked, it is important that a student has the ability to leverage these skills outside of academics in an industry of interest. These skills are very important for performing greatly in any workplace. Extracurriculars, volunteering, interning, and networking are a powerful determinant of success in a future career. Being exposed to any industry of interest will help gain the knowledge of skills useful to thrive in a particular career in that industry. It will also allow a student to be in a position to meet many influential people in their industry of choice and will create a powerful network and mentoring opportunity. This would greatly increase the chances of being employed. This is exactly the path that student A has followed.
The most important thing is that it is up to the student to determine what the future will have in place for them. The student will need to put themselves in situations to be more involved, such as joining career clubs, clubs involving their interests, gaining work experience, applying for internships, looking for local career shadowing opportunities, and finding mentors either from school alumni or on resources such as Linkedin. Mentors are a great asset to obtain as a student and are recommended. Many schools will have opportunities for internships and job shadowing- it’s important to utilize the campus career center! Academics are still important as well, but one major takeaway is that networking is a student’s best friend in college. A student that is majoring in nursing can be able to obtain the same success as student A by using their time efficiently with networking and utilizing the resources he or she receives as a college student.