I talk with students all of the time that are worried because they think they need to figure out what major they should take in college or what college is good for a particular major. In most cases, I tell them that it really doesn’t matter.
Best major for medical school? None, because medical schools really don’t care what you major in. Best major for law school? Same answer. Best major to go into business? Debatable but many would say any major but business.
Now I know that I am often met with skepticism when I tell students that their decision on what to major in often makes very little difference in their choice of jobs. But there is a new report out that supports what I have been telling students and their parents.
Inside Higher Ed just discussed a new report out from the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The report is entitled “It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success“. For those of you not familiar with the Association of American Colleges and Universities the members include almost all of the colleges you have heard of including most of the Ivy League and all of the top liberal arts colleges.
Turns out that employers want students that can think, can analyze material and can communicate. In fact 93% of the employers surveyed said that these abilities were more important than a student’s major.
Are there exceptions? Of course. If you want a job as a chemical engineer right out of college it might help to have a background in this area. But for the vast majority of jobs that are available, the choice of major just isn’t that important.
What is more important in college is taking classes that make you learn how to think and analysis situations. Classes that help improve your ability to write and communicate orally. Classes and internships that help you solve real world problems.
But your major? Most of you have better things to worry about.