Here’s Why Your Major Doesn’t Matter (That Much)

Posted by Jordan Sessoms on Mar 30, 2022 1:00:42 PM

graduation outline

Many students are anxious about picking a major because they are unsure of what they want to do in life. They feel that whatever they choose, they must stick with it, and it will dictate their life path. Students think their decision determines their profession for life. So, at the start of college they are deciding between a career they’ll hate until retirement or picking the perfect career for them, but that is simply not true.


Your degree matters a lot less than you think.


While your decision for your major does matter, YOU dictate your life path, not your degree. You can enter whatever field you want to, at any point in life and many people change careers late in life. Keep in mind, depending on the career, the dedication, and requirements necessary for a career change will differ heavily. But also know, it’s never too late to change.


  • You Have Plenty of Time to Find What You Like & Try New Things


First, I want you, students, to know that you are not alone. Based on results from a survey, 61% of colleges graduates would go back and choose a different major if they could. Half of your peers have no idea what they want to do either. You guys are still young, you haven’t found yourself yet so not knowing is okay. Luckily, you are in the perfect place to try anything and everything, so do it. Try everything, taking different classes and talking to professors will help you learn about the fields you are interested in and help narrow down your soul-search. Plus, your degree will have gen-ed requirements and room for a few electives, so it shouldn’t take you off track to graduate on time!


Classes aren’t the only way to try new fields, there are also internships and shadowing. These are even better ways to get a picture of what the profession you’re considering is really like. Internships allow you to get valuable hands-on experience in a field of your choice but are harder to come by and a bigger commitment. The perspective you gain from internships is second-to-none and you’ll make professional connections that can help you later. Shadowing is similar but a lot less of a commitment and not as time-consuming. As a shadow, you spend the day with a professional to see what it's like to do their job. This is better when you’re unsure if you like something and just want a quick peek.


  • You Need More Than a Degree to Get a Job


Regardless of how you choose to try different fields, you’ll meet new people and gain knowledge and experience you wouldn’t have had otherwise which is another reason why your major/degree isn’t the most important thing is that employers value experience and potential over a degree or technical knowledge, depending on the field of course.

A study done by Harvard Business School found that while employers do acknowledge the importance of a degree and the hard skills possessed by graduates, 37% of employers believe experience is the most important quality for an applicant to have and 45% of recruiters/hiring managers say the potential of the applicant is the most important aspect. Also, employers believe soft skills are more important for an applicant to have because technical skills can be taught.


Something extremely useful when looking for a job is your network. If you followed the previous advice, you should’ve taken a variety of classes and met a bunch of students and professors. All of these people have connections, connections you can use to get in contact with potential employers. Having a mutual connection will put you above any other applicant and allow you the opportunity to make an impression aside from your resume.


  • A Job Needs to be More Than Just the Correct Profession to Make You Happy 


Once you choose your career and get hired, you may find that that position or company may not be right for you and the odds are, this will be the case multiple times throughout your life. Changing jobs or careers is normal, the average American has 12 jobs over their lifetime and multiple career changes. And just because you are in a field you found to suit you perfectly, there are a lot more factors that influence job satisfaction. Job satisfaction relies on a multitude of factors such as the difficulty of the job, number of responsibilities, room for creativity, and freedom to work. A large portion of people are satisfied with their jobs, but not many are working in a field they are passionate about. Also, workers claim their colleagues and company culture are the most important factors to their job satisfaction.


As you can see, there are a lot of THINGS in life that determine whether you’ll end up doing something you enjoy for a living and most of them have little to do with your major in college. There is no set formula to determine what will make you happy in life, there are so many contributing factors, and your major is a small part of that. There’s a lot to finding a job, especially one that you enjoy, so don’t sweat your decision of major. You’re young and have plenty of time, if you find a profession intriguing, go try it now, when it's as easy as it is for you as a college student, and see if it's what you want to do.


If you want career advice or more blogs on topics like this… Subscribe to our newsletter!!!

Topics/Tags/Categories: Networking, Self Exploration, Career, Professional Skills

    Follow us on social channels!

    Subscribe to our newsletter!

    Latest Posts