College Admissions

5 Reasons Why Your Major May not Matter as Much as You Think

4. Your job may not exist yet

Here’s a list of ten jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago. The list includes app developer, sustainability expert, social media manager, and (one of my jobs) educational consultant. Who knows what new careers will exist in ten years? Maybe yours.

5. Your major won’t always define your pay

Here’s the one you didn’t expect. But check it out: a recent study by Payscale Inc. shows that “the subject you major in can have little to do with your long-term earning power.”  

So when should you worry about your major (when does it matter)?

When your major does matter, says Lindsey Pollak, author of Getting from College to Career is “when it comes to your happiness and fulfillment in college.”

Here’s my advice: major in something that will allow you to study the things you love or think you might love. One added benefit of studying what you love is that it could help build self-esteem, since some evidence suggests that your self-esteem is not a measure of your general self-worth, but of how well you perform in the areas you care about. So why not get better at the stuff you care about? Who knows to what kind of work your passions might lead.

Want proof that your major doesn’t lead to your career? Gregg Murray, Associate Director of College Counseling at Viewpoint School, has his students look up someone they admire on LinkedIn and see how ALMOST EVERY CAREER PATH IS RANDOM. Someone I admire is my friend Mignon (aka Grammar Girl), who used to be a science writer. 

Want more tips for making the most of your college experience?

Click here for some great advice.

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