03/17/14 by Vanessa Evans
The college model needs more than just a little tinkering.
You could argue that it needs a complete overhaul. In many instances, you have more graduates than jobs to fill, thus leaving plenty of college alums out of work the second they earn that degree.
College is equal parts enthusiasm of a job well done and starting another chapter in your life and heading into the work force, along with likely carrying around your first significant amount of debt. You can only put so much of a dent in that debt if you aren't making a decent wage.
That fact makes choosing the right major even more important, given that this decision might be the difference between earning a marginal paycheck or flourishing in your career.
Plenty of college majors make for careers that allow you to succeed once your studying is done. The flip side is selecting a course of study that won't lead you to the kind of job you'll need to not only survive but be able to pay back the loan looming large upon graduation.
1. History: Your knowledge of all things history might bode well for you if you're selected to compete on Jeopardy, but beyond that it probably won't equal the kind of income you're hoping for after those four years in college. You can always supplement your income when you win Final Jeopardy, but you shouldn't count on being crowd champion of a game show to pay your bills.
2. English: Most of what was discussed when it comes to history as a major applies to English as your field of choice. English is more tailored to a subject you'd like to pursue in conjunction with wanting to become a teacher. In that instance, English is easy to understand as a major. Aside from that logic and long term planning, English won't translate into tons of money in your pocket.
3. Journalism/Photography: The slow and painful death of print media makes journalism just plain risky as a major. The same can be said for photography. These two majors are majorly tricky in the sense that if you're able to land a job at USA Today, you'll be glad you went down the journalism and photography road, but that's not exactly going to help you right out of the post graduate gate. Those who have spent time in these fields for years probably will tell you that these are passions that don't always pay and might be a better viewed as part time hobbies than how you make your primary living.
4. Drama: The only drama you'll likely find is the trying to turn your love of acting and performing into something that pays. That's not to suggest you won't be hoisting an Emmy or Oscar, but that path is admirable and ambitious thinking, but getting there isn't going to be easy. In the interim between graduating with that drama degree and becoming a Best Actor nominee might be a little lean in the wallet.
Going to college often is just the natural next move after high school but just because it might be a foregone conclusion doesn't mean it should be treated lightly as far as choosing a major. If you're content on following your passion and doing what you love most, then kudos to your drive and determination.
Just be prepared for the fallout if you can't find exactly what you're looking for right out of school.
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