Career paths should not be decided by marketability

By Rachel Popa

Staff Reporter

When a high school student is applying for college, they are often asked what they plan to major in. Even after a major is chosen, some students may still feel unsure about their decision, due to their major not being deemed “marketable.”

When I was a junior in high school, a recruiter for a local construction company visited my chemistry class. He asked my class what we were planning on majoring in when we got to college. Having known what I wanted to do with my life for quite some time, I was confident in raising my hand and telling him that I wanted to double major in journalism and English.

He wasted no time in telling me what many other journalism majors have heard many times before; the traditional newspaper industry as we know it is doomed, and I would have little to no chance of finding a job relating to my major after graduation. Not to mention that I would not make much money in the field of writing, especially compared to what science and math majors make.

Basically, he told me that I should forget about what I had dreamed of doing ever since I could remember, and major in math or science instead.

Sure, some majors may be more in demand than others, but that does not mean that other majors do not have value as well. Besides, a college graduate makes nearly double the salary of a high school graduate not attending college, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even if a student majors in something “unmarketable,” they can still expect to make a decent salary based off of the fact they will have a college degree after graduation.

According to the Pew Research Center, college educated millennials are less likely to be unemployed when compared to those who are not college educated, at about a 3.8 percent unemployment rate for college graduates and 12.2 percent for high school graduates without a college education. One of the major benefits of earning a college degree is having a better chance of getting a job after graduation. Just having a degree indicates that you dedicated yourself to four years of study to your topic of choice, which says a lot.

Those who graduate college also have a higher sense of job satisfaction, according to a study by the College Board. Chances are, if a student devotes themselves to something they like, they are going to be happier.  So, if you are going to be taking out loans to study a subject for four years, you might as well study something you love.

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