Choosing a Career Path: Does Your College Major Matter?

does your major matterMany high school students fret over the decision of which college to apply to. Choosing a college major may be an even greater source of anxiety. After all, your college major will determine your career options when you get out of college, right?

Well, not necessarily. These days, your career path is determined by a number of factors, of which your college major is only one. Just how important is your college major to your future career?

It’s a little complicated. Read on to find out more:

Liberal Education Versus Practical Education

What is your college philosophy? Are you attending college to broaden your horizons, glean your knowledge about the world and its people, improve on your natural abilities, and open doors to intellectual and creative avenues? If so, then you are viewing college from a liberal education slant. This means that you might benefit most from a degree in the liberal arts, and liberal arts degrees are known for translating to a wide array of career paths, in a variety of fields.

If, on the other hand, you are more interested in receiving a specialized education for the sole purpose of acquiring a certain career of choice, then you are leaning toward a practical education, or a degree of science.

Your Major Versus Your Education

You need to understand the difference between the value of your major and the value of your education. Most high-ranking corporate employers will tell you that, while your major might get you that foot in the door that you really want, it’s your education that will move you up the corporate ladder.

What does this mean? Basically, your college education should be well rounded, no matter what your major, because these days employees are expected to wear a lot of hats.

What Employers Really Want

Recent studies show that employers value four qualities in an employee above all others: time management, communication, adaptability, and creativity. This applies to any career path you are considering.

What this means for you is that, if you can prove that you have these qualities, you are likely to be able to use any college degree you choose toward your career goals. Make sure you concentrate on developing these aptitudes during your college studies, and that you involve yourself in extracurricular activities that will account for you in these ways, and you have a great chance of earning the position you want after you graduate, no matter what your major is.

As you can see, choosing a college major and choosing a career path are two very different things, and the line between where they converge is actually a big gray area. Ensure your best chances of earning your dream career position by approaching your college education with a broad perspective.