A Major Decision

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The response I usually get from telling people my major isn’t positive. It’s never "Oh, what a great major!" or "How exciting!" Most of the time, my Journalism/German major gets the same bewildered response: "But what are you going to do with that?"

Good question.

In today’s job market (or lack thereof), there doesn’t seem to be many jobs for the millions of college students who graduate every year. With a couple of hundred journalism students coming out of my school alone and that ONE coveted job at say, the New York Times, students aren’t necessarily sticking to the basics when it comes to choosing a major. Your perfect career could be hiding in majors that you may have never thought about trying.

1. Visual Arts/Art History: There’s a ton of ongoing jokes about art school kids and how they’ll never make any money. But the truth is, many of them are laughing all the way to the bank. Did you know that museum curators make a median salary of $90,000 a year? The “starving artist” seems to be a myth. According to giftofcollege.com, visual and performing arts majors rank #6 in “Top Ten Majors Most Likely to Get You Hired,” coming in before mathematics, communications and liberal arts.

2. Foreign Language: As a German major, I get asked constantly what I plan on doing with a degree in German. Well, a lot. There are countless opportunities for those who are fluent in a foreign language and have a college degree in it. I can work in International Law, be a foreign correspondent for a newspaper, the Peace Corps, be a court interpreter and even work for the FBI or CIA.

3. Professional Golf Management: You may have never heard of it (because only 20 schools in the country offer it!), but PGA professionals (as they’re called) have 100 percent job placement! The annual salary range for golf course superintendents, whose job requires a degree in PGM, ranges between $60,000-$100,000 a year.

4. Food Science: This increasingly popular major is turning out nutritionists, chefs and restaurateurs. But did you know that you could also use your degree in food science to become a flavor chemist? Flavorists create natural and artificial flavors for a variety of foods and beverages. A flavorist with fifteen years of experience makes $100,000-$150,000 annually!

5. Choose your own major: Some schools, like NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, let you create your own major. As long as you can back up what you’ve done and present your major to a panel of professors and advisors, you can do whatever the hell you want and hope that a company is looking to hire someone with a degree in “Keepin’ It Real."

Junior > Journalism > New York University

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