Surprise Careers for Your Major

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 By Hannah Park > Senior > Journalism > University of Maryland

On the cusp of entering the real world, students are often bombarded with anxious questions regarding their major and career plans. While your degree might not sound like a glitzy moneymaking machine, don’t fret. According to Dr. Katharine Brooks, author of You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career, your major is not indicative of your career—you are. With this in mind, College Magazine gives you five versatile majors, along with potential careers you might not have considered.

Sure, economics might be eligible for the top five yawn- inducing majors, but the degree can lead to a variety of jobs within journalism, business, government and nonprofit organizations. Not to mention, according to Brooks, “Economics degree-holders consistently receive the highest post-graduation wages of liberal arts students.”
SURPRISE CAREER: Did you know Mick Jagger was an economics major in college? So stop that yawning and add rock star to the list of possible career moves for eco- nomics majors.
Contrary to popular belief, English majors aren’t confined within the limits of working as teachers or lawyers. In fact, scrutinizing complex literature for deeper meanings helps to develop writing and communication skills desired by many industries.
SURPRISE CAREER: The English degree can be applied to public relations firms (think press releases and social media), advertising agencies (marketing campaigns), nonprofits (grant writing) and even large consulting companies (drafting proposals). For creative writers, although the field is competitive, consider freelance writing opportunities or working your way up in screenwriting for TV or film.
We’ve heard it all before—major in biology, commit to pre-med and become a doctor. But what if you’re afraid of blood?
SURPRISE CAREER: Brooks says biology majors with excellent people skills could also consider the pharmaceutical and technical fields. “Their biology background and science knowledge would help them understand the product better so they could explain it to a less technical customer,” she says.
Brooks says that along with engineering, computer science can be “the springboard to entrepreneurship, inventions, patents and potentially lots of money.”
SURPRISE CAREER: Not only is computer science an extremely marketable major, but it also opens the door for creative job opportunities including video game design, animation and robotics.
Forget the Wall Street stereotype.
SURPRISE CAREER: Consider the nonprofit sector. Pick a cause you believe in and see if you can work in the budget or fundraising areas of the organization.
No matter what you decide, Brooks recommends keeping an open mind.
“It’s just a matter of discovering what the strengths are from your major as well as your experiences and personal traits,” she says. “Always be flexible and look for a range of career opportunities—not just one specific job.” Nonetheless, whether you build analytical skills through archaeology or sharpen your visual creativity in art studio, chances are, these assets will make you marketable to employers.
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College Magazine Staff

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