What were/are you going to do with THAT major?

What were/are you going to do with THAT major?

College Major does not necessarily equal job training or a career. If you are a college grad who majored in English, like me, you most likely will NOT end up an English teacher.

Were you ever asked, or are you being asked right now, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THAT MAJOR? I am pretty sure most people get that question at least once in their lives, some people, hundreds of times.  The Chicago Tribune features a Chicago executive in each Monday's Business section. Within these profiles you can see the detailed job progression of the featured exec, including their educational majors and degrees. It is FASCINATING! One woman featured earlier this year was a marine biologist who eventually became head of McDonald's product development with some stops working on barges in the middle of the ocean doing research. This week's article details the rise of a woman who graduated with a degree in psychology and political science, started her career in film making, worked for a toy manufacturer, developed video games and now heads up Clean Energy Trust with an eye on changing the world through development of Midwest clean-energy businesses. I suggest you read these articles each Monday for inspiration. You will see the most interesting career trajectories of Chicago professionals.

So, what is the relationship between college degree and career? A few things to consider:

  • College is not necessarily job training
  • Employers want to hire good communicators, smart interpreters, quick learners, problem solvers, leaders, creative thinkers, and most importantly, INTERESTING people.
  • Employers expect you to be trainable, flexible, educationed, interesting and motivated.
  • After you have your first job, and you are seeking your second job, it is rarely about your major.

Of course, majors like Accounting, Education, Engineering and Computer Technology do most likely lead to jobs in exactly those fields. For all those other majors, there may or may not be a direct, causal connection between major and career. But for now, instead of asking the question, "What am I going to do with THAT major?" ask yourself, "What kind of person do I want to become? What kind of life do I want to live?"

Filed under: Figuring It Out

Leave a comment