Your Major Doesn’t Matter

July 5, 2012 at 7:38 am | Posted in Career Moves | 4 Comments
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When I first went to college, I planned to be a Journalism major.  With an inherent love of writing and one high school journalism course under my belt, it would have appeared to have been a natural progression.  This was before the birth of social media, when newspapers were still relevant and bookstores were still thriving.  I was going to be a writer in that world.

But after entering college as a Pre-Journalism major, I quickly switched to English because I found it to be a broader, more challenging major at my college.  With journalism, because there weren’t too many classes, you were required to have a minor.  While I did choose to have a minor, I didn’t want to be told I needed one.

In my Massachusetts college two conversations happened frequently and always in the same order.  The first — “where are you from?” And when the answer is New York, inevitably the follow up question comes: “are you a Yankees fan?”  The second — “what’s your major?” And when the answer is English, the inevitable follow up question is “So you want to be a teacher?”

No, I never wanted to be a teacher.  To me, I had spent my entire life in school up to that point, why in the world would I want to spend anymore time in a classroom?  The truth is an English major prepares you for so many opportunities.  It’s a skills major.  You learn to read, write, critique and analyze.  Sure, these may sound like simple skills, but I have met many adults who cannot complete these tasks in a coherent manner.

But we all have to play on our strengths.  If I was any good at math or science or history, I may have majored in chemistry or biology or politics.  The truth is that your major doesn’t have to limit you.  It shouldn’t be a determining factor in your career path.

I always knew I was going to write.  I never knew, never thought about becoming a non-profit communications professional.  That was not my dream, and I will likely not do it forever, and I know that I have developed a diverse enough set of skills that I can change course if I want to.  Because your major doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you enjoy what you learn, that you get your degree, and you stay motivated to contribute your skills to the greater good of society.

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4 Comments »

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  1. Nicely written – couldn’t agree more!!

  2. Agreed

  3. I definitely agree with this post! I study BA (Hons) Education and people automatically say “oh, so teaching then?” They just get confused when I say I’m going into education research/journalism though.


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