o-kopplin

The choice of what to do with the rest of one’s life can be an enormous weight upon one’s shoulders. This is a difficult decision all young people are expected to make, but the stress it puts upon students can be lessened by accepting that the jobs one gets after graduation aren’t directly dependent upon one’s major.

One of the biggest stresses affecting college students is the declaration of a major. It seems as though one’s entire future is dictated by a single decision. However, because employers mostly look at the degree, not its topic, one’s specific major does not matter that much after graduation.

For one thing, many employers are simply looking for college experience. In today’s workplace, a college degree has become more common and more of a requirement than it once was.

Many white-collar jobs now require a college degree. It is possible to become a chief executive, manager, engineer, salesperson, software developer and much more, so long as one has a bachelor’s degree, and there is no need for graduate school.

While the demand for college graduates is higher than in the past, degree requirements are often not directed at specific majors. This means no matter what one majors in, so long as they graduate, they can be serious contenders for jobs spanning myriad fields and positions. Lots of degrees translate to many different future fields, so there will usually be more options than one’s specific graduation plan lets on. For example, those who are looking to become lawyers may come from a variety of majors including English, political science or business. In this same vein, those on a pre-health track can have many different majors, such as chemistry, biology or psychology, before pursuing medical school.

Another reason majors are overrated is because relevant experience in a certain field is often weighted more highly than any degree specification. This is exemplified in the food industry. If a select chef hasn’t attended culinary school but has intensive experience in the restaurant industry, it’s not uncommon for them to be welcomed into high-level restaurants. This principle also applies to academic fields. For example, having a journalism degree is helpful for those looking to work at a news network, however, applicants with majors in fields far removed from journalism still stand a good chance if they’ve had experience in a newsroom.

Furthermore, most majors don’t come with training for particular positions. As such, specific training in an area could outweigh specific degrees in that field. While there are exceptions to this, an example of a job where training outweighs a major is human resources managers. In most cases, human resources managers are accepted no matter their major, so long as they’ve completed a bachelor’s degree, as training for the position is extensive and not taught in a specific college major.

Majors also aren’t important after college because connections and people-skills speak louder in the workforce than on paper. Communication goes a long way, and if one is able to have good people-skills and make strong connections, higher positions will likely become more available. One’s major has nothing to do with one’s people skills, and honing these skills and others like them can prove far more valuable than the classes one takes.

While having a degree in the field one is applying for may be an advantage, it is entirely possible to be well suited and, as a result, accepted to a position without a major specific to the field. This is true for some graduate programs as well, unless you are looking for even higher education in a very specific field.

Deciding a major in college is unnecessary given the weight of the world. Specific majors are not nearly as important after graduation as it may seem when in the throes of college living. Although some majors may help one learn necessary skills for a position, people skills, work ethic and experience are often more impactful than taking a specific course and are things no major can ever teach.

Emma Kopplin is a freshman anthropology major. Reach her at opinion@dailynebraskan.com or via @DNopinion.