Opinion: Students should not feel limited by their major

Students have more career options than just their main focus of study

There’s no need to limit oneself to a single dream job when it’s possible to have several, and this mentality is something more students need to adopt.

College can seem like a one track place that begins with selecting a major then choosing a career path and an internship. It’s easy to feel lost when it comes to picking a future, but it shouldn't feel limiting by any means.

According to a 2013 study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, only about 27 percent of college graduates pursue a career that aligns with their major.

Students should not feel pressured to limit their skills and potential to only a few options. Degrees can be diverse and apply to a multitude of potential fields to work in. 

Amanda Butkiewicz, career advisor at ASU Career and Professional Development Services, said that while employers do look at majors, “they also look at your skills, your passions and other experiences that you have."

The skill set that a student develops over the course of their academic career isn't confined to their major of study. When looking at potential career paths for students, ASU career services says they consider students "passions, personality, abilities and major."

“We see a lot of students that are unsure about which pathway they want to go on," Butkiewicz said. "There’s a lot of opportunities out there. We really focus on students' understanding that this is what they’re doing right now — that doesn’t mean that’s what they’re going to do for the next 10 or 15 years."

Some students may feel that their degree is not diverse enough. Butkiewicz said that it’s important to understand the components of a degree. A majority of degrees at ASU can be applied to various fields, and students shouldn't feel limited to the stereotypical jobs associated with their degrees.

Additionally, the job market is not an unvarying place. It’s always changing, and students should keep in mind that there will always be new jobs available. This is why it's crucial to understand how the elements of a degree can be used to be more marketable. 

It’s also important to note that if a student feels like they’re unsure of how their degree can be applied to other fields, they should meet with their academic advisor.

There are many resources a student can access to receive help and college is one of the most opportune times to do so. 

Services such as advising appointments, Career and Professional Development Services, and speaking to professors or other students on campus can help a student navigate through their job option. 

Another tool that ASU offers to students is Handshake, a website that connects students to prospective employers, internships and more. 

With a multitude of opportunity out there, there is no reason for students to limit their potential to only a few choices. 

Reach the reporter at dkodonne@asu.edu and follow @Devynnodonnell on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the authors’ and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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