As summer approaches, students should have sunshine, swimming, and barbecues on their mind. Unfortunately, life as a student offers very little peace of mind. Instead of long summer days spend lounging by the beach, many students will be spending their summer stressing over which major to pick. At UWT, there are over 30 majors to choose from! How do you know if you’ve made the right choice?
Declaring a major should be an exciting experience because it means you are one step closer to achieving your dreams. Unfortunately, it tends to be a hellish experience filled with stress and second guessing yourself. Many students tend to get the idea that their choice of major should be catered to what the job market is demanding. I cannot tell you how big of a mistake that is.
“The amount of importance placed on different majors will vary depending on the field,” said Jake Nelko, a career development specialist for Department of Student Transition Programs here at the University of Washington Tacoma. “Some jobs, like accounting or software developers, will require a specific type of degree.”
Yet, for those of us looking to go into a general field such as business, these jobs, “don’t require a specific major,” said Nelko. A major may be an important choice but it’s not the only important choice. Nelko stresses that, “students should choose something that is of great interest to them and that allows them to develop their ability to communicate, work in teams, and develop an expertise in a particular subject.” Majors are important, but not determining. What I mean is that while majors are crucial, our own capacity and commitment are what ultimately drive us to succeed. That kind of motivation can only be achieved by choosing an area of study that you’re truly passionate about.
But who am I kidding. This is college and while passion is great and all, what we’re really after is a job after graduation. Therefore, for job seekers,“what is most important is having experiences that align with the needs of the employer,” said Nelko. This is why internships are crucial.
It’s critical for students to understand that what you learn well doesn’t always equate to what you do well. “Being in a particular major tends to create opportunities related to the major, but the major itself may not be the resume item the employer is in search of,” said Nelko. You can select whatever major you wish, but in the end what an employer is ultimately looking for is passion, knowledge, and experience. When these three elements are in harmony, only then will you become a desirable employee.