By Ivey McDaniel| Staff writer
It’s a daunting task for high school seniors, and a reality for college students- choosing a college major. Majors can score great job opportunities, or send you right back where you started. The tricky part is balancing enjoyment with success. The most successful majors, according to employment rate and annual salary, are usually Engineering, Biology, and Chemisty, while the least include Architecture, Musical Theatre, and Drama.
Senior Ryan Caskey will be majoring in Chemical or Environmental Engineering.
“I’m planning on getting an entry level engineer job to start with, and then move up from there. Engineering is what I’m good at and it makes a lot of money. I’ve always been interested in building things and creating things,” Caskey said.
The decision was easy for Caskey, engineering has a .6 percent unemployment rate and make over $113,000 a year. Unfortunately, for junior Gabrielle Blanco won’t be as easy. Blanco plans on becoming a Psychologist, which is the top most unemployed major with 19.4 percent.
“I am fascinated with the human mind and I want to know more about the brain’s functions. I never really knew I had such an interest in it until I took a semester of Psychology this year. If I couldn’t find a job, or didn’t make enough money, I wouldn’t change my major. There are a lot of departments covered in Psychology. I like to help people out and listen to their problems. It’s emotionally draining, but I’ll be able to handle it,” Blanco said.
Blanco hopes not to fall under the statistics, but has a back-up plan if she does.
“I also plan on minoring in Photography or Dance. I’m also very interested in those subjects, but I don’t intend on making a career out of them. When people switch, or don’t get a relating job, it’s because they don’t know what they’re getting into. A lot of students think the course sounds fun, and they don’t know how much time and work go into it. You need to do research,” Blanco said.
Many students are beginning to realize the set-backs that come with their dream job. Creative jobs require a lot of talent, while more successful jobs take years of schooling.
“Before, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I became uninterested in it because of the amount of science and schooling. I don’t think people who choose a major because of its success rate or high salary will ever be truly happy. If you focus on money, then you’re life will be miserable,” Blanco said.
Although Caskey’s enjoyment for engineering came naturally, he agrees with Blanco.
“Engineers and doctors are in high demand. There will always be a need for them, liberal arts majors aren’t as needed by society, but, it’s important to be happy because you don’t want to spend your whole life doing something that you hate,” Caskey said.
Caskey is pretty confident about his decision, but with over one half of college students changing their major, he doesn’t rule the possibility out.
“I think a lot of students don’t really know what they’re in for when they choose a major, or they become uninterested in it over time. I don’t see that happening to me, but you never know. Choosing a major isn’t a permanent thing and students’ interests can change over time. They’re not that important as everyone makes it out to be,” Caskey said.