Many students find it difficult to choose a major that will satisfy their interests as well as adequately prepare them for a job. Do they follow their passion, or choose something that is safe and practical? And how do they even know what majors will land them a good job in this quickly changing marketplace?
The Rise of the STEM Degree
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that recent graduates who majored in healthcare or STEM degrees are the most likely to find a high-paying job right out of college, and are more likely to report finding a job that matches their training. Graduates who majored in liberal arts are more likely to be underemployed for several years until they gain some relevant job experience and skills.
According to recent data from LinkedIn, the hottest skills employers desired in 2014 were almost all related to science, math or technology, with the top desired skill being statistical analysis and data mining. View the whole list here.
Students seem to be catching on, with the most quickly growing STEM degree being statistics, according to the American Statistical Association. Statisticians can analyze and organize data and present it to others in a way that makes sense. This makes graduates with training in statistics very valuable to employers who often have access to a lot of data, but struggle with how to interpret it. Other quickly growing STEM majors include Computer Information, Environmental Health, Computer Software, and Research & Experimental Psychology.
Where Does a “Non-Science” Person Fit In?
All this emphasis on science, math and technology can be frustrating to a creative or artsy type. Where do they fit in?
There will always be a need for teachers, artists and writers, but that is not all that is available. “Non-science” people can use their skills in the growing STEM field by bringing their natural strengths in creative communication and visualization to the world of technology.
For example, some of the other skills on LinkedIn that employers desire include SEO and online marketing, web and mobile development, computer graphics and animation, marketing and business intelligence, recruiting, and user interface design. So if you’re studying English or journalism, be sure to learn the basics of SEO and online marketing. Or if you love art, try combining your fine arts degree with some classes on computer graphics and animation. Psychology majors could choose a minor in human resources or take a few classes in marketing or business development.
Even if you're not majoring in a STEM subject, students can still greatly benefit from taking a few computer science or statistics classes while obtaining their undergraduate degree. This will help them broaden their skill-set to appeal to more employers. There’s plenty of room in the evolving job market for creative thinkers who can adapt their skills to suit any environment.
Don’t know what you should major in yet? Don’t worry, the most common major among incoming freshmen is “undecided”. However, studies have shown that students who choose a major that is a good fit for them do better in school.
To find the major that is a perfect match for your skills, interests, and future career aspirations try Majors Matcher.