Students and parents often are concerned with how a choice of major may impact the career opportunities available upon graduation. Some fields of study connect directly to specific career fields, e.g., electrical engineering to an electrical engineering job or education major to a certified teaching position. However, a history or art major can complete pre-graduate school requirements and successfully apply to medical or law school just as a biology or political science student might or secure a position in advertising or business management.
From our experience, the majority of employers today seek a wide variety of majors, and there is much more flexibility with employers about the majors they desire in their candidates. Employers often are more interested in the transferable skills a student has obtained while at SRU through volunteer experience, part-time work, class projects, job shadowing, campus organizations, and internships and how such skills can be an asset to the employer. This can be seen through the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2016 Job Outlook survey which indicates the top 7 attributes employers seek are Leadership, Teamwork abilities, Communication skills (both verbal and written), Problem solving skills, Initiative, and a Strong work ethic only after these 7 soft skills do you see employers requesting technical, analytical, or computer skills.
The Career Education & Development team encourages students to learn more about their areas of interest through interest and personality assessments as well as understand the job market data for their career paths. We believe that college students need good data + good discussion to make a great career decision. If your child is unsure of their major at any point in their academic career, encourage them to
- meet with a career counselor to explore options, complete interest assessments, and learn about career opportunities.
- review the Major & Career Guides which give a broad overview of careers from specific majors.
- utilize O*Net or Occupational Outlook Handbook to explore occupation summaries, job details, pay estimates, and related occupations as provided by the Bureau of Labor & Statistics.