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Encourage Your Student to Explore Campus Career ServicesTami Campbell
Students take about 10 courses of increasing difficulty and specialization in the major they choose. Choosing their major can feel daunting! Learning a little more about majors yourself is a great way to support your student and to help take a little stress out of this decision.
Majors may be very specific, with the goal of preparing your student for a certain profession — for example, hospitality management, elementary education or aerospace engineering — or they may be more general, such as history, economics or biology.
Your student’s academic advisor, and counselors at the campus career center, can help your student learn more about majors and how they connect to possible careers. Your student’s choice of major is important, but most majors can prepare your student for a variety of careers, and in the highly mobile 21st century labor market, it's likely that your student will have many careers over the course of their lifetime.
It is certainly appropriate to expect your student to do some self-reflection to understand what kind of work they might want to do after college (if they haven't already decided on a career path) and to start researching the best ways to prepare for these jobs. Their authentic interests should drive their choice of major and also choices they make about other activities they will do during college to prepare for life after graduation: volunteering, a campus job, joining clubs and student organizations, summer internships, etc.
Because a college degree is a big financial investment for a family, parents are sometimes concerned that certain majors aren't "practical." Keep in mind that future employers will value the critical thinking and other skills acquired by liberal arts graduates.
If you and your student would like to learn more about the potential value of their college degree (based on where they go to school and what they major in), take a look at the Georgetown University study "The Economic Value of College Majors." The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is another good resource for information about the kinds of jobs that will be available in the coming decade along with typical salaries.