College is more than just a major

When I was in high school and college application season rolled around, I applied to San Francisco State as a creative writing major. My initial thought was, ‘well, San Francisco isn’t too far away, and I like writing,’ so it seemed like the most logical thing to do. Only after I was accepted did I start questioning why I had chosen a major I knew so little about and, after reading numerous critical articles, would seemingly offer me so little in return. I was terrified for my future.

I watched my classmates get into great schools. I listened to them talk incessantly about how they would become surgeons or physical therapists or chemical engineers one day. And what would I amount to? In my mind I pictured myself bogged down with student loan payments for a useless degree, living with my parents at 30 years old. The thought was dramatic — ridiculous, even — but it seemed plausible enough at the time to make me reconsider my plans. So I enrolled at LMC and, well, now I’m here writing about it. Now my primary major is journalism and my secondary major is English, both of which I consider more viable options than creative writing.

But what if my educational career doesn’t pan out? What then?

In the 2013 to 2014 school year, English was ranked 13th in popularity for all degrees awarded. Journalism can be found further away in the 56 spot on the list, beat out even by bus and truck driving and culinary arts. I wish I was kidding. At the top of the list, as one could probably guess, was business administration and management.

“One of the biggest benefits of a business degree is its versatility and application to the real world,” a 2015 article published by Rasmussen College said. “Unlike a specialized degree, a business degree can help you launch your career in several different industries, which can be a huge asset when seeking a job after graduation.”

The idea of being able to do anything with your degree sounds amazing, I’ll admit that, but what happens when everyone starts going into the same fields and pursuing the same degrees? I remember a few years back, when there was a big need for phlebotomists. Hordes of people went out and got a phlebotomy certificate in the hopes of getting a job. And many of them did, but for the others they wasted their time and money on a certificate they put all their hopes into.

Fields like business and medicine have immense potential for growth and career options, especially now, but people need to keep in mind that just because everyone is doing something, it doesn’t mean they should. There is still a need for workers in construction, education and the media. Just because these fields are not growing and drawing as much interest as others, doesn’t mean they are obsolete.

Too often people go into a field for money or because it seems promising, but really, you shouldn’t go after a career solely based on these reasons. As long as the world keeps spinning, there will be job availabilities everywhere and people will need to fill them. Don’t limit your future, do what you want to do or feel you need to do, but be smart about it.