Oh, the humanities: How much does your major, or school choice, really matter?

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  • Weberboy Fruit Heights, UT
    May 18, 2014 7:40 p.m.

    More important than the major and school is the persons work ethic.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    May 16, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    I do think the part about the overrated elite schools has merit. Anecdotal, but I knew a guy who graduated from Harvard business with honors. He went back home to Southern California and had a difficult time marketing himself as Southern California business is largely run by the nepotism of USC and UCLA. I suspect that here in Utah, the U and BYU has the same effect. In any case one area a person can get a job with just about any major is the military. You become an officer, and you can be a history major and still fly planes, or do most anything else the military has to offer. The only real exception I'm aware of is you need an engineering degree to be assigned to nuclear reactors in the Navy. And, my personal belief is that sometimes the person who graduates with a seemingly hodgepodge major may be the kind of person who can think outside the box. Not everyone is geared to focas on just one narrow area of expertise.

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    May 14, 2014 8:27 p.m.

    Imagine how dull and boring the world would be if all anyone could be was a doctor, lawyer or an engineer?

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    Diversity in career options is not nearly as important as what career options you have. If I get an MD, chances are I will be a doctor. And I am not complaining about the fact that my career options are narrow. I have a massively wide array of options with a high school diploma: McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, In N Out,.......... lots of choices! I got a degree in the humanities. Let's just say that no one was bursting to offer me a job. One major thing to consider (and about 3/4 of people in my major did this) was that a humanities major is easy enough (so easy that I was able to double major) that many students can take a full load of pre med and pre dental classes. Or just double major. So I guess I am a humanities major who works in an entirely different field. And I only do so despite my humanites degree. It was an enlightening but financially useless degree.

  • statman Lehi, UT
    May 13, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    Want to be employable when you graduate? Learn how to use spreadsheet and presentation software (Excel and Powerpoint) VERY well. In technical fields, it's assumed that you know how to use them, and in less technical fields, you can really set yourself apart by being the person in the department who knows how to use them.

    Find a pat-time or summer job that actually teaches you to use them - neither is particularly hard to master, but so many choose not to.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 13, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    I'm grateful for the great literature I have been blessed to read and the classes in philosophy I have taken. Each has helped mold who I have become to this point. Each has helped me to become the educated person or that I am . Neither has contributed to me making money that I know of. There is education and then there is training which enables a person to earn a living. Most learning such as mathematics or learning how to farm falls into both categories.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    May 13, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    Students and graduates need to recognize that school and major are just two dimensions of a person, and to stand out, students need to build other unique skills and accomplishments to position themselves for their career path. Publishing or writing a professional blog, volunteering or taking leadership positions in trade/professional associations, public speaking, and other distinguishing activities outside of school can make a graduate's resume standout and build networking opportunities.

    While involvement in student clubs and activities are important in school, students need to build relationships outside of the school and strive to make a difference in some way.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    May 13, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    I majored in the humanities.
    I even got a graduate degree.
    And now twenty years later I still wished I had only minored in my love, and majored instead in something more marketable.

    Some things we love should remain as hobbies (literature, writing, art) then we should pursue a worthwhile, marketable skill. I've been discouraged by my failures for enough years to speak from experience.
    I'm telling all of my kids that while they may want to major in history, they also better get a CDL and learn how to drive a backhoe, or become an LPN, so they can pay the electric bill.