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#12 Now You’re Telling The Major Doesn’t Matter

March 20, 2008

It’s not useful for a freshie like me to read an article like that. Especially when the going is getting tough with each passing second and thoughts of switching from one major to another appeal to me like a starving child to pizza. Your thoughts tend to wander a lot, thinking about the endless possibilities that lie ahead, when choice still exists before you.

Well, yet another article (possibly written by a liberal arts graduate) that defends the majors conventionally thought of as rather ‘useless in the real world’, not lucrative, boring, rigid and ‘non-transferable’. I can’t help but to agree, mainly because it is something I have to believe in. I have to tell myself that skill sets are more important than anything else. (Skill sets: excellent communication skills, interpersonal skills, project oneself well, good time management, brilliant leadership qualities…you get the picture)

You have to agree that except for professionals, what you learn in college won’t really be applied in the workplace (and so many many long-suffering working adults say). But then, I look around myself and hey, this IS college. Apparently nobody really cares about skill sets when you have papers and midterms to write. No, I’m not being your sarcastic apathetic college student here. Seriously, I’m seeing people with poor “skill sets” getting more As than more workplace-oriented students. They don’t have Leadership 101 or EQ101, although I do admit that good public speaking skills go a long way if your module requires you to make presentations and contribute to seminar-style like tutorial sessions. We meet people who don’t carry themselves well all the time. We meet people who don’t watch what they say and have no sense of civic responsibility. Yet, they are likely to sail through college blissfully ignorant and possibly do better if not equally well than the bulk of the college population. I really hope that they don’t waste their academic talents and pick up one or two social skills soon.

Then again, college and work: two entirely separate entities. (At least this is what I hope) Besides grades, they look for innate qualities, personality, passion and poise. They look for the other dimension that what people usually don’t see. I guess it is great consolation for me, who constantly gets questions like, “ (deflated tone) So. What are you going to do with that kind of major?” Well, as usual I will tell them, “It’s not the major that matters, it’s the skill sets learnt.” I know, it’s cliché, but that’s my only defense. So, that’s only one thing left for me to do. 

That is, to embrace my holistic liberal arts education and the fact that I am going to actually love what I am doing without thinking about how much money I’m going to make with that degree. I will let my skill sets do the talking, when the time comes.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Alex permalink
    March 21, 2008 3:00 AM

    I agree that it matters more for professional type degrees. I know an English major doing website management and a Comm major working in an admissions office. It’s certainly possible to go outside your major. I think the important thing is to find what you love doing and start working toward that whatever your major is.

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