Nov 08

If Students Are Smart, They’ll Major in What They Love

Some students and parents believe that students must know what they want to do in life before they enter college, at the age of 17 or 18 years old.

“The premise that choosing a major is choosing a career rests on the faulty notion that ‘the major’ is important for its content, and that the acquisition of that content is what’s valuable — meaning valuable to employers.

But information is fairly easy to acquire. And much of the information acquired in 2015 will be obsolete by 2020. What is valuable is not the content of a major, but rather the ability to think with and through that information. That is the aim of a liberal-arts education, no matter the major….

To assume a necessary link between particular courses of study and students’ career prospects is to limit their options, and in many cases, their capacity for discovery and intellectual growth. Dartmouth College, for example, has educated two U.S. treasury secretaries, yet neither of them majored in economics or government: Henry Paulson was an English major, and Timothy Geithner majored in Asian and Middle Eastern studies. Plenty of other Dartmouth alumni explode the perceived link between major and careers: Jake Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, majored in history; Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who wrote and directed The Lego Movie and directed 21 Jump Street, majored in government and art history, respectively.” Click here to read more.


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