I listen to a lot of Podcasts in my free time. Planet Money, a simplified program about economics is one of my favorites. I know, you’re thinking “Ick, economics, I would rather stick string cheese in my ears”, but give me a chance. It is really cool! The hosts are young and funny and hip, and they even play popular music on occasion.
There was this one episode in particular that I want to share, because I thought it was awesome. “The Most (and least) Lucrative College Majors in One Graph” aired in September and really stuck with me.
After talking with a BNL High school Junior last night at the Library, I thought I would post about our conversation and the message in this Podcast. The high school junior, who we will call Cinderella
(all names have been changed for privacy) expressed to me her confusion on the whole process and what she should even get into.
She said, “Ugh, I don’t even know what my passion is. They say you need to go with your passion,” to which I replied “you’re 16! It’s OK that you aren’t totally clear on a passion!” So this is my first piece of advice.
- It’s OK to not be completely sure of the path you want your life to go on. You are young, and making big decisions means taking your time and being educated about your options.
Passions aside, you’re gut isn’t always right. Think of it like this: If you’re trying to be health conscience, but your gut is telling you to eat allllllll the left over
and potentially stale Halloween candy, it doesn’t mean you should listen. More so than intuition, being KNOWLEDGEABLE on the options is always the right way. Take it from a Librarian!
- Get yourself educated on the options that are out there! Don’t just look to your cousins, or your friends older siblings to make one of the most important decisions in your life!
If you knew that going into Social Work would earn you less than $40k a year, when choosing Business Administration could help you earn $65k a year and give you the option to work in a counseling type setting, which one would you choose? Below is a graph of the top ten majors with the highest and lowest earnings.
If you want to see more of the graphs and solid factual data on earnings for different majors, check out this great study by Georgetown University entitled “What’s it Worth: The Economic Value of College Majors”. It’s easy to read and has a boat load of graphs and charts.
I know. I know. So many of you, myself included, want to go out and change the world. And you think that getting into Social Work or Psychology is the way to do it. Wrong. Having the passion is important, but being trained in the skill of management, administration, and leading an organization is how the real change happens. Your passion will back up your purpose, but your degree will tell potential employers you are capable of the other stuff, too.
I hope I don’t sound too preachy, but our friend Cinderella seemed pretty excited to learn about all the different options. She had no idea that there was any other choice besides Social Work that would help her fulfill her dream of working with kids in need. But there is.
Your school should have someone there to talk with you about all the options out there, but so can we. Additionally, all the college’s have people on staff that are there specifically to help you. Give them a call or shoot them an email, they tend to be really helpful and kind. If you are interested in finding out more about college majors, or earnings please don’t hesitate to call or write or just come into the Library!
Good luck! Be in the know!