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What job will you get with your college major?

Posted on May 29th, 2015

When many students choose a major, particularly one in the liberal arts or humanities, they often face questions from friends and family about “what they’re going to do” with that major once they graduate.

While a major is no guarantee that you will or won’t be qualified for a job, there are some general trends among majors that can help students understand their career options.

Common careers for popular college majors

As Vox reportsBen Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, used data on the 30 most common degrees and the 40 most common professions to create a huge interactive graphic on what Americans have actually done with their degrees after graduation.

It’s a really useful study of what jobs are available for different majors, particularly more obscure ones like religious studies, philosophy and ethnic studies.

Check out the full graphic, along with some useful ones Vox put together below.

English majors are most likely to become elementary and middle school teachers.

English majors are most likely to become elementary and middle school teachers.

 

Business majors — the most common undergraduate major in the US — usually end up in some kind of management role.

Business majors, the most common undergraduate major in the US, are most likely to take on a management role.

 

Philosophy and Religious Studies majors either work in the clergy or continue on in academia.

Philosophy and Religious Studies majors are most likely to either work in the clergy or continue on in academia.

Lots of options for all college majors

While this isn’t an exhaustive guide to all possible career paths for every major, it can definitely help steer students in the right direction if they have an idea of what field they’d like to to pursue in college.

It can also help give students an idea of their future earning potential, which could help discourage them from taking out excessive student loans if they’re going to enter a lower-paying field.

It can also help remind students that there are alternatives to becoming a doctor, lawyer, or teacher, so they shouldn’t be discouraged from pursuing a path they’re interested in if they don’t want to enter one of those specific professions.

Check out the full chart, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


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Category: Choosing a College

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