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Does Your College Major Matter?

Episode overview

Join hosts Pete and Ricky on this episode as they tackle the pressing question: Do college majors matter?  

Starting off,  Pete and Ricky discuss a Georgetown University’s recent study on the correlation between college majors and paychecks. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this!

As a political science grad turned career chameleon, Pete knows all about degrees not guaranteeing jobs in their specific fields, and it’s a story many of us share. This episode explores the pivotal decisions young adults face when choosing their academic paths, highlighting the impact of such choices on their financial and professional futures. It’s a candid look at the tools and guidance necessary to navigate these waters and a must-listen for anyone concerned about the next generation’s success.

Pete and Ricky also talk about how different disciplines have painted contrasting economic landscapes—from the sciences and tech to the arts and humanities—and what drives students toward one or the other. By highlighting the stark pay gaps from the starting line to mid-career peaks, they raise questions about education’s role in today’s society. They share how young minds can prepare for jobs that may not even exist yet and urge listeners to explore the changing dynamics of the job market and the emergence of automation.

38 minutes

Does your college major matter for future success?

Many students wonder if their college major matters for their future success. The truth is, your choice of major can indeed open specific doors and set the path for your initial career trajectory. It’s a crucial decision that can determine your employability in specific sectors, your salary potential, and your chances of pursuing specific advanced degrees. However, it’s also essential to recognize that your major doesn’t define your entire career or seal your fate. The skills you acquire, the experiences you gain during your college years, and the network you build can be equally, if not more, significant. A great deal of success can be found in fields unrelated to a college major, illustrating the importance of adaptability, lifelong learning, and passion.

In today’s dynamic job market, where the demand for new skills and roles can shift rapidly, the value of your college major may be less about the specific discipline and more about the critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills you develop. Employers are increasingly looking for well-rounded candidates who can adapt to change, learn new skills quickly, and work well in diverse teams. This doesn’t mean your choice of major is irrelevant, but rather that focusing solely on your major as the key to future success might be too narrow a perspective. Ultimately, your success will be determined by how well you use your entire college experience, regardless of what you study, to develop a broad range of skills and experiences.

Additional resources

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome headshot

Pete Newsome is the President and founder of zengig, which he created after spending two decades in staffing and recruiting. He’s also the founder of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed and award-winning staffing and recruiting firm he started out of a home office in 2005. Pete’s primary mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way; with a commitment to zengig becoming the most comprehensive source of expert advice, tools, and resources for career growth and happiness. When he’s not in the office or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his career knowledge and expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Finding Career Zen & Hire Calling podcasts.