Horoscope for college majors in this economy

By Davis Hill, Staff Writer


Many new students agonize over choosing a major, and you should. Your major affects your classes and course of study, determines your adviser and professors, and most important of all, after college you’re not allowed to have a job that isn’t related to your undergraduate degree. Ever.

It’s important to get this right the first time. Remember, if you decide to get a graduate degree in a different field, it will have been a waste of four years of your life, especially since, according to academic researchers Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, at least 33 percent of you didn’t learn any transferable skills, such as study habits or critical thinking.

Oh, and another thing. Don’t study something just because you like it. Study something that will get you a job. That’s why you’re here, right? To get a credential that will get you a job?

If not, maybe you need to rethink whether you should be in college. Seriously.

Horoscopes for College Majors for This Economy

Pros: Flexible degree that provides qualifications for a variety of jobs. The high number of business majors keeps academic standards low.
Cons: Too flexible. Does not actually qualify you for any jobs.
Job prospects: “Paid” internships, starting your own failed small business.

Pros: While all of your friends are drinking beer and playing softball, you get to stay inside and read Shakespeare. Wait, that’s not a pro…
Cons: As if reading books wasn’t bad enough, you have to write about them too.
Job prospects: Despite the sordid augmentation of your personal lexicon, your mellifluous mastery of syntactic concatenation will ultimately fail to yield succor or gainful employ.

Pros: Nobody can explain what anthropology is, not even anthropology majors.
Cons: Nobody can explain what anthropology is, not even anthropology majors. I, personally, think it is made up.
Job prospects: Living with gorillas, wishing to live with gorillas while working at Walmart.


Pros: A working knowledge of the chemical origins of emotion will prove useful during your third divorce.
Cons: You’re not actually qualified to make psychological diagnoses at parties, or tell people about their “learning style.” Stop it.
Job prospects: Writing papers. Lots and lots of papers.

Pros: Gain knowledge and skills that will help you tangibly improve the health of children and adults of all ages.
Cons: Remember when, as a child, you saw the dentist not as a health professional but a terrifying aggressor who enjoyed causing pain? You’re that person now.
Job prospects: Do I have to spell it out here?


Pros: Great way to make yourself sound cool and intellectual without ever having to read any real books.
Cons: Being able to write really good counterpoint is far less sexually attractive than you might think.
Job prospects: I’m a music major, you know. Want to start a band? It’ll be great exposure.

Pros: Learn how to conduct interviews, research topics, write in Associated Press style, and adhere to “best practice” newswriting.
Cons: Once you land your first job at The Inlander, you might magically forget all those things.
Job prospects: Imprisonment, creative projects on Craigslist that never come to fruition.

Pros: This one is tough. I mean, you’re studying rocks.
Cons: Do you like rock music? It doesn’t matter. Everyone you meet, for the rest of your life, will make that joke. Everyone.
Job prospects: Geology merit badge counselor, engineer

Pros: You know the location of Kuwait. Considering you’re an American, that’s pretty impressive.
Cons: Being constantly mistaken for a geologist does tend to wear on a body.
Job prospects: (see Geology)

Pros: You know how the Starship Enterprise works and now you can build it.
Cons: The knowledge that you can never top Einstein or Planck will slowly eat away at your soul. Increasingly disturbed, you take a job as a middle school science teacher. Five years later, the class clown from your introductory physics course will publish a groundbreaking paper and ultimately go on to win the Nobel Prize.
Job prospects: middle school science teacher, engineer.

Pros: Bohemian lifestyle, superiority over all other living creatures
Cons: Schizophrenia, possible ear loss, existential crisis brought on by the realization that there never has been, nor will there ever be, someone who can match your genius intellect.
Job prospects: see Music

Pros: Ability to talk endlessly about nothing in particular. Very useful for those considering jobs in the public sector, or professorship.
Cons: You may find yourself dressing up like Star Wars characters at any conceivable opportunity, especially after you become head of the department at Eastern Washington University.
Job prospects: None. I know what I said above, but come on, let’s be honest.

And don’t even think of transferring schools. Every university has a special office wholly dedicated to preventing any of your credits from transferring. These people are so good that you have to write a passive-aggressive newspaper column in order to get them to review your English equivalency.

Of course, in some cases, students will realize that their first school doesn’t have the program that they want to major in, and they end up transferring to another school in order to pursue their dreams. These people are quitters.

Face it—you’re stuck here for life, or at least until you finish your degree. Although, the difference might not be as great as you think.

Views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of The Easterner.