The Top Ten Best College Majors

By Tamiera Vandegrift on March 3, 2016

With tuition rates skyrocketing to the next extreme every year, it’s a pretty wise decision to make sure that you are making an investment toward a marketable degree that will serve you financially in the future. Rather than spending four years and wasting roughly $100,000 dollars on the equivalent of underwater basket weaving, make the smart call and choose one of these top ten best college majors.

Actually, how about this? Major in whatever the heck you want.

Articles, like this, are omnipresent on social media, like a never ending plague. Countless “helpful” websites and articles try to force this perspective down every college student’s throat that in order to have a successful, well-paying career, there’s a only small selection of majors that they have to choose from. Typically, these are majors in the STEM and business categories.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If your passion is science, business, or mathematics, then follow your dreams with your whole heart. Be successful in the field you’ve always dreamed of. However, attacking other majors (particularly liberal arts majors) and basically disparaging a degree in anything other than the “useful degrees”  will just not do.

The first thing that these articles fail to realize is that the only thing standing between you and a successful career, besides the impending zombie apocalypse, is yourself. A degree provides you with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue your dream career, but the rest is up to you!

An English degree provides you with critical thinking skills and improved writing abilities. A Communications degree provides you with insight of the media industry and the abilities needed to communicate effectively in a professional manner- not an easy feat!  A History degree will train you to be detail-oriented, willing to investigate for further information and being a pro at doing so. Some of the more direct degrees, like Theatre, Film, and Studio Art, will lead directly to a career with enough hard work and experience.

By taking this knowledge and experience learned within the major and applying it to your everyday life, the things you learned in the classes others like to deem “useless” can potentially give you an edge on the job market.

The second thing that these articles fail to realize is that not everyone is cut from the same cloth, or in plainer terms, skilled in the same areas. Where one person is an absolute prodigy with charts and formulas, that person’s best friend may have a brain that’s more apt to reading and writing. Neither side is the “right” way to be and both talents are equally helpful in a variety of fields.

While a new doctor is spending his time researching a medical anomaly, there’s a writer somewhere hard at work composing the next edition of medical textbooks. While an individual with a Studio Art degree is slaving away at a design for a website, there’s a Computer Science whiz out there seeking the coding material to make the design work. In a nutshell, not everyone is gifted with the same brain or thinking style, but that doesn’t make any skill set superior to the next one.

The third, and perhaps the most important, thing that these articles fail to realize is the reason why we have been given this beautiful, human kaleidoscope of talent.

Imagine for a moment how boring and empty life would be without your favorite television show.

Imagine how much you wouldn’t know about history without entertaining forms of remediation, for instance Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton.

Imagine for a moment how deathly silent your studying days would be without your classical music playlist on Spotify.

Imagine for a moment that you had nowhere to go and no one to turn to when you feel yourself falling ill.

Imagine for a moment that your town’s infrastructure systems went kaput because nobody engineered them properly.

Imagine, if you can, that the Internet didn’t exist. I wouldn’t be writing this article and you wouldn’t be reading it.

My point is this. All programs of study serve a purpose, whether it be more practical or artistic. Practicality helps us get by from day to day, but art helps us survive. Both benefit our lives in countless ways that aren’t always obvious. It’s easy to harp on a liberal arts degree because it may not seem useful. It’s just as easy to harp on a “practical” degree for being stone cut and unimaginative.

Instead of sharing another one of those “Ten Best College Majors for your Money” articles on your Facebook feed, check out your English major buddies and see what fun projects they’ve been up to. It’s likely that they’re trying to publicize articles of their own. Go to see a production directed by one of your Theatre major friends. It could make it to the big stage one day!

Rather than spreading more “major hate” through the Internet, be among the first to promote “major respect”.

Tamiera is an alumna of Florida State University, having earned a BA in Editing, Writing & Media and a BA in Digital Media Production. Tamiera is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter, inspired by the works of Lars von Trier, David Fincher, and Darren Aronofsky. Tamiera has previously written for the FSView and Florida Flambeau, College Magazine, and more. She has recently published a creative thesis containing short stories based on mental illnesses in the media. In the future, Tamiera aspires to win "Best Original Screenplay" or "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards with one of her film projects. Besides writing and storytelling, Tamiera enjoys cooking, traveling, spending time with friends, and geeking out over movie trivia.

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