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Myths About Majors

Myth 1

Your major determines your career

While it is true that some fields-e.g., nursing, engineering, accounting-demand a specific undergraduate degree, many liberal arts graduates work in fields unrelated to their major. You do not have to be a business major to work in business when you graduate, or an English major to work in journalism, or a politics major to work in government.

Liberal arts graduates enter a variety of occupations regardless of their majors. But a word of caution: although your specific major may not be critical to obtaining meaningful post-graduate employment, demonstrable skills are. You can develop employable skills during your four undergraduate years through academic course work, volunteer experiences, internships, summer employment, and in numerous other ways.

Myth 2

All you can do with an English/history/language major is teach

Although you may believe that a field like English, history, philosophy, or the languages limits your career options, hard evidence suggests that this is not the case. In a recent semester, English and history majors were preparing for their careers by doing internships in law offices, government agencies, newspapers, local television studios, advertising agencies, public relations firms, magazines, and in local schools. Other students were preparing for law school, medical school, and other graduate work.

If you still haven't selected a major and you are unsure of the career prospects associated with a given major, you are encouraged to sit down with your department chair or someone from Career Services to discuss what other Saint Anselm graduates are doing with their degrees.

Myth 3

I'll love every class in my major

It is a rare student who loves every class in his or her chosen major. Don't be discouraged too early from continuing in a major if an introductory class isn't the best class you have ever had. Review the requirements and upper-level courses in a major and talk to professors in the major about your interests. You might find that a little patience pays off.

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