What Are Your Peers Majoring in?

Can’t decide whether to follow your mother into engineering, or your bliss into art history? If you’re planning to spend the weekend banging your head against the wall of your Davis apartment in the hope that a viable and satisfying major will suddenly occur to you, we have some surprising news.

A new study on HuffPo supports the anecdotal evidence that while the number of humanities majors is indeed declining somewhat, not everyone is jumping on the STEM bandwagon. And there’s more good news – employers are looking for candidates who are more well-rounded critical-thinking problem-solvers, than brainiacs.

college majorsBen Schmidt at Northeastern University put together the data in an interactive chart on the trends of college majors over the past few decades.

Engineering, the major most likely to shoot a graduate towards the upper-middle class before their 30th birthday, is holding steady in terms of the proportion of students it attracts…computer science majors have actually declined since 1986.

college majorsMeanwhile psychology majors increased, and the biggest growth since the 60’s, according to the chart, is in students seeking degrees in business and life sciences. English and literature majors are nothing close to the large proportion of undergraduates they were 30 years ago, and students studying education has declined as well.

Surveys of employers show hiring managers are looking at more than just what someone’s major in college was; they want applicants who are well-rounded with skills in both the liberal arts and from what they could pick up in STEM classes.

For more information, please follow the link above to the complete HuffPo story.

Just think, you may someday encourage your grandchild to major in English, because there are so few people with that degree that they’re being paid a premium! Well, we can dream.