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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

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September 29, 2023

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Students choose majors based on security, not passion

Students face tedious decision making while in college.

One of the biggest decisions students make is declaring a major.

However, according to a study from ACT, students are not choosing majors that align with their interests.

The study suggests that out of 1.2 million high school graduates in 2013, only 36 percent chose a major they want to pursue.

Junior Scott Schnitzler is one of those people.

Schnitzler, a computer science major, said it is for two different reasons: “future financial security and parental guidance.”

When he came to the University in fall 2011, he started as a film production major.

“I chose film production because it was my passion,” Schnitzler said. “It’s still my passion. But a degree in film, especially at BGSU, just wasn’t practical.”

Though computers have always been an interest for Schnitzler, he said it is not his passion, just a stable job career.

Andrea Gutierrez, the assistant director and liaison of the Career Center, suggests that job security is a large reason, but it is more complex than that.

“I know several students that just want to do hair, or, something that’s a hobby,” Gutierrez said. “If they could make great money to support themselves, and have benefits, I think they would do what they really wanted to do. But I think there’s been a fear because of the recession that we just had.”

Gutierrez said this fear is leading students to believe they need a lot of money and need job security in their lives.

Other factors that influence students’ decisions are not knowing what major to go into or choosing the wrong major to begin with, she said.

“This happens in my appointments,” Gutierrez said. “Sometimes it’s just they needed someone to talk to, to frame it for them, and when they leave here after one appointment, boom, they make that decision right then in there.”

According to Gutierrez, after visiting the Career Center, the majority of students declare a major in a semester or less. The Career Center specializes in pre-major advising and preparing students for the world beyond college. They can help students narrow down their interests and skill sets like refining resumes, doing mock interviews and how to approach recruiters.

For the students who are especially lost, Gutierrez suggests a website called O*Net Online [].

O*Net Online gives students the option to type in a potential career. It takes the information entered and spits out an entire cluster of focused professions, as well as the work ethic and general information of those professions. But Gutierrez warns that even with all the planning and preparation a student does, “nothing is guaranteed.”

Gutierrez, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art and advertising from the University of Findlay, knows the future is never set in stone.

She originally desired to be a children’s book illustrator, but kept getting the door shut on her.

“When I graduated, there wasn’t a whole lot of jobs unless you had a teaching certificate,” she said. “But I ended up in higher education because my skill set aligned with the job description.”

Although she is not an illustrator, Gutierrez said she always wanted to help people, so she completely loves what she does now. And there are other people like Gutierrez who love what they are currently doing, despite what the statistics say.

Sophomore Breann McDede is an individualized business major and loves what she is doing.

“I really like being in the College of Business because there’s so many activities,” McDede said. “They get you really involved in everything … it’s just a really good community.”

McDede loves baking and eventually wants to open up her own bakery. She also believes being passionate about one’s major is extremely important.

“When you think about going to college, it’s supposed to be about getting a job and making the most money possible … but if you’re not passionate about something, then 20 years from now, you’re not going to be happy about where you are,” she said.

Marc Goldstein, a freshmen and film major, agrees with McDede.

“College is a lot of money, it’s like $18,000 a year, so I think if you’re spending that type of money you should be spending it on something you really want to do, something you’re passionate about,” Goldstein said. “You shouldn’t spend that much money on something you don’t want to do, even if it’s the safe and practical root.”

The war between practicality and passion is an ongoing occurrence. Knowing this, Gutierrez advises students to be open to other ideas, and to “not be pigeon holed into one area,” despite which route they are taking.

“If you love what you do … that’s priceless,” she said.

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