When I was in high school, I had this misconception that you could only be successful if you went to college for one of four careers: engineering, law, medicine, or teaching. I know how dumb and naive that sounds, but no one ever mentioned that there are literally hundreds of different degrees out there, and I didn't need to pigeonhole myself in one of these four sectors if I didn't want to.
Alas, I started off in engineering because I was good at math and science. The bad news? I discovered I hated engineering. But it wasn't until I actually attended a university that I found out all of the other programs offered.
But there was always the nagging doubt - will I make any money? Will a Communications degree pay off in the long run? Will I end up making just as much money as any other non-degreed member of the workforce, and is it worth it?
CNN.com reports that yes, engineering takes the top spot in median earnings - but liberal arts degrees aren't necessarily at the bottom of the pay scale. Liberal arts and humanities majors generally end up in professional or white-collar careers, with many earning advanced degrees that usually produce a significant bump in earnings.
Choosing your major is key. It should not only be something you are genuinely interested in, but something you love enough to make a career out of and care enough about to weather the ups and downs of the job market. I could have stuck it out and graduated with an engineering degree and a healthy paycheck - but I would have hated my job. My degree may not earn me the ca$h money flow of my Lawrence Tech peers with engineering degrees, but I'm doing something I truly enjoy and having a ball.
This is me when I was an engineering major. I was not doing much engineering . . . ever.
So if you're heading to college in the fall or reconsidering your initial degree choice, take a second to do a bit of research, and weigh your options. THAT will definitely pay off in the long run!