Is the return on college investment all about your college major?

Is the return on college investment all about one’s college major?

Plenty of newspaper and magazine pieces are being published these days about some aspect of the return on a college investment (ROI).

Often the information focuses on college costs.  But increasingly information linking ROI and college majors is taking center stage.  

A recent report by the Pew Research Center revealed a significant number of graduating students wished they had selected a different major.  And only one in three students who took a recent ACT college assessment test intended to major in a subject that was a good fit for their strengths and preferences.

Recently, Doug Belkin, a writer for The Wall Street Journal, convened a group of experts to discuss the importance of selecting the right college major. The following is some of the advice outlined in Mr. Belkin’s article.

  • No major can guarantee a well- paying job after graduation.
  • If students change majors frequently, they will probably not be able to graduate in four years.
  • Colleges and universities should invest early in assisting students with undecided majors to narrow their choices.
  • College is not just about ROI. It’s about learning and growing intellectually and academically.  You cannot put a price on that.

College GuideThe New College Guide: How to Get In, Get Out, and Get a Job recommends:

  • Don’t worry if you do not have a declared major when you begin your college education.  Many of the best schools in the country do not allow students to declare a major until the end of the first or second year.
  • Don’t select a major based on a good starting salary. It will not work. You will be unhappy and life is not about spending your day being unhappy.

Author’s note: I graduated from college with a degree to teach high school.  I realized after student teaching that this is not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  So I became a college administrator and I was very, very happy with that decision.

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