Choosing a major in college is crucial, even though settling on one within your scope of interest is more complex. The beauty of a college degree is that it’ll open doors for you; it’s not just a piece of paper. It exposes you to the working world, equipping you with appropriate marketplace skills currently in demand. It’s therefore important when choosing careers to pursue after highschool to think deeply about what you want to do after college. But that’s not all; whatever major you choose must point you to reasonable job openings once you finish college. Below are some ideas to help you choose the right major.
1. Political Science
Careers to pursue after highschool are significantly affected by the majors we pick in college. You could be asking yourself, ‘ Why study political science?’ Well, studying political science as a major opens up opportunities for political careers, such as being a pollster, press secretary, lobbyist, special interest advocate, campaign manager, activist, speechwriter, public opinion analyst, an appointed or elected position in national/state/local level, a legislative or congressional aide. Career opportunities in education include university administrators, high school government teachers, and university professors.
It also opens opportunities to work in the government as a foreign service officer, urban policy planner, public policy specialist, law enforcement officer, CIA/FBI agent or analyst, embassy employee, foreign intelligence, peace corps officer, immigration/customs officer, international research specialist, executive/legislative/judicial services, public affairs adviser, labor relations specialist, records/archives management, adviser for governmental relations or healthcare policy.
Political science graduates have a vast pool of potential employers: media organizations, colleges & universities, polling organizations, research organizations, think tanks, consulting firms, special interest groups, environmental organizations, embassies, FBI, CIA, international agencies, state & local government agencies, campaign organizations, law firms, labor unions, cable/network/public broadcasting stations, magazine publishing companies, courts, corporations, lobbying firms, radio stations, political interest groups or nonprofit organizations.
STEM jobs include technical writers, financial analysts, chemists, statisticians, economists, IT managers, database administrators, psychologists, actuaries, physician assistants, dentists, and data scientists. STEM strand jobs have their basis in science, technology, engineering, or math. They allow you to research, develop new ideas, and solve problems. One can use this skill set in various settings, namely offices, research facilities, classrooms, laboratories, or the field. STEM majors must have advanced knowledge of math, engineering, technology, and science. They must be critical thinkers who are good at communication, leadership, analysis, creativity, attention to detail, organization, problem-solving, and investigation. Therefore, if you possess these vital skills, STEM strand jobs are among the careers to pursue after highschool.
Among the STEM majors you can choose from are biochemists, anthropologists, environmental scientists, archeologists, medical scientists, and psychologists based on social sciences, psychology, computer science, biotechnology, physics, medical science, chemistry, or biology. These jobs utilize research, analytical, critical thinking, and research-based skills. A technology career requires scientific reasoning and strategies developed from data to create technological solutions. It’s an opportunity to develop new software and systems or programming existing systems.
3. Computer Science
If you enjoy working with data and computers, consider a career in information technology or computer science. Career opportunities like programming, analysts, research scientists, or support specialists are other great choices. A masters degree in computer science sets you up for a successful career as a computer scientist, which requires engaging in dynamic teams, meetings, coding assignments, and project presentations.
Computer science careers can be subdivided into developer career jobs, such as mobile app developer, software developer, and web developer. Others include design career jobs like UX & UI design and web design, research and analyst jobs like information security analyst, software quality assurance analyst, and computer and information research scientist. You could also be employed as a site reliability, software engineer, or computer administrator, such as a network administrator or database administrator.
Areas of specialization in computer science include cybersecurity, video game design, data science, artificial intelligence(AI), user interface/user experience, cloud engineering and computing, machine learning, and design and development. Other careers to pursue after highschool include computer science, software engineering, information security analysis, computer and information research science, site reliability engineering, software quality assurance analysis, UX & UI design, Web design, mobile app development, software development, or web development.
Other careers to pursue after highschool that major in architecture include jobs as an architectural technologist, architect, interior and spatial designer, building control surveyor, urban designer, fire risk assessor, town planner, or CAD technician. An architect design firm is also likely to hire graduates with an architecture degree. Other openings in this niche include careers as a landscape architect, residential/commercial surveyor, building surveyor, estates manager, construction manager, conservation/historic buildings inspector officer, estimator, VFX artist, production designer, film/television/theatre, structural engineer, planning and development surveyor. One can also qualify as a provider of custom home building services.
An architecture degree prepares you for a design-based career that develops your visual, technical, and planning skills. Architectural studies further develop transferable skills and equip you with knowledge in the building and construction sector, architectural practice, and design. The transferable skills include project management, numeracy, design & drawing, research, decision-making ability, IT such as computer-aided design (CAD), team player, problem-solving, communication, analytical, leadership, critical thinking, organizational, client management, creativity, entrepreneurship, and conflict resolution.
Architects work in planning, construction, or urban design. You’ll find them in large and small firms. Planning departments in the housing associations and local authorities also require architects. Some supermarkets and banks have in-house architectural teams.
5. Business Law
In the law industry, business law specializes in the legal aspects of running a business. It includes monetary transactions, real estate, and maintaining and establishing intellectual property. A business lawyer can help a company respond to lawsuits, acquire new properties, and implement & design contracts. This is because they are equipped with vast knowledge in political science, business administration, and economics.
If you major in business law, among careers to pursue after highschool include Intellectual property paralegal, judge, compliance officer, corporate paralegal, employee relations manager, financial analyst, human resources manager, policy manager, litigation attorney, or lawyer. Business law graduates can be employed in government-regulated industries like insurance, human resources, banking, not-for-profits, marketing, auditing, healthcare, and real estate. They can also flourish in financial analysis, corporate compliance, and risk management. With further licensing, they can become successfully certified public accountants.
A business law major is a good fit for a risk analyst or actuarial. The financial analysis studies accompanying this major help them to interpret, quantify, and weigh risks against financial gains in different scenarios. Business law graduates also do well as loan officers as they can analyze and evaluate the financial risks of different loan applications. They also provide corporate counsel to companies, such as writing legal correspondence, drawing up contracts, and creating and maintaining company policies.
Ophthalmology is among the most lucrative careers to pursue after highschool, especially if eye care fascinates you. Ophthalmologists are eye doctors who diagnose, research and treat issues in their patients’ vision. They regularly perform the following subspecialties: cataract surgery, complex eye exams, diagnosing and treating glaucoma, reconstructive surgery, assisting cross-eyed patients with eye exercises, and studying eye-affecting neurological diseases. An ophthalmologist can see approximately 100 patients weekly or work 30-45 hours weekly to diagnose or treat eye and vision disorders. They do more than optometrists because they conduct surgery in addition to what optometrists do.
Ophthalmologists have various locations and options to work in. For instance, they can work in hospitals, clinics,multi-specialty group practices, single-specialty, solo practices, or solely conduct research in academic settings. If you want to specialize in ophthalmology, you need to complete an undergraduate (UG) course in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), then pursue a postgraduate degree in ophthalmology, such as Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Surgery (MS). To become an ophthalmologist, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry, followed by four years of medical school and then four years of residency.
7. Business Strategy
A business degree is highly competitive, for a good reason: there’s a huge demand for business degrees. Every aspect of society is impacted, one way or the other, by business, making a business degree advantageous. Business majors include business tax accounting, marketing, finance, law, sociology, management sciences, strategic management, economics, data science, quantitative techniques, fashion management, sports management, business engineering, entrepreneurship, and computer sciences.
Consider any of the above business majors when looking for ‘careers to pursue after highschool.’ The key here is to make sure you’re passionate about the major you choose to pursue. But that’s not all; it has to have reasonable prospects for job openings. However, suppose your goal is to start your own business. In that case, majoring in entrepreneurship and marketing may be the right way to go, even though a basic understanding of all the other business majors will be helpful.
If the competitive and highly collaborative learning environment in business schools appeals to you, consider pursuing a major in business. To help you decide which degree to major in, there are career development programs in most universities willing to help you make up your mind. Among potential careers that require a business major include insurance underwriting, banking, investment banking, advertising, trading, management consultancy, sales, retail buying, chartered accountancy, marketing, financial analysis, personnel officer, and many others.
You may be asking why you should even consider a career as an arborist. These are professionals who are passionate about tree care. Well, there’s a shortage of professionals in this career. There are more jobs available than qualified arborists to fill them.
So, if your primary goal is to get a job, and you are passionate about trees, one of the best careers to pursue after highschool is aboristry. On the other hand, establishing your own tree company is an excellent idea if you’re entrepreneurial. It helps if you love the great outdoors, as a career as an arborist will give you enough opportunities to spend time outdoors.
With only 8,257 arborists employed in the U.S., 92.6% of them being men and only 7.4% women, according to Zippia, there are more job openings than people to fill them. This profession may have few takers because it’s considered highly risky. If you decide to major in arboristry, your job after college will involve working at heights, using sharp equipment, working in windy and slippery conditions, negotiating past falling tree branches and electrical wires and adopting an awkward position to constantly complete a task.
Other lucrative careers to pursue after highschool include dentistry. Among the areas you can major in are basic and behavioral science, clinical and pre-clinical procedures, dental specialties, hygiene, and dental lab technology. As a dentist, you can work in private research centers, universities, and government institutions.
You can also establish your own dental service to provide dental care for patients with all dental complications and needs. If your dream is to open a dental practice, a major in dentistry gives you the foundation for this. It’s a lucrative venture that sees 80% of general dentistry graduates choosing to start a private practice, according to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). A major in dentistry offers academic, research, and a range of clinical opportunities to graduates and all dentists.
If you want to enter private dental practice, the ADA Health Policy Institute’s 2023 Survey of Dental Practice says you can earn between $218,220 and $335,920 yearly. This high income makes a major in dentistry one of the most coveted areas of study. Besides, as a private dentist practitioner, you set your work hours based on your lifestyle and business objectives. This flexibility is another reason you should consider a career in dentistry.
There’s a current trend of students changing majors every so often. This is driven by an inability to choose the right major immediately. The problem with constantly changing majors is that it extends college time and snowballs student loans. Granted, choosing a major is a challenging undertaking. However, choosing a major is more manageable if you know what you want to do after college. Besides, this article has cut through the clutter to clarify the various college degrees and majors at your disposal. Depending on your passion and the marketplace realities, you can choose a major you love and not have to keep changing it every year.