Connecting to Careers

  • Majors and Minors
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Impact of Major on Career Path, LSA Graduates 1990-2013

You have heard the question before, and maybe you have even asked it yourself: “What can I do with a major in ____?” Many students have asked that same question before you, and here are their answers: a graphical representation of the majors pursued by LSA graduates in recent years (1990-2013) and their subsequent career fields. Hover over the names of particular majors or careers to see the multiple connections between what other LSA students have actually studied and what sort of career they have actually pursued.

What can I do with a major in ____________?

This question is premised on some incorrect assumptions. It confuses the relationship between a major and a career. A major is just that: It is the academic area in which you choose to focus. You should base that decision on your interests and strengths and not see a major as a direct path to a particular career.

Recruiters who come to campus tell us they look for engaged, energetic students who can work effectively with others and show leadership potential. They are looking for students with "transferable skills:" The ability to communicate using a variety of media; the ability to acquire, test, and assemble different types of information; and the capability to learn in depth while being comfortable with breadth. You want to use your time in LSA to acquire and develop these skills; you want to be well-rounded, a good citizen as well as a good student, but definitely a good student who has learned a lot and has demonstrated the potential to learn a great deal more.

Professional-sounding LSA majors, such as Screen Arts & Culture or Economics, aren't professional programs. They help students develop skills and acquire knowledge to study film or the economy; they don't seek to make them directors or financial analysts. The fact is, while an LSA degree doesn't get a student ready to do any one thing, an LSA degree does help prepare a student to do almost anything.

Therefore, the best major for getting your first job after college is the one in which you can do your best work, the major that lets you demonstrate your strengths and interests.

So look for a major in which you will do well, about which you are passionate. Of course, passion alone, won't get you a job. You also need practical experience — as a member of campus clubs and organizations, from internships or jobs — that will help you apply what you've learned at Michigan. Your academic and practical experience, along with your ability to articulate how well it all fits together, will go a long way in determining what comes after graduation.


Career Guides

Wondering what career choices you have with your major? Each Career Guide highlights curriculum requirements, as well as skills and abilities that may be developed and applied through each course of study. To complement the academic information, a range of interesting occupational opportunities are listed as a starting point for considering how academic experiences may translate to professional work settings. The Career Guide series represents a collaborative effort between The Career Center and numerous academic units.

Choosing a Major—FAQs

What to do if you are having trouble finding a major