Employable and unemployable majors
Ify Ossai | Collegio Reporter
Alice John says she knows she is unlikely to get a job in her field, but she enjoys her major anyway.
Love what you do
“Literature is my heaven,” said John, freshman in literature.
John says students who study literature don’t do it for the money or quick placement after graduation but for the beauty associated with the art.
A sure thing
On the other hand, Bilall Abdullah says he is more confident that he’ll find a job after graduating because there are more employers than there are graduates.
“When you are a tech major, the sky is pretty much your limit in anything you want to do,” said Abdullah, senior in plastics engineering technology. “The placement rate for us is exceptionally amazing.”
Mindy Cloninger, director of career services, says students who major in technology-related fields or accounting and business-related disciplines continue to have good placement rates after graduation. Cloninger says that students majoring in liberal arts and sciences are more difficult to place after graduation because a lot of these majors are non-traditional.
How PSU can help
“As a career counselor, I want to encourage students to follow their dreams,” Cloninger said. “We are really particular about letting students follow their passion.”
Paul Grimes, dean of the Kelce College of Business, says one important thing his college does to ensure a high placement rate after graduation is making sure the right companies are visiting PSU and talking to the students who are ready to go into the workforce.
“The career services put together a lot of expos over the semester,” Grimes said. “And we make sure that our students are out there, talking and exchanging resumes with potential employers.”
Adding a minor
According to Grimes, this gives students and professors the opportunity to interact with the companies and find what sector of the work force is in demand.
“I believe that students with non-traditional majors, who don’t have a very high placement rate after graduation, can turn their fate around by incorporating some business-oriented classes into their areas of study,” Grimes said. “If possible, students should get a minor or take a certificate course in a business-oriented discipline to increase their chance of placement after graduation.”
Roland Carter says he is passionate about his non-traditional major. Carter says the reason he is majoring in art isn’t the immediate placement rate after graduation but because he enjoys it.
“I want to major in what makes me happy,” said Carter, freshman in art. “That’s what my parents always told me to do.”
“The program is designed to suit the needs of potential employers,”said Dennis Audo, instructor in construction management. “So after graduation it’s very easy for students to get hired because they possess the skills that people in the industry are looking for.”
Audo agrees with Cloninger that students should not go into a discipline simply because it pays well or because there is a higher placement rate
“If students follow their dreams, eventually they will find their places in the world,” Audo said.
Job market evolves
Tim Thomas, chairman of engineering technology, says the department of engineering is not taking any particular action to keep the high placement rates they currently have. Thomas says that the reason for the high placement rate is that the world is becoming more technology- oriented. Thomas says any degree in a technology-oriented field would definitely have a high placement rate and that is not going to change anytime soon.
“Technology is being used by everybody, every day, everywhere,” Thomas said. “Even if the job isn’t specifically a technology job, there is still a lot of technology involved so someone in our discipline is always connected with everything in some way.”