I have a bad habit of stuffing receipts into the bottom of my purse. I hold onto them because they’re lightweight, and I can use them when I catch a burst of inspiration during traffic.

Graduating with a degree in English feels something like that. You can usually keep it tucked away fairly easily. It doesn’t stand out or get in the way. Every now and then, there’s an unexpected pay out.

I’ve mentioned before that not all majors are treated equally. If you’re not sure what you’d like to study, or you’re worried that your rugged idealism will lead to your demise, consider this:

Degrees in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) tend to be more valued and more valuable. These careers tend to be more lucrative and more easily accessible. Unemployment rates for STEM graduates tend to be lower than those of graduates of other programs.

Social Sciences and Humanities degrees are often treated like unwanted stepchildren. (I like to think of them as the Cinderella’s of the story, except the fairy godmother doesn’t always show up.)

Graduating with an undervalued major doesn’t have to be your Achilles’ heel. We can get through this!

  1. If you’re adamant about majoring in English, consider being a double major. You can pair your love for classical literature with a more “practical” major (i.e. more economically valuable) in a different field.
  2. Pair your Religious Studies major with a graduate degree.
  3. Learn how to use technology and/or social media to showcase your knowledge and leverage your skills.

If you’re still not convinced, read this.

 What advice would you give to entering college freshman? What majors do you recommend?