Perhaps It’s Time to Consider Majors that are Sustainable in Tough Times
Students usually choose a major over a period of time. I have always been a fan of taking a variety of classes until you find the ones that you enjoy most and choosing a major around that. Every school, including UF, has its more popular majors as well. However; in these unprecedented times students might want to take recent events into consideration when choosing or changing their major.
As with any major event, such as a recession, war, or, in this case, a pandemic, there is a shift in what type of degree a student may want to consider pursuing. Certainly, the job market will look different in the future. Contemplating what jobs were sustainable throughout the pandemic may also help in the decision-making process.
For instance, public health which can include hospital management, infectious disease, and clinical research, among other things, was already a fast-growing major, but may continue to grow due to an upcoming need. Similarly, we definitely learned the significance of our health-care workers. There are many avenues that can stem from majors in the Health Sciences; starting with UF’s Nursing Programs, that have the option to complete online.
UF’s College of Health and Human Performance prepares students to influence and improve an array of societal problems and challenges via their four primary departments: Applied Physiology and Kinesiology (APK), Health Education and Behavior (HEB), and Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management (THEM), and Sport Management (SPM). Each of these will groom students for careers that will undoubtedly take on a new look post-pandemic but will remain necessary. For instance, a degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology can prepare students for professions in medicine, physical or occupational therapy, or athletic training.
More Major Ideas
Teaching has undoubtedly taken on a new lens, aside from many having a newfound respect for the value of a good educator. UF offers degrees to prepare students for traditional and non-traditional avenues through their Education Services major. However, while the look of education has also been altered, teachers will always be needed and now could also benefit from a background in computer sciences, which can be taken online, as well as through the College of Engineering.
Politics in one form or another, particularly since politicians and government seemed to have become an integral part of our daily lives, could be worth considering. UF’s Political Sciences major prepares students for careers in law, government and non-government organizations, politics, and the private sector.
Wellness in mental health has taken on new forms (particularly those that can be done remotely) and have increased in popularity, so a major in psychology, which can be done online as well, can lead to varying careers in this realm. A Bachelor of Science in psychology is widely sought in business, education, and mental health fields.
Majors in engineering range from environmental, electrical, industrial and systems, agricultural, biomedical, civil, mechanical, chemical, biological, aerospace, nuclear, and computer engineering; and this isn’t even all of the engineering options.
Finance, which can prepare students for careers in financial management, investments, and insurance; among others, is also available and will continue to be needed. UF offers quite a few combination degrees through the finance department, which allows undergraduates to obtain both a BA and Master’s degrees by combining some credits for undergraduate and graduate classes. Economics majors are taught skills and training for careers in business, law, government, politics, teaching, research, and a variety of other areas that lead to stable, higher-paying jobs that will undoubtedly remain popular. However, in today’s climate, it can’t hurt to consider what jobs can be done remotely as well.
In addition to choosing a major, students may want to add some skills like mastering Photoshop, Google-drive, Zoom, data analysis, computer programming, proficiency in a second (or third) language. There are many certificate programs that can be done outside of college classes that can only enhance your employability. Increasing your knowledge escalates your value to potential employers.
Some college majors may be changing and many are offered almost solely online. New ones may be added and others may disappear. Find out what major programs are of interest to you and how UF can help you decide. Encourage your student to visit the Career Connections Center or its website. They offer seminars and meetings to not only help find them a job but to educate them on the careers out in the working field; and for now, it is all offered virtually.
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