Go With Your Heart, But Plan for the Future
Selecting a college or university major can be a daunting task, and earning a bachelor’s degree in a subject area you love may not bring the kind of income you hoped for in life. After taking classes to meet my general education requirements, I was forced to declare a college major. I’d been taking dance and art classes and toyed with the idea of declaring a dual major in both subjects. My father, a professional musician, decided it was time for a serious conversation about my college education and the prospects of employment in the arts. After this sit-down I declared dance as a minor and formally chose history as my major. American history had been my favorite subject since elementary school, and I decided I’d enjoy taking the required number of courses to complete a bachelor’s degree in that area.
General Education Requirements
During my coursework for general education, I earned a significant number of units by participating in intercollegiate forensics. The field has nothing to do with dead people; it’s participation in public speaking and debate. These credits were enough, when combined with the basic communication courses, for a double major in combination with my history BA. Earning a double bachelor’s degree in these two areas provided the solid base for future employment.
The Bachelor’s Link to Employment
My current job asks me to travel around the country interviewing people about their views, beliefs and habits. I use my knowledge from studying history to focus on significant social trends, including voting practices and political giving, and my experience in communications coursework for developing questions and interviewing subjects. My undergraduate experiences in the courses that took me to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and Utah to interview members of the nation about their views on federal intervention in their lives helped me understand the fine nuances of the interview content. My bachelor’s studies in communication assisted me in studying my subjects’ non-verbal communication, adding another layer of understanding beyond the simple verbal statements.
Mixing Your Interests With Employers’ Expectations
My bachelor’s degree in communication allowed me an opportunity to click on a “practical” bachelor’s degree for online employment applications, while my more esoteric bachelor’s in history provided a depth of understanding I would never have developed with only the single degree in communication.
Expanding on my dual bachelor’s degree, I went on to complete a doctoral program in history and combined that study with additional work at the Annenberg School of Communication. In addition to my history subject area, I took courses in Native American culture and communication.
While one of my undergraduate degrees provided a practical platform for my current occupation, my minor fields of study continue to provide enjoyment in my life. I paint and I enjoy dancing, but pursuing my major love of history, combined with a practical bachelor’s in a field I enjoyed, turned out to be a wise choice for my life.