“What Are You Going to Do With That Degree?”
So, you’ve decided to go to college! If you haven’t been asked this already, chances are you will eventually: “What are you going to do with your degree?”
In today’s super-skeptical world, it’s a question that is asked often of college students. And it can be very scary to think about! It seems like only yesterday, you were planning your high school graduation party. Now, you’re expected to know what you want to do for a career.
Not just a job, but a career — the combination of roles, experiences, education and pathways you take to achieve your goals.
Liberal arts colleges can prepare students for all kinds of careers. Programs that are guided by a sense of humanistic inquiry and rational thinking are just what today’s employers are looking for. And on just about every liberal arts college campus these days, there are resources specifically available to help students find careers for them — teams of people, committed to your success, who can help identify your interests and find a fulfilling purpose.
Here are some questions that career and personal development professionals are likely to ask you:
What are your academic interests?
This question will probably sound more like, “What are you majoring in?” But if you haven’t yet declared a major, know that this decision can help guide your career path in several ways. Consider your strengths and weaknesses. Those who are creative and intuitive may find their chosen career within the field of art, while those who are logical and analytical may be more at home in the sciences.
It’s important to note — nobody is strictly limited to jobs related to their major! But it’s a good way to begin your roadmap.
What do you do outside the classroom?
Of course, going to a college or university involves so much more than just classroom learning. What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important. Participating on an athletic team, joining clubs, student organizations, volunteering and even working a part-time job supplements skills needed after graduation.” Without even realizing it, you’ll probably develop skills in teamwork, communication, problem solving, working with diverse people and ideas all while participating in interests that build a sense of community.
Think about the groups that you are a part of on campus and your role within them — it will be a big help as you continue to think about your life after college.
What kind of person are you?
What’s at the top of your list when you think of your life? A stable income? Making a lot of money? Having time for personal hobbies? Making change in your community? Where would you like to live: big city, or a small town? Do you enjoy having a set schedule, day in and day out, or should every day be a little different?
Taking stock of all these things can help paint a picture of what your future might look like and the careers that align. Don’t forget, there’s a team to help you set a plan to accomplish it. Ultimately, your college career and professional development professionals are here to help — but you need to come up with the answers!
The Alma College Career and Personal Development Office is here to help Alma College students. They offer resources to help you find your career path and staff who care about you as an individual. Find out more at alma.edu/career.