Dream careers change as students go through college classes


Jeremy VanDerpluym | Northern Star Photo Illustration

By Felix Sarver

For some students, attending college may be a stepping stone to obtaining the career they want.

However, some professors say students with this mindset may find trouble down the line as they begin to explore other classes.

English professor Sean Shesgreen said students coming to a university with a fixed idea of what their career may be disappointed.

“The classic instance is people who come to college thinking they want to go into, say, science or pre-med, and they find out they don’t like the courses,” Shesgreen said. “Suddenly they are juniors and they find themselves in a crisis.”

James Burton, associate professor of management, said this kind of change is part of the college experience.

“You learn how to learn; you learn how to change,” Burton said. “You learn how to view the world differently.”

Burton said it’s helpful for students to have an idea of what they want to do as a career going into college, but it’s not required.

“There are many students who come to college and they’re kind of looking for what they are interested in,” Burton said. “That’s one of the reasons why people take a wide variety of classes … to get a wide view of things and find out what excites you and interests you.”

Some people may find it appropriate to jump right into the job market without a degree. However, this can hurt some job prospects. For example, there’s a definite link between having a college degree and getting a job in English, Shesgreen said.

“In the case of English … there is a certain link between getting a degree and teaching,” Shesgreen said. “Or maybe getting a degree in English with some coursework in technical writing to become an editor.”

Freshman undeclared major Matthew Baker said employers are always looking for people with degrees, but that’s not the only factor.

“I believe there other aspects other than just a degree to get a job, such as an internship,” Baker said.