A common myth at college is that the only way to get a high-paying job is by majoring in a STEM field.
In reality, students who dedicate themselves to their passion will be happier overall with their career than those pursuing STEM exclusively for a high-paying job.
I know from my own studies that science classes require a lot of hard work.
The only way for a student to push themselves through this hard work is to have an intrinsic interest in the material.
Students who go for STEM and don’t feel passionate about it will likely not do well.
If they do manage to get through their degree, they will be in a career that they don’t enjoy.
It’s hard to blame students for choosing potential financial security over their passion.
We’re all aware that the job market is getting more competitive.
A bachelor’s degree no longer holds the same value it used to.
However, the idea that a STEM major somehow protects you from that is false.
Unemployment is a problem no matter what your major is.
According to Georgetown University, humanities and STEM majors face similar statistics for unemployment.
Georgetown life and physical science graduates have 7.7 percent unemployment, while humanities and liberal arts majors have 9.4 percent unemployment.
Students in liberal arts and humanities majors may feel like outcasts as UVM makes changes to prioritize STEM.
UVM seems to be shifting toward a STEM-based university, with the recent construction of Discovery Hall and cutbacks on liberal arts courses.
It’s fairly common for universities to specialize in certain subjects.
However, UVM has the responsibility as a state school to accommodate the interests of as many students, especially in-state students, as it can.
The three most popular
UVM majors are business, environmental studies and psychology, according to the University’s website.
Psychology is the only course of study that could be considered part of a STEM field.
When UVM cuts courses from disciplines that aren’t STEM, they are hurting a large portion of students.
According to UVM’s website, in-state students made up 31 percent of the undergraduate student body in 2017. Many of these students chose to attend UVM because it’s the most affordable option for them.
As their state school, UVM should represent them more accurately.
More importantly, students should choose a major based on what they are interested in, rather than what they believe will get them a high-paying job, for the best chances of success.