Six Worst College Majors for 2017 and Future Employment

College Reality CheckThe astronomical cost of college today makes finding an appropriate major even more important. Making the most of your college education is vital to your career success. While finding something you love is a blessing, being open-minded about the job market and employment opportunities is mandatory.

If you are going to spend tens of thousands of dollars for college, you need to get a quality education that will earn a living commensurate with the cost you will incur. There are no guarantees that you will get a job and start a career in any field, but selecting a poor college major is one way to add a large obstacle in your career path.

Parents need to help students by offering a future employment – reality check. Before deciding on a major, students need to engage in a serious discussion about job prospects with their desired degree. If there are no jobs or the potential earnings are inadequate, another major should be considered.

Here are six college majors with limited opportunity for employment upon graduation:

1. Religion: Having this degree will be useful if you plan to become a priest, pastor or minister. But most of these positions of God come with free training and offer heavenly rewards, not monetary. It can be hard to pay off your high student loans on a pastor’s salary. Traditional colleges are not the road to take if you are looking to devote your life to religion.

2. English Literature: It is wonderful to be well versed in English literature, but what positions do you apply for upon graduation. Maybe a book editor or a writer, but they require different skills, so that may not pan out without additional degrees or training. Unless you plan to get a masters degree and teach, avoid this degree or you may be well versed and working as a bookstore clerk. Paying the bills would be no easier and your student loans will add a large burden to your monthly cash flow.

3. Anthropology: Very few opportunities exist for recent graduates in this field and over the coming years, there will be even less. While this may be an interesting and enjoyable hobby for many individuals, it is not a promising career alternative. Something in the medical sciences would be a better alternative and provide many different avenues for career advancement.

4. Fine Arts or Photography: Being an artist or photographer is a wonderful talent and can be enjoyable to envision your final work. But the reality is that careers in this area are not very profitable or plentiful. With the advent of great cell phone cameras and sophisticated, easy to use editing programs, digital arts and photography have become simple for the average person to get great results.

5. Music: If you are talented and focused, you will be successful. Normally that is true, but careers in music are very hard to come by. They success rates are similar to those of professional athletes. Many great voices, many great musical minds are left behind as only the top 1% actually make a reasonable living in this field. It can be a great side job or hobby, but if you are planning to make it a career, it will be a bumpy road.

6. Exercise Science: For those considering this major, please re-consider. Your employment opportunities are no better than if you were an athlete in high school looking for a job at a gym or being a personal trainer. Pay scale is generally low and there are no specific jobs that require this degree for employment.

Other problematic majors: Dance, Communications, American Studies, Philosophy, and Film. Each of these degrees has such a narrow focus with so few jobs available that you might have a better chance of winning the lottery than landing a good job. You can always go to graduate school, spend more money and get a masters degree in something else that would be more marketable, but these degrees by themselves offer very little potential.

Summary: These six majors offer less than a desirable potential for jobs upon graduation. Be mindful of your need to earn a living as well as pursue a passion. Unless you are independently wealthy and do not need to work, the cost of your education would be better spent building an enjoyable and prosperous career.

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How To Improve Your Children’s Communication Skills Through Community Service

volunteerSociety today is an ever-changing voyage. With Google, texting, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube shaping our children’s views and perceptions of reality, they need more. While there are some great benefits to each of these services, the time our children are spending using digital devices is substantial. With these non-personal interactions replacing many types of verbal communication, we need to teach our children the importance of direct face to face interaction. A great way to do this is through “hands on” community service.

One of the great things about volunteer work is that it usually involves dealing with people. And many of those people tend to embrace “Old School” communication methods. There are even some volunteers that continue to thrive in life without a cell phone or a computer. While technology can be a great asset in the coordination and management of community service programs, it rarely replaces the face to face efforts of the volunteers that get the job done.

New Technology Can’t Get the Job Done:

Whether it is Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Literacy Volunteers of America or any of the thousands of other great national and local causes, verbal communication, and socialization are irreplaceable. You can’t text a hammer to hang drywall. You can’t post a tweet to deliver a meal to a shut-in. You can’t help someone learn to read with a Like on Facebook. And while YouTube is great, it can’t prepare a hot meal at a homeless shelter.

A Hand Shake And A Smile Go A Long Way:

If you are helping a homeless family select some gently used clothing to keep their children warm in the winter, they probably won’t be able to try on the coat “digitally”. It is so much nicer to meet a real person with a warm smile and firm handshake that might just make them feel that someone really does care about their family.

And working on a job site, remodeling a house forces everyone to ask questions, share ideas and work together to complete the renovations. There are always supervisors walking around, talking openly about everything from the weather to sports or even careers with youth participants. While they may be reluctant to strike up these conversations with their parents, I have personally found they are very open and honest when sharing their thoughts with another volunteer.

Children Need More Social Interaction:

Old fashioned talking, helping others and working as a group cannot be replaced with new technology. Community service will force them to develop, enhance and use these skills more effectively which can only help them in all aspects of life. From career aspirations and interviewing to dating, marriage and raising a family. Those that possess great communication skills will always be able to handle situations better than those without.

Encourage them to use their adolescent years to experience both the new and old communication methods. I am fearful that if we don’t, the next generation will progressively lose their interpersonal skills, or worse yet, never develop any. I cannot imagine a world in which we rely entirely on digital communication. But that is the direction that our children are heading. It is time to turn that tide and your children can make a difference.

Summary:

Help your community and your children at the same time. Get them involved in activities that force them to develop and use interpersonal communications. Society will reward their volunteer efforts and their volunteer efforts will reward their future growth. And another great communicator can only help society as a whole. It is a “win-win” situation for everyone involved.