Last Updated: September 30, 2018, 10:22 pm

College majors are outdated, useless


Graphic by Valerie De La O.

One of the most stressful things about going to college is choosing your major – choosing which classes will dominate your schedule and supposedly dictate your future.

If you’re like me, you still haven’t decided on this vital, life-altering decision. You don’t see yourself fitting into one box, one title, one major.

I have changed my mind on majoring in English, to history, to English, to journalism, and back to history again in just two years going to Dixie State University. I have involved myself in clubs and projects in all three of these fields. I simply cannot decide.

And I don’t see this as a bad thing.

In fact, I don’t think I should have to decide. College majors are a product of an outdated system that no longer applies in the modern workforce.

Christine Ortiz, former dean from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, agreed in a New York Times article. 

“Majors are artificial and restrictive,” Ortiz said. “[They] result from the academic structure of the university, tied to the classic academic disciplines. There is no reason [students] need to be boxed up like that.”

Besides being restrictive, college majors are also extremely outdated. The world is changing fast and the higher education system changes slowly, the New York Times stated. This leaves a major lag between what you learn and what you do. In the ever-changing work environment, this is unacceptable.

According to a Washington Post article, “just 27 percent of college grads had a job that was closely related to their major.”

Therefore, what is really important at college is the professional experience you gain and the interpersonal communication skills that are learned.

That is why some colleges have initiated a program that allows students to create their own major. Even DSU offers a bachelor of individualized studies which allows students flexibility with their major.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, creating your own major can “spark students’ enthusiasm for learning and sometimes equip them for complicated, cross-disciplinary jobs or emerging career fields.”

Students who choose this path must relate their major to their hopeful future career. However, according to HerCampus, some rather peculiar self-made majors have popped up around the United States, such as:

  • Bowling Chasing Management (Vincennes University)
  • Winemaking (Cornell University)
  • Professional Nanny (Sullivan University)

So while this may be a step in the right direction, having students create their own major isn’t a common occurrence and it still leaves students like me with no place to truly fit in. Hopefully, in the future, this will be the norm, not the outlier.

Hopefully, students will feel less confined and find their skills more applicable.

If you are a student wanting to create your own major, contact Terri Metcalf-Peterson at [email protected] or 879-4770.

If you are a student that strongly agrees that the college major should be eradicated, send this article to the Utah System of Higher Education at