Nobody cares about your college major.

Cathy Goodwin
3 min readFeb 22
Image by Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz on Unsplash.

Majoring in theatre arts or philosophy won’t keep you from a successful career. It’s about how you set goals and hustle.

Many years ago, while I was still living in New Mexico, I kept getting asked to complete a survey for some branch of the US government, probably the Department of Education.

The survey was pretty simple. They wanted to know my college major and what I was doing now. They may have had other questions about age and income.

I refused. They persisted. They had chosen a small percentage and every answer counted.

They even called me for a follow-up. They said they were trying to see how a choice of college major affected success.

The whole idea was bogus.

For one thing, college majors change. When I was an undergraduate, my school didn’t have a major in film studies. They certainly didn’t have majors like women’s studies.

Even if a major existed, it might not have been viewed as realistic.

Not too long ago, your choice of major could be influenced by your gender. Women weren’t welcome in engineering courses.

Anyway, your major has very little to do with your eventual success.

I’ve heard well-known advisors scoff at “ridiculous” majors like music, philosophy, or anthropology.

The truth is, your personality and people skills have more to do with your success than your college major. Simply having a degree can make a difference, although we’re starting to see changes.

Claudia Kennedy, the first female three-star general in the US Army, was a philosophy major. Carly Fiorino, a former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, was a medieval history major.

I know a physician who majored in music as an undergrad. A sociology major is enrolled in a one-year accelerated nursing program. A Senior VP of a major bank majored in art history…as did Michael Lewis, author of Blindside, Moneyball and more. An anthropology major runs a self-defense training company. A hospitality major holds a senior management position in the tech industry. An elementary education major became a sales manager for a computer company…

Cathy Goodwin

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