Make It Work! How 5 Professionals Used Their College Majors to Become Successful

How does your college major affect your career? These successful professionals weigh in.

For recent graduates who are curious about what post-college life will look like, the question most difficult to answer accurately is: What am I likely to do with my major?

Ladders launched an interactive career tool called Majors, a resource that provides students with a new perspective on which careers and jobs high-earning professionals pursued after graduation.

In celebration of the page’s early success, we have compiled a few insights from our most influential guest contributors. How did their educational backgrounds impact their careers?

Q: How has your college major impacted your career path?

A: It’s given me the ability to write awesome cover letters and follow up emails that have impacted my career. But most of the impactful experiences come from hands on learning like my internships at Hearst.


Q: What was your college major and why did you choose it?

A: I was a Psychology major and a Political Science minor. I opted for Psychology because I found the subject fascinating. I especially enjoyed Abnormal Psychology and in general the subject was easy for me. I picked Political Science because I had every intention of pursuing legal studies until I attended law school briefly and turned right back around because it was not for me.

Q: How did your double major help you in your career?

A: At NYU, I learned frameworks, critical thinking skills, and how to digest an enormous amount of data. These ideas make me a better career coach. Meanwhile, I also pursued my MBA at Dartmouth. In terms of the latter degree, I’ve benefited greatly from understanding how businesses work. I leverage those ideas to help my clients convince interviewers that they can deliver profitable results.


Q: Is your American Studies degree relevant to your job?

A: It was a great foot in the door for me to get into editorial. My first job was editorial assistant, which involved a heavy degree of creative writing. So my minor was probably more relevant.

Q: What was the most important lesson you learned through your college degree?

A: My college major was a microcosm for my professional career because I have always paved my own way and made my own career path and trajectory. I come from a family of doctors and nurses. They have very clear cut coursework and career steps to get to their ultimate goals. I, on the other hand, was interested in a lot of different career options. I have always loved digital media, technology, editorial, communications and marketing and my major taught me that I can dabble in a lot of different fields at the same time and not be tied down to one avenue with one straight career path.

Q: How did you decide to major in Economics?

A: I majored in Natural Resource Economics. It’s applied microeconomics; lots of statistics, econometrics & math, applied to natural resource problems. I chose this because i was interested in it, had an aptitude for it, and thought I could change the world.

Q: Is your college major relevant to your job?

A: This major was not relevant to my career, and it didn’t really impact my career path. Looking back, I would have studied computer science if I really had any clue about what it was I wanted to do with my life.

Q: Has your college major helped in your career? If so, how?

A: As a Community Manager it’s important to have empathy and to be open to different people’s ways which Anthropology helped me do. At the time I figured the English degree wasn’t very useful but being able to communicate your ideas through words is so important when working with a team to get things done it’s actually been the most useful thing I’ve studied. I’ve been a Community Manager, Customer Service Agent, Tech Support, Technical Writer, and a Web Developer and in all of those I get things, writing well has helped me.

Q: Did your college major impact your professional life in any way?

A: It didn’t directly. I followed my passions and my education helped back me up on that path.

As you can see, successful professionals use the their various skill sets to help advance their careers. Whether you are an Anthropology or English major, there are numerous ways to find lucrative jobs fit for you. To find out how to optimize your college degree, visit Majors to explore and personalize insights most relevant to your passions.