What Can I Do With This Major?

If you’re asking yourself this question, you may have missed a step or two in the career-assessment process.

Or, as is sometimes the case, you started a degree and, two semesters short of graduation you had a rude awakening: “Why did I pick this major?” Not being the type to leave a job undone, you trudged through, completed your degree and, well…

The good news is, by completing your degree you just upped your earning potential by about $20,000 per year. If only you could think of a job using your degree to do what you really love.

An acceptable intervention plan may not be as painful, or costly, as you might think. As long as you have some idea of what you would have liked to have studied, or what your ultimate job or career might look like, all is not lost. If you have no clue about these essential clues to career fulfillment, you should probably schedule a meeting with your academic adviser to answer these nagging questions.

Taking a basic inventory of your skills and interests, strengths and weaknesses, will help you clarify your true interests and provide sound footing from which to proceed. For example, if you’ve earned your Bachelor of Arts in education, but have been in denial about your dislike of children, and wish you’d majored in business, you can put your hard-won learning to work as a school district administrator or other non-teaching educational position with a smattering of additional courses.

Take heart, no matter how ill conceived your course of study, major and minor coursework can more than likely be applied toward careers you never thought possible. In these circumstances it may be helpful to explore some non-traditional applications of your major.

What can I do with an Advertising Degree?

Who knows why you majored in advertising. Perhaps it spoke to your creative side and promised a decent salary. On the other hand, you’ve discovered you’re not a team player, prefer to work alone and public speaking stresses you out.

At the heart and soul of advertising are clear communication, creativity and sales. So a big marketing agency may not be your cup of tea. Don’t limit the application of your major to the most obvious career choices.

Common crossover applications for advertising majors include jobs in marketing, account administration, sales, consulting and, given the do-it-yourself opportunities afforded by the Internet, the option of selling your creative services online as a free-lance copywriter, editor or layout designer.

Let’s take another major as an example. Mass Media and Communications majors are a dime a dozen. But if you haven’t quite figured out your niche – television, radio, film, journalism, etc. – the enormous range of job possibilities may be overwhelming.

What Can I Do With This Major?

If you’re currently majoring in a broad field of mass communications or media studies, but are clueless about where you see yourself in the job market, or have just completed your degree and face the same problem, take a deep breath.

The good news about any communications major is that it has broad applicability to any of the above-mentioned fields and more.

Advertising and marketing careers, even if you did not major in these subjects, are common and lucrative avenues for creative communication majors. Similarly, because of your extensive knowledge of media, messaging and marketing, a career in public relations may be worth considering.

Other alternative careers for communications and media majors include:

  • Market research
  • Advertorial design and art production
  • Newspaper, television or magazine journalism
  • Press agent for corporate and governmental agencies

Pick a company or agency you are interested and start re-working your resume.

Art majors are famous for the bewilderment they put their parents and friends through. Luckily if you’re thinking about majoring in art, there are plenty of jobs available demanding your creative skills and talents, regardless if you are not the next Picasso. Here’s a brief list of careers that have staved off parents and kept art majors off the streets for decades.

  • Education
  • Administration
  • Curatorial
  • Conservation
  • Registrar
  • Collections Management
  • Sales
  • Publications
  • Development
  • Public Relations
  • Archivist
  • Tour Guides/Docent

Other majors and the careers they qualify you for:


  • Research
  • Development
  • Design
  • Data Processing
  • Testing
  • Operations
  • Quality Control
  • Statistical Processing Control
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Consulting


  • Music Teacher (certification required in public schools)
  • Private Lessons
  • Recording Studios engineer
  • Writer, translator arranger (freelance)
  • Talent Scout
  • Music Producer
  • Promotion/Media Relations
  • Publicity
  • Music reviewer
  • Movie score composer


Learn more tips on how to use your college major for career success by visiting the link below: