Sydney Scott, a freshman at Southeastern Louisiana University, continues her series on her life and times as a college student. View college life through her eyes and learn alongside her as she journeys to her future career. Share with the students in your life - this post is great for everyone.
Ah, the last month of the semester. The days are longer, spring is finally here, and everyone is confused and having serious doubts about their futures.
This time of year can be a real conundrum for students: if you’re a senior in high school, you’re getting ready to graduate. Which also means you have probably applied to and (hopefully) were accepted into school you will be attending in the fall… and that means the time has come to pick a major.
You may be thinking, “I’m just 18! How do I decide what I want to do for the rest of my life?!”
Don’t worry, you’re not alone -- college students are right there with you. In fact, it can be more daunting of a question to students in college who have taken hours and hours of classes that go towards a degree they aren't even sure they want anymore. (Yes, it happens.)
Most of us have an idea of what we want to do, or what we definitely DON’T want to do. (For me, that’s anything that involves chemistry.) As soon-to-be college students, or the currently confused, we often don’t gain an accurate picture of our major, degree pathway, or career aspirations until we have already begun taking classes. And simply put -- most of us just don’t know what options we have.
Since it’s College Major month here on Career Compass’s world of social media (check out our Instagram), I compiled a list of some career pathways you may have overlooked, not considered, or simply have never heard about. Allow me to scratch the surface of a few paths to some cool careers.
Teacher — For those who do more than just tolerate kids
Median salary* in Louisiana: $49,000
Major/degree required: B.A. in education (4 years total)
An in-state school I can go to for this degree: Any 4-year university. UL Monroe has the most specialized certification options if you are looking to get specific. Also check out Northwestern State University.
This job is cool because: It’s personal, impactful, and arguably, best of all, you don’t work summers and major holidays.
You should look into this career path or major if you: Like working with kids, are passionate about impacting future generations, or want a job where you will get some long breaks.
A cool Instagram you can follow: @adayinfirstgrade @madlylearning
LPN/RN — If you want options
Median salary in Louisiana: $47,000
Major/degree required: Technical Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2-4 years total)
This job is cool because: There are diverse opportunities and lots of specialty branches you can choose to work in, you get to interact with patients, and there is great job security because the world will always need nurses!
You should look into this career path or major if you: Know you want to be in nursing or medicine but don’t know what you’d want to specialize in, and if you like interacting with others and being on your feet.
A cool Instagram account you can follow: @nuresesofinstagram @thekatieduke
Nurse Practitioner — If you want to take nursing a step further
Median salary in Louisiana: $98,000
Major/degree required: Bachelor of Science in Nursing + nurse practitioner degree (7-ish years total)
This job is cool because: You have a similar role to that of a doctor, but with less schooling (especially now since NP’s have the ability to be specialized and/or even primary care practitioners).
You should look into this career path or major if you: Are in love with the idea of being a doctor, but not with the idea of going to school until you’re almost 30.
A cool Instagram account you can follow: @thekatieduke
Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) — If you’re looking to be active
Median salary in Louisiana: $48,000
Major/degree required: Associate degree in Science or Applied Science (2 years total)
This job is cool because: You get to interact with patients on the regular + this is a growing field, the U.S Bureau of Labor reported last year that PTA jobs will grow by 30% in the next 8 years.
You should look into this career path or major if you: Like to be active or on your feet during the day, and want a job that is interactive and physical.
A cool Instagram account you can follow: @wilk_kevin (gonna admit right here as a business major that wants little-to-nothing to do with science that I actually followed this IG account because the videos he posts are so interesting)
Pharmacist — If you are more into the behind-the-scenes aspect of medicine
Median salary in Louisiana: $116,000
Major/degree required: B.S. in Chemistry or Biology + Doctorate of Pharmaceuticals (Pharm.D), (8 years total)
This job is cool because: It offers lots of job security (the world will always need pharmacists!), you get to work with new technology, and most pharmacists have lots of autonomy over their operating hours and schedules.
You should look into this career path or major if you: Want a job in the bio/chem/med field, but you are a little squeamish
A cool Instagram account you can follow: @the.modern.pharmacist
Operator or P Tech (for a plant) — Instrumentation, anyone?
Median salary in Louisiana: $53,000
Major/degree required: Instrumentation or Process Technology (2yr)
This job is cool because: The job demand in the state of Louisiana is ever-present, major plant corporations offer good benefits for employees, there is always a need, you have opportunities to work both indoors and out on the field
You should look into this career path or major if you: Want a job in the industrial or chemical field but aren’t sure, or if you want a major where you can gain some experience before deciding what job you actually want to do.
A cool Instagram account you can follow: @plantmachineworks @tankoilandgas
Information Systems/IT Manager/Web Developer — If you don’t mind being the office’s “young person who knows technology”
Median salary in Louisiana:$57,000
Major/degree required: B.S. Computer Information Systems (4yr)
This job is cool because: There is an opportunity for variety in what you do, it’s an expanding field, and lots of job growth.
You should look into this career path or major if you: Have a knack for technology and want to be part of a growing field.
A cool Instagram account you can follow: @woman.engineer @plavookac
Construction Management — If you wanna do *all* the things
Median salary in Louisiana: $75,000
Major/degree required: B.S. Construction Management
An in-state school I can go to for this degree: University of Louisiana at Monroe has a focus program
This job is cool because: It’s super hands-on and there will always be a need.
You should look into this career path or major if you: Have a general interest in building and architecture but don’t want to go into an incredibly math-heavy or an engineering-heavy career.
A cool Instagram account you can follow: @bjwconstructionmgmt @go_construction_br
Electrician — If you’re looking to get through school and have a stable job, already!
Median salary in Louisiana: $50,000
Major/degree required: Certificate of Technical Studies (1-2yrs)
This job is cool because: There are many areas of work and diverse opportunities. There are benefits to being a unionized profession, and there’s good job security.
You should look into this career path or major if you: Are interested in general electric engineering or like variety and want to work with your hands.
A cool Instagram account you can follow: @worldofelectricians
Welding/Pipefitting — If you have a general interest in the field but want diverse opportunities
Median salary in Louisiana: $49,000
Major/degree required: Welding Technology Degree or Certificate (1-2yrs)
This job is cool because: Less schooling and less student debt than most career paths. It’s a needed profession which means there will always be jobs.
You should look into this career path or major if you: Are a hands-on person who wants variety in choosing what specific field they work in
A cool Instagram account you can follow: @cavemanwelder
See? There’s more out there than you might think. And not every career has to be one where you save lives or do things that are life-altering! You don’t have to be a doctor or a lawyer to feel fulfilled or to help people-- you just have to be what is best for YOU! So in the spirit of College Major Month, let us embark on our education with open minds, open hearts, and the courage to be different!
*Median salary information was gathered from Louisiana STAR Jobs and other reputable industry sources. Make sure you always use the most updated information.