I proudly admit I was a history major at Northwestern University. I did not pick my major with an eye towards a career. I picked my major because I love history. My parents fully supported my flight of fancy. They knew that my history courses taught me to read, write, and think critically, skills I would need in any job.
I graduated from college in a time when it was almost as hard to find a job as it is today. There were plenty of taxi drivers with advanced degrees just as today there are plenty of recent college grads working at the Apple store.
I still got a job and a great career even with a history degree. I parlayed my writing and thinking skills and my history degree into a labor relations job. A college friend with an art history degree developed a career as an architect and interior designer. We both got vocational training through graduate school. We both turned our passions into careers.
Not everyone agrees with me. I have heard parents roll their eyes (yes, I can hear eye rolling!) over their college student’s psychology or geology degrees. Parents investing thousands of dollars or students going into debt to pay for college prefer to see a more direct relationship between the course of study and the resulting job. Fair enough.
But not every person is oriented to accounting or engineering, fields where you can get vocational training in college. Working life is long, too long to work in a job you hate or to which you are poorly suited.
So go ahead and major in history if you love it. You will excel in your courses and learn valuable life and career skills. Then invest a little more in career coaching to turn your passions in a career you can love almost as much in the working world. Life is just too short.