Choosing a Major Means Choosing a Future
Choosing a major could be the most important decision a student makes in college—especially if they expect to get a job in their chosen field after graduation.
While the UA has more than 100 majors to choose from, according the the UA admissions website, some majors tend to attract more students.
Kinestheology has the most students, with more than 800 students enrolled with it as their primary major in 2011, according to the Office of Institutional Research.
“Career opportunities [for a kinestheology major] may include teaching physical education, coaching, analyzing and prescribing fitness programs, athletic training or preparation for professional programs in allied health,” according to the UA College of Education and Health Professions website.
The job market for people with degrees in education and health professions has remained relatively stable, with lower unemployment rates across the nation, according to the Georgetown University report Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal.
Majors with the highest unemployment rates nationally include architecture, with a national unemployment rate of nearly 14 percent, the arts with more than 11 percent unemployment and social science, with nearly 9 percent.
While kinestheology was the major that attracted the most students in 2011, even more students, about 900, remained undeclared in fall of last year, according to the Office of Institutional Research.
Some students are nervous about making the decision about what to major in, so they wait.
“I feel like it’s kind of a big decision,” said undeclared freshman Kelly Williams, “I just don’t want to choose one and change it a bunch of times.”
Another popular major, catering to a career with stable rates of unemployment, is childhood education, with 572 students enrolled last year, according to the Office of Institutional Research.
Freshman Nikki Baynes is more interested in the prospects of getting a job as a teacher, because teachers are always needed, she said.
“I switched majors from pre-dental hygiene to childhood education,” Baynes said.
For some, choosing a major that is closely tied to a specific career path seems risky.
“It can be worrisome to choose major that you can only do one thing with,” Williams said, “because what if in a few years that job isn’t needed anymore?”
For those who want to stay in northwest Arkansas, the biggest employers are Tyson, J.B. Hunt, Walmart, the UA and the public school systems, according to the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce website.