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Tips for Increasing Your Odds of Career Success After College

Some Facts About the Correlation Between Future Success and Your College Education (from Warren Bennis’ Becoming a Leader)

– Many of our country’s most successful people had liberal arts backgrounds. This includes roughly 38% of Chief Executive Officers and former Presidents such as Ronald Reagan

– Fewer and fewer of our country’s Chief Executive Officers are Ivy League graduates.

After lecturing at multiple universities and hiring recent college graduates both for my Sv388 own company and on behalf of my clients, here are some of my recommendations as to potential majors to choose, potential minors to combine with those majors, as well as majors that I would certainly avoid regardless of the school.

The Bottom Line: Do grades matter?

Yes. To start your career off the right way, you need to have a solid GPA on your resume. Personally, I would be hesitant to hire anybody who had a grade point average less than 3.3.

Poor grades can and will close a lot of doors. Getting good grades in college does not take a huge amount of discipline and is well worth the effort. Your major might be impressive per se, but a 3.0 or 2.8 GPA will shut the door to a major-relevant job just as quickly as a non-related degree – often, even more quickly.

The Bottom Line: Does finishing college matter?

Absolutely. Simply stated, companies will not hire those who do not finish college. There are too many college graduates for companies to justify even considering those who did not finish. A college degree in and of itself, of course, does not connote higher intelligence, greater competence, or even a better work ethic than those who got their diplomas. Regardless, most hiring parties use a bachelor’s degree as a (maybe arbitrary) minimum requirement.

Though, the bright side is that it is never too late to finish school and get your degree, though doing so in the current economy presents its own challenges. However, fail to finish college and there is not much of a bright side if you want to get into while collar related work.

The Bottom Line: Best Majors and Minors

Despite everything above, there are some hard and fast truths about the “best” majors and minors, if you plan on going into a professional career (as opposed to being a performer or artist by profession).

– In college, your minor should be for fun, not your major. I strongly recommend against simply majoring in, in lieu of either a double major or a minor, things such as acting or photography. With the latter, unless you are absolutely, 100% sure that you plan on making a career out of your study, all you’ll end up with is (often) heavy student debt and little to know practical business skill.

 

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