Question of the Day

Is your current career in the same field that you majored in or studied for in school (ie college, trade school, etc.)?

I had a variety of different majors before settling on Computer Science and actually did work as a software developer for several years after college until I was laid off in 2002 and now I work in publishing. I do some light web work but it barely hits upon what most of what I studied in college.

What about you?


  1. I went to college as an architect major. I needed an elective in my freshman fall year, so I chose an intro to computers course (This was 1979, and knowing computers might be a good thing). I realized I had a real knack for programming, and switched majors. The rest is history.

  2. I majored in Physics with a minor in Math. However, I had poked around with computers since the age of 8, and when I graduated college in ’95, there was a lot more and better paying work in that field. Although physics certainly shares a mathematical/logical/organizational mode of thinking with programming, the specific skills are of course quite different. I basically had to learn the field of software engineering on my own.

    P.S. Physics and math are quite a bit more difficult than anything I’ve done with computers. My college education was like warming up with two bats.

  3. I have a degree in 3D animation. I’ve been working in apparel design for going on 5 years and I love it! Both are art related but very different.

  4. I also had a different variety of Majors until i settled for ‘Management Information Systems’ because it was the easiest and it really doesn’t require any studying at all, when compared with engineering and computer science courses.
    Now I am self employed and have never worked in my field!

  5. Huh, no. I majored in psychology, but ditched a chance at a PhD program to get married. Then spent 24 years on the radio, but radio jobs don’t fit well with single parenthood. Now blogging for a living, but looking for something more lucrative.

  6. DaveS, I have exactly the same major. I recently moved some books and looked at some “Advanced Mathematical Methods in Physics” and a couple of others. I don’t understand ANY of it anymore. Sheesh.

    No, I don’t work in any way or shape in my college degree. I did ONCE, though!

  7. Moon: DaveS, I have exactly the same major.

    Whomever you are responding to, it’s not me.

    I majored in Aerospace Engineering, the think I knew I wanted to do since I was about ten years old. I graduated with a BS in 1986, with a speciality in aircraft control systems analysis, right as the aerospace industry was collapsing on the heels of the end of the cold war, and though my first job was in the aerospace industry, doing software architecture document maintenance (busy work) for three months, and I never had a job in the industry again.

    I ended up as a Systems Engineer, which is what I’m doing now, and has virtually nothing to do with my college major.

    I can’t understand my junior year texts any more, either. I can still do calculus, but not diff-eq.

  8. @DaveS: Moon was responding to me. Sorry, we have the same first-name and last-initial. But I’ve had my handle for a long time, and it ain’t changin.

  9. More or less. I was an English major and now I work in publishing. It took me a few years to get to this point — and ideally, still, I’d be writing — but yeah, more or less.

  10. Majored in Psychology, minored in English, decided in my last semester that I didn’t want to keep going in Psych so focused on various writing-related jobs, discovered that wasn’t really where my passion lay either, currently working in the legal field after an abortive stint in law school. So…yes, but not really.

  11. I guess in a round about way I do what I went to ‘school’ for. I was a coast guard radioman so I learned the ins and outs of MF, HF and VHF communications as well as things like signal propigation, radio teletype, basic electronics and was certified at over 35wpm on Morse code. Eventually they changed ‘radioman’ to ‘telecommunications specialist’ although we still just did radios. I got assigned as the computer caretaker on the ship I was assigned to, took a liking/developed skill around it, got sent to additional schools and landed my next tour as a regional computer support person covering western Louisiana and east Texas – about 40 CG units. Eventually led to where I’m at today as an all-around computer specialist for an office. Had I stayed in the CG I would have transitioned to their new IT rating and done phones and computers.

  12. When I was in college, there was no major in computing. My school offered exactly three classes, BASIC, Cobol, and Fortran. I had no idea what those were. A friend of mine took all three classes and was instantly hired as a systems analyst after graduation. Those of us who didn’t take those classes never saw a computer on campus at all, though we did register by carrying our IBM punchcards around.

  13. I majored in professional photography and have been a photographer for thirty years now, so either I made a brilliant choice when I was 18 or I’m too inflexible to change course. It doesn’t matter, though, because I love my work and look forward to going into the studio every morning.

  14. English major… then various stints in all kinds of fields… now an editor of technical documents. So, yes, and I’m even decently paid. For an English major, making $ in your field is fairly exceptional. 🙂

  15. Communications Major = Communications Specialist

    BUT I’m going back to school to take some Web Master-type courses because every employer in the world believes Communications=Internet

  16. HA! DaveS confusion. I should have said daves561!!!

    I have the exact same combo as daves561 Physics major, math minor!

    Miss Cellania, are you a female Frasier, then? Giving out psychological advice on the radio?


  17. Wanted to be a writer. Majored in Computer Science. Now I’m an application developer, and jealous of people saying “I love my work and look forward to going into the studio every morning.” I like the money.

    I’m a whore?

  18. I started out as an animal science major, then switched to biology.

    You definitely do not make lots of money being a science major!

    I worked as an underpaid Vet tech for 5 years, and I am currently in the Lab animal industry. So…I guess you can say Im kinda doing something with my major, but I really wish I had gone to Vet school.

    Im 28 now…a little too old for vet school, but who knows…maybe in the future

    I would also enjoy doing something with pathology/histology

  19. Nope. Started in Finance and spent 18 years doing that, making a good living. Finally realized that teaching was my passion. I make a lot less now, but I’m much happier. My dad wanted to be a pilot, but was pushed by his parents to be a banker. He did become a banker but hated his life so much by the time he was 34 that he put a shotgun in his mouth. Now, when I see parents that push their kids to do something because it will pay well, instead of supporting them in doing what they love, I find it hard not to tell them how stupid that concept is.

  20. @Jessica

    (Long time lurker but felt like I had to speak up) You’re not too old for vet school! The average age in my second year class is 27, the oldest member started vet school at 41… Roughly half the class took a few years after college to live a little before starting.

  21. I was an art history major in college. I worked in arts education nonprofits for a few years after college, but ended up going to grad school at 27. Now I have what I consider my first ‘real’ job at 29, budget analyst for city government. I think philosophically I haven’t strayed too far from my initial nonprofit/public sector mentality, but obviously art history doesn’t ever come into play in the least with this job.

  22. Degree in Mechanical Engineering (loved school) and a job in construction. My job title is ‘Project Engineer’ but I don’t really design anything, so I feel like the ‘Engineer’ part is misleading.

    I agree with the ‘warming up with two bats’ comment. I certainly don’t encounter diff eq, dynamics, or complex systems/controls at work, but there’s a certain satisfaction in explaining basic double-entry accounting to my boss on a regular basis. (He was a buisness major-slash-dropout)

  23. Majored in English and clothing design. Was a reporter for the newspaper during college and for around six months after college…then oh yeah, recession hit.

    My current job has VERY little to do with either of those most of the time (data entry lackey), but about every other year or so I get to write stuff to put online. That’s about it.

  24. I majored in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and have been employed in the same since graduation (except for a 6-month stint at a Chinese wine company when I was studying mandarin)

  25. great question, i love to talk about myself. degree in Mechanical Engineering, worked in a related field (construction) during school. recruited by Ma Bell, sold my soul for a benefit package & a coupla dollars. 29 years later, I remain in the employ of The Desolate One.
    hope to retire from the phone company soon. with my sanity intact.
    i’m trying real hard, Ringo.

  26. Moon

    Miss Cellania, are you a female Frasier, then? Giving out psychological advice on the radio?

    Never did that, it was always music. Music is fun. I never thought I was qualified to give anyone advice!

  27. well i’m not done school yet. i’m in second year anthropology, my undergrad. though i have no idea what i want to do with it yet, but i think i’ll end up incorporating it in whatever i do. it can be tied into practically anything so even if i’m not technically hired as an anthropologist i’ll probably think anthropologically… which is what counts i think.

  28. Major in Philosophy, Minor in Eastern Religion. Never did become a lawyer, writer, professor or a full time Philosopher. Instead, I’ve been selling Volkswagens in Canada for 12 years. Oddly enough, it was the years as a Waiter and Bartender that gave me the best skills for customer service. As a very shy person this type of work forced me to talk to people and made me a little less shy.
    Philosophy gave me the logic, rich ideas and a good grasp of argumentation theory (not that argumentation theory makes you combatative, it just gives you a great mental toolbox to use when communicating with people). Consequently, I’m quite good at listening to what people are saying and not saying, then responding appropriately.

    To my delight, I also work with 4 other salesmen with diverse backgrounds; one’s a Theology grad and is a minister, one’s an English major, one’s a graphic artist and the last is a civil engineer. We are all car buffs and in our downtown we have great debates/discussions on everything. Never boring.

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