Students pursue majors despite uncertain job offerings, availability



Erin Coleman, junior international human rights major, chose her major because she was focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) issues when she was in high school.

“I enjoy my major because I really can’t picture myself majoring in anything else, even if it does seem to be an uncommon field of study,” Coleman said. “I guess I’m just concerned with other people on a global basis.”

Coleman was the president of her high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance during her junior and senior years. Genocide is also something she is interested in studying.

Trish Stoverink is a junior sociology and women’s and gender studies double major. She said curiosity about society, especially deviance in society, led her to her majors.

“I love learning about how things work together and the things you don’t necessarily see every day,” Stoverink said.

Erin Sappington, junior international human rights major, said she has experienced discrimination. This is why she chose her major over others.

“I think it is important to be socially conscious and to educate others on this awareness, while at the same time trying to alleviate tensions that arise due to differences among people,” Sappington said.

Stoverink said she doesn’t think her major will guarantee her a job right out of college. She has plans to go to graduate school for student affairs. Stoverink said she would like to work with minorities and also work in a women’s center at colleges or any multicultural center.

“I think my undergraduate (degree) will provide me with the information needed to work with these groups of people and will make me more marketable,” Stoverink said. “My graduate degree will provide me with the credentials I need to get a job.”

Sappington thought about majoring an international relations. Soon after she came to Webster and realized a human rights major was available, she decided it would be a better fit for her. She has second-guessed her decision, but she said everyone has.

Sappington also said she doesn’t think her major will guarantee her a job in the future, but counts on her passion and knowledge about her major to be able to find a good job.

“I have no idea what type of job I want to work at in the future,” Sappington said. “I am about to study abroad and I hope to focus my interests more so that I can make this choice and aim for it.”

Coleman said she plans to stay in school to get her Ph.D. She also would like to work at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague in the Netherlands. ICC is an independent organization that tries a person of serious crimes of international concern such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

At one point, Coleman wanted to work for the United Nations to try to change some of the policies within the establishment. However, she said it might become frustrating. She said the ICC is a perfect place for her to work.

Coleman said she doesn’t think her major will assure her a job in the future. She doesn’t believe any major will guarantee a job. But that isn’t going to stop her.

“I honestly don’t care,” Coleman said. “I’m doing what I love and I’ll continue to do it, even if in the future, I can only find volunteer work concerning my major.”

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