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Does Major = Career?

Declaring a major does not lock you into career field or limit you to a certain position (unless you want it to). Completing a major helps you develop depth of a field. Students develop transferable skills in any major, but taking advantage of  internship opportunities will help broaden your career options and professional network.
Does Major = Career? It doesn’t have to!

  • Myth: Picking your major= picking your career
  • Fact: 80% of people in today’s workforce are in career fields unrelated to their majors

Example of how major doesn’t = career

In the Career & Professional Development office, our staff possesses diverse academic backgrounds and undergraduate majors including Psychology, Human Services, Communications, Human Resources, Kinesiology and Radio-TV-Film to name a few.

Examples of how major does = career 

Meet some of our UW Oshkosh Alumni and find out what they had to say about how they ARE using their major in their current role.

  • Michelle Chitel – Social Work – Teen Center Coordinator at Boys & Girls Club
  • Jenny Kyzer – Sociology – Recruiter at SEEK Careers/Staffing
  • John Rank – Organizational Administration – Student Life Department Coordinator – Intercollegiate Sports
  • Chris Vue – Anthropology – Unit Director for the Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Valley at Roosevelt Middle School

For more information and a video message from each alumni click here.

Make Yourself a More Desirable Candidate

Check out this great blog post from the Campus Career Coach that echoes much of what is outlined here.

Step 1 | Prepare

Participate in career events, such as:

  • Mock Interviews
  • Career Fairs
  • Dining with Professionals
  • Workshop

Step 2 | Get Experience

Participate in internships, volunteer work, and join a campus organization!

Step 3 | Develop Transferable Skills

Transferable skills — such as communication, adabalibity, organization or collaboration, to name a few — can be developed in so many ways.

  • Part/Full Time Jobs
  • Internships
  • Volunteer Work
  • Class Projects
  • Leadership Opportunities
  • Campus Involvement
  • Family Duties

How to market yourself when applying for a job outside your degree area


Step 1 | Focus on Transferable Skills

1. Focus on transferable skills specific to the position

  • E.g: Critical thinking, problem solving, communication.
    • Resumes – Show how your experiences and skills will benefit the employer
    • Interview – Provide examples of your abilities that will be of value to the employer and be prepared to answer situation based questions

Step 2 | Define abilities you possess

2. Define abilities you possess.


  • Technologically savvy
  • Background in graphic design
  • Comfortable with computer programs
  • Marketing experience
  • Artistic

Step 3 | Use your resources

3. Use your internship/job search resources

  • Handshake
  • LinkedIn         
    • Complete your profile – Be sure to personalize it
    • Connect with people in your network
    • Make it easy for an employer to find you
    • Follow organizations of interest

Learn More

Learn more about Colleges and Majors at UWO.

To learn more about different occupations, check out the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Explore different careers and learn more about what careers may be a good fit for you: My Next Move

Related Links:

Career & Professional Development

(920) 424-2181

Student Success Center, Suite 125
750 Elmwood Ave.
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Oshkosh Campus

  • M–F: 7:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Fox Cities Campus Advisor Hours

  • Fox Cities Hours: Mondays (days will vary) in the Solution Center
  • Schedule appointments via Handshake
  • Services only offered when classes are in session during the fall and spring terms.