Openly defined majors raise questions of ultimate career
April 19, 2010 —
“You get a degree, but where it takes you, you’ll never know,” said Jim Dwyer, assistant vice president for student services.
Of course, students know the routine: go to school and take lots of classes and end up with a degree. Some have a clear path of what they want to do, while others worry that there is only one option for their degree.
But Dwyer said paths need not be so clear, that students instead should find something that they are passionate about and go from there.
“Do something while you are here to create opportunities, and doors will open that you never knew existed,” he said.
Networking is one of the key aspects in discovering what is out there, he said, adding that, for many students, getting out of their comfort zone and becoming involved is what will help them to find a sense of purpose in life.
SVSU offers 11 graduate programs and 70 undergraduate, and any area of expertise can be broken down to find a suitable career.
Some majors aren’t clear on what jobs they can work in with their degree.
When it comes to theater and fine arts, it may not be as well known what a student can do. In theater, according to its professors, many opportunities exist besides acting.
“In the past, most theater students would go look to perform,” said Ric Roberts, an associate professor of theater, “but now, 75 percent go on to graduate school.”
The latest frontier for theater students, he said, are new jobs arising with technology.
“The biggest area of work right now is in voiceovers for video games or animations,” Roberts said, adding that the market is brand new and offers many job opportunities. But traditional options remain, including stage management and costuming.
Justin Berkobien, an SVSU theater alumnus, is working in Chicago and has starred in several major productions, including the musical “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.” Berkobien is now involved in the pilot for an upcoming television series.
Katrina Murrell, a fine arts freshman concentrating on graphic design, wants to own her own firm. “But in the meantime,” she said, “I plan on working with signage or a company just to get experience.”
Another major known for its wide range is professional and technical writing. Students in the program can develop skills in marketing, editing, publication or even web development.
“There are lots of options available for students,” said Brei Noble, an admissions counselor. “We encourage everyone to work with the connections in the University to create opportunities that get you experiences with your major.”
Career Planning and Placement offers resources to gather in-depth information about a degree.
“We have a link — svsu.edu/careers — that allows students to really explore their area of expertise,” said Megan Biskup, assistant director.
The website breaks down each program into a range of possible jobs. It also offers a focus test that shows students what they could look into.
But the real chances, Dwyer said, come from the student’s own initiative.
“Make opportunities,” he said, “and things will happen.”