Relate majors to careers
Career Ideas for Different Majors
Many students want to understand the connection between their field of study and specific occupations. Though some of you will work in a profession directly related to your major, others will find jobs because you have a college degree and possess qualities and skills that employers value. It is important to remember that these skills can be developed not only through course work, but by doing internships, getting involved in campus activities and working part-time.
Below we feature the most popular majors at Stony Brook and SOME typical career paths for each to get you started. You can also look at "Great Jobs for ....... Majors" book series in the Career Library.
Click here for the full list of majors offered by Stony Brook University.
- Africana Studies
- American Studies
- Applied Math and Statistics
- Art History
- Asian and Asian American Studies
- Athletic Training
- Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
- Chemical & Molecular Engineering
- Cinema & Cultural Studies
- Classical Civilization
- Coastal Environmental Studies
- Comparative Literature
- Computer Science
- Earth and Space Sciences
- Ecosystems and Human Impact
- Education and Teacher Certification Resources
- Environmental Design, Policy and Planning
- Environmental Humanities
- Environmental Studies
- European Studies
- French Language and Literature
- German Language and Literature
- Health Science
- Italian Studies
- Judaic Studies
- Marine Science
- Marine Vertebrate Biology
- Political Science
- Religious Studies
- Spanish Language and Literature
- Studio Art
- Sustainability Studies
- Theatre Arts
- Women's Studies
How Majors and Careers are Related
Deciding on a major, whether you are choosing one or contemplating a change, can be a daunting task, especially when you are trying to connect the major to some future career. Sometimes, the relationship between the two can look linear:
MAJOR -> CAREER
For example, Stony Brook’s major in journalism would prepare you to be a journalist; the major in chemical engineering would prepare you to be a chemical engineer. But would you be surprised to know that, more often than not, the relationship between major and career looks something like this?
This picture is harder to understand, right? That’s because the relationship is indirect and more complicated than you’d probably expect. The purpose of a liberal arts education, like the one you’re getting at Stony Brook, is less to give you hard job skills than to teach you how to do things like write well and think critically – transferable skills that are essential in almost any job. Because of this, every major leads to a wide variety of career options. For example, did you know that studio art majors can become doctors (if they complete the requirements for medical school)?
As in the second picture, your major is only ONE part of what your future employer or graduate school will consider when you apply: the key is to combine your academic study with experience that adds to your skills and refines your interests.
But your major will most likely have a direct effect on your feelings of academic engagement, your passion for learning, and your overall satisfaction with college – so you should still choose carefully! How do you start the selection process? Here are some steps you can take:
- Look at the list of available majors to see what your options are.
- Get more thorough and detailed information about majors of interest: checklist [doc]
- Look at transferable skills you are gaining with any major
You can also:
- Attend a workshop at the Career Center. Use the event calendar and filter by workshops to see when they are offered.
- Enroll in CAR 110
- Take a self- assessment inventory
- Schedule an appointment with a career counselor
- Browse through our many resources, in print at the Career Center and online throughout this website