An Important Finding to Guide Students in Choosing Their Career-Paths
In what many people might consider to be a shocking finding, the Gallup Poll reported, on Thursday, October 2nd, that America’s college and university graduates with “Business” degrees (including MBAs) are (1) more bored by their work, (2) unhappier, and (3) poorer, than are graduates with degrees in the other three major categories, which are:
“Social sciences/Education,” and
“Arts and Humanities.”
Here are the three categories of questions that were asked of 29,560 graduates in America, with B.A. or higher degrees:
1 (for measuring job-interest): “I am deeply interested in the work that I do.” (Agree or Disagree.)
2 (for measuring job-satisfaction): “I like [the work] I do every day,” and, “[At work] I learn or do something interesting every day.” (the two questions that are related to “Purpose Well-Being,” which Gallup uses internationally).
3 (for measuring job-pay): “I have enough money to do everything I want to do,” and, “In the last seven days, I have [not] worried about money.” (the two questions that are related to “Financial Well-Being,” which Gallup uses internationally).
Majors in the field of “Business” scored as the least-happy, in each of the three career-related categories of work-happiness. “Sciences/Engineering” scored at, or else tied for, the highest, in each of the three career-satisfaction categories (interest, satisfaction, and pay); but, the only really big difference that separated these four categories of careers from each other was the relatively big drop-off in each of these three satisfaction-measures, as was shown between “Business” majors on the one hand, versus the other three categories of majors on the other (those other three being more-closely grouped together, except for “Financial Well-Being,” where “Sciences/Engineering” was the clear stand-out, and the “Business” major was actually 1% higher than “Social sciences/Education,” which was 3% higher than “Arts and humanities”).
If anything is surprising about these poll-findings, it’s that: the consistent and substantial inferiority of the “Business” major, as compared to all others; and the consistent (and, regarding job-pay, the substantial) superiority of “Sciences/Engineering.”
This poll, of course, says nothing about an individual student’s particular areas of interest or areas of personal strengths and weaknesses, which ought also to be factored into the individual’s decisions as to which major should be pursued (if one isn’t oriented instead toward a technical field that doesn’t require any four-year degree at all). Obviously, any such career-path decision is, first and foremost, a decision about one’s own interests and abilities. However, after those are determined, consideration of this Gallup-poll’s findings should probably provide the remainder of a student’s guidance, regarding what would be the most-rational career-path to pursue, all things considered.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.