Worst College Majors: How to help your child pick the best degree

ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) — When Tom Evans began college, his goal was become a filmmaker.  “When I was younger, I thought you went to film school and you turned your resume in when they were looking for directors.”

But, as Evans began his journey, he realized majoring in film might not be the best path, so he narrowed in on an anthropology degree.

“I had good advisors. I knew full well that a 4-year degree in anthropology, wasn’t a ‘you could go teach history at the high school, be a librarian,’ ” said Evans.

A year after graduation, Evans is working at Publix. “I work in the meat department at Publix, just cutting meat,” he said.

Both of Evans’ interests –film and anthropology–  top the Forbes.com list of worst college majors. The list is based on initial high unemployment rates and low initial outcomes. The website calls the majors the “least valuable”.

At the University of Tampa –where the average cost of tuition per year is $25,202, not including room and board–  professor of film studies Gregg Perkins tells News Channel 8 that parents and students should look beyond the Forbes list.

“Today, I think the market has broadened so much. There are people would’ve produced 20 Vimeo episodes and end up getting HBO contracts. This is a much more common thing,” said Perkins.He said while film majors are still in a very competitive major, the field is changing rapidly. He says the numbers of series produced for the web is skyrocketing.

“There’s over 400, so even if you were to binge watch one per day, you couldn’t get through them in an entire year. Which, I think points to the fact that there’s all these other opportunities for students to find ways to work,” said Perkins.

Polk State College Career Coordinator Pairris Jones said lists like this are important for parents and students to consider. “You don’t necessarily tell your child, ‘No don’t do that,’ because your child can become rebellious,” said Jones.

Instead, she recommends sitting down with your child and researching together.

“Then, the parent can take the time out and say, ‘I know you like a lot of money because you use up all of mine. Will this career provide you with the lifestyle that you want?’”

She also recommends having you child shadow someone who is trying to make it in that industry.

8 On Your Side gathered these helpful tips for parents from Polk State College Career Coordinator Pairris Jones

1.       Listen to your child and show interest when he/she expresses passion for a particular career path.

2.       Take the time to research careers with your child so he/she can make an educated decision about the future.

3.       Support your child.

4.       Continuously challenge your child to research what they aspire to become or do.

5.       Schedule opportunities for your child to shadow professionals in his/her area of interest. These learning experiences will help minimize indecisiveness and give your child a more clear understanding of the profession.

6.       Empower your child with knowledge by signing him/her up for professional workshops. Also, encourage your child to meet with career advisors and take a career assessment.

7.       Allow your child to embark on his/her own educational journey. When parents have a personal agenda for their child’s career choice, it causes stress and discouragement for the child.

8.       If your child is not receptive to you, consider asking a coach, guidance counselor, family friend, or other trusted adult to offer advice and support to your child as he/she weighs college and career decisions.

9.       Be patient. Each child is different and there are no set paths for success.

10.   Be transparent and share with your child how you decided on your educational and professional paths. Sometimes, children become less guarded when they hear that their parents are not perfect.

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