emily cooney headshot [temporary]

As college students, we all have to choose our major eventually. This can be a rather difficult decision for many, especially if you don’t want to go into a STEM-related field. This is primarily due to the fact that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors are often viewed as superior for an abundance of reasons that tend to focus on discrediting all other majors. Many have heard the tired old argument that non-STEM careers are “never going to find a high-paying job” or “don’t work nearly as hard.”

As a communication media and Spanish double major, I’ve heard countless remarks similar to this throughout my college career. Some people have commented on the fact that choosing two humanities and social science majors is not the smartest decision considering the job market does not prioritize these. Others have said statements such as “Oh well, you’re bound to find something,” or “That’s good; it must be easy,” which may be intended as a nice comment but in reality feels backhanded.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for many non-STEM majors, and while these comments have come from random people, advisors and even professors I have met in passing that do not hold a true importance in my life, the remarks can be hurtful and make anyone feel inferior for not choosing a STEM major.

The idea that non-STEM majors are inferior has persisted for long enough and the claims that they are less capable, less intelligent or less likely to get a job after graduation are simply false. The truth is the possibilities are limitless for all college graduates in today’s job market, especially considering many non-STEM majors provide a broad education that can lead to many different careers.

Personally, my decision to double major in communication media and Spanish was easy because I’ve wanted to become an international journalist for a long time now, and believe the options are endless if I decide to change my career path later on. The fact is that I am passionate about both subjects and am earning a degree in them with specific career goals in mind.

This is true for college students of all majors. We all came to our decision of what to study in college with a purpose, which in itself validates us all as equals to one another as we are all earning our undergraduate degrees.

The world needs both STEM and non-STEM majors. We certainly need STEM majors to build upon our knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math. But we also need reporters, authors, artists, teachers, filmmakers — the list goes on — and we must realize both industries have value in their own way.

We’ve become too caught up in who’s better and need to realize every student should be able to feel proud of their major as it’s likely important to them. There’s no reason to discredit anyone’s major choice as the fact is it’s their choice, not anyone else's. We all are working hard toward our degrees and have the right to choose something we are passionate about, which is incredible.

So the next time someone asks the possibly most asked question in college, “What’s your major?” answer with pride and confidence, as you should.

I am a third year studying Communication with a concentration in Media and Spanish. I started writing for Technician this summer of 2020 as a correspondent.