For most students picking a major is a big decision that could potentially impact their entire future.
Janis Dietz, professor of business administration, said that is not necessarily true, in her lecture, “The Myth that Major Matters in Johnny’s Future” on Monday.
“My mantra here for the last 15 years has been ‘It doesn’t matter what you major in,’” Dietz said.
Her lecture was based on the question, “Does the choice of college and major have an effect on success?”
Dietz’s hypothesis was that there was no statistical correlation between major and type of college and total compensation.
“It’s the skills of communication, analysis, and teamwork that we learn that these colleges teach that matters,” Dietz said.
Dietz based her research on different CEOs on the Fortune 500 list, such as Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil. She researched where they went to college and which degree they attained.
She found that four out of the five tests she ran backed up her hypothesis.
The only statistic that was significant was that earning a graduate degree from an Ivy League institution affected the total sales of the company.
Based on the CEOs, she found that the attainment of a graduate degree is not statistically significant when it comes to the sales of a company and that a graduate degree from an Ivy League is not correlated with the total compensations of those CEOs.
She also said that if two people get into Harvard, but one ends up going to the University of La Verne, in 20 years they will end up in the same place.
“It’s what you do with the degree,” Dietz said. “Not where you get it from.”
“I agree with what she had to say, but it is something definitely worth looking into,” sophomore business administration major Nawal Atoura said.
Dietz said that the most important thing that a student can do to be successful is to know people.
“Networking. Networking. Networking,” Dietz said. “Get involved with clubs and get involved with internships.”
Dietz said that knowing someone who knows someone is very important to succeed not only in the business world but in any work field, and your major is not the key to successful networking.
“Do what you want to do because it makes you happy,” Dietz said. “Whether it’s in art or business.”
“When it comes to regular jobs I think major matters,” sophomore computer science Justin Olin said. “But it’s nice to know that I can become a CEO without a business degree.”
The best advice Dietz could give to students who do not know what to major in is to do what you love and when you get a job, show your bosses that it does not matter where you went to school.
“Do what you’re passionate about,” Dietz said.
“If you want to become a multi-millionaire by your mid 50s, there’s nothing standing in your way. Never stop. Give them more than they’re paying for,” Dietz said.
Elsie Ramos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.