How to explain your major to an employer

When searching for jobs or internships, it’s important to remember that major often does not equal career title. In fact, prospective employers in your industry of interest may have never heard of your major or academic program. So, how do you make sure they know you have the skills and experience necessary for employment? The key is to talk about your major in the context of the career field or industry you are interested in. 

Not sure where to start? Consider the following questions when preparing to explain your major to a potential employer:

  • What do you want the employer to know about you and your academic experience and does your current explanation of your major provide them with that information?
  • What skills are necessary to your intended career path and how (specifically) has your major helped you develop them?
  • What three accomplishments from your academic experience would you include in your “highlight reel”? Focusing on accomplishments can help highlight your skills and provide more context for an employer. 

Remember, you are never going to be able to explain the entirety of a four year program to an employer during an interview – and that’s okay! Your goal is to explain how your major has provided you with the specific skills, knowledge, and experience necessary for the position you are applying to.

By Ellen Vibbard
Ellen Vibbard Senior Assistant Director, Career Education and Preparation