What's the most important thing a college student can do to ensure she'll have a job after graduation? The most common answer to that question lately: Pick the right major.

Major in science or engineering, you'll have no trouble finding work. Study the liberal arts or the humanities, and you're doomed. A recent BuzzFeed video takes this idea to its comic extreme. A bunch of underemployed liberal-arts graduates try to talk a group of college kids out of repeating their mistakes, "Scared Straight"-style.


A recent Pew study complicates this picture a little bit. It found that, yes, a third of college graduates who majored in social science, liberal arts or education regretted their decision. (In comparison, 24 percent of people with science and engineering degrees wish they'd studied something else.) But overall, when asked what they wish they'd done differently in college, "choosing a different major" wasn't the top answer.
近期的佩尤研究(Pew study)的结果使这个情况显得有些复杂。研究结果表明,是的,三分之一的社科、人文专业的大学毕业生对他们的决定感到后悔。(形成对比的是,24%的理工科学生倒是想换个专业学学看。)但是总的来说,当大学生们被问到如果可以的话,想在大学里做出哪些改变时,“换个专业”这个回答并没有排在答案的首位。

The most popular answer, given by half of all respondents, was "gaining more work experience."

Choosing a different major was the fourth most popular response, after "studying harder" and "looking for work sooner."

A possible lesson here: Picking a major with a real-world application might be overrated, at least as college graduates themselves see it.

What students really need is experience putting their knowledge to practical use while they're still in school.