By Carli Striker
Majors. One of the most important decisions that comes with college.
Majors can define employment, who gets into graduate school or which applicant has the competitive edge over the other. Such a crucial decision has already been made by some students at DHS. For senior Andrew Sheets, music and performing on stage has always been a significant part of his life and he plans to include it in his future as well.
“I’ve always wanted to excel [in music] and making a point of that career came naturally with increasing my skills,” Sheets said. “I’ve always wanted to be involved in music and I realized I’m better at general music than a specific instrument, and that would help me in production.”
Previously, Sheets wanted to become a musician but recently changed his mind about that dream, and now aspires to be a music producer and own a recording studio. A key factor of Sheets’ decision was the job expectancy after college.
“Last summer I was really thinking about a performing career, and how I can find a job as a professional saxophone player,” Sheets said.
“The career opportunity as a producer is a lot easier than a professional saxophone player. I could actually have a job as a producer and recording engineer rather than playing at coffee shops.”
To achieve this career, Sheets plans to major in music business and production.
Job expectancy was also a factor in senior Lizzie Wohlford’s decision to major in biochemistry.
“The thing is I want to find a job in the profession I want to go in,” Wohlford said. “[Biochemistry] fulfills all pre-requisites I need to enter graduate school if I choose dentistry or optometry rather than if I do just chemistry or biology. I get the best of both worlds.”
Wohlford also plans to minor in ethics and philosophy.
“You don’t get a job in [philosophy] by itself,” Wohlford said. “But the acceptance rate for philosophy into pre-professional programs is substantially higher because it proves you’re a critical thinker and if you’re in pre-med and making life and death decisions it’s how you reason through it.”
Kimmy Dean made a similar choice in majors, deciding to major in bio-medical engineering with the reasoning that she would be being able to go different directions with her degree after college.
“I chose biomedical engineering because if I don’t want to do more school I can go do another job,” Dean said. “I can go to med-school or become a veterinarian. If you go just pre-med you go can go a different direction it’s just much more difficult.”
DHS counselor Jill English talks with students who wish to go into a certain field, but either they or their parents are concerned with the notion that there’s difficulty in finding jobs associated with art.
“This often comes up with art,” English said. “Parents have a fear of how can they make a living. And in this situation people need more info. They can go online to colleges and see what majors they offer.
They can talk to people in the field and see what they do. They can connect with the staff in our school who are in involved in this field.
So basically this is about helping them become more informed.”
Senior Rebecca Ross has hopes of working in animation someday and chose to major in entertainment art and animation, basing her choice on advice given to her by a student who currently attends the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, the university that Ross is attending this fall.
“I always thought of Pixar because in my sketchbook I have Bambi, I have Balto and other Disney characters,” Ross said.
Ross did not make her decision on college and majors lightly though.
She explored other colleges such as Grand Valley State University to find where she could be the most successful. At the College for Creative Studies Ross will be open to more job opportunities as an animator after college than she would at another college.
“The teachers are from Pixar and since it’s centered in Detroit and with GM people come in, they always have internships, they’re always talking to workers,” Ross said. “So hopefully after four years I’ll be in an animation company.”
Sometimes, there is a misconception that artists are unable to find work, but Ross finds this untrue.
“Everyone thinks of the starving artist, but I don’t believe in that,” oss said. “If you get an education in art you’ll see more fields open up. At the CCS everyone pretty much gets a job.”
Ross explained that with her chosen major she could go into illustration, storyboard or character development. Ross made sure her major allowed her versatility with her career within an animation company.
“People are narrow minded when it comes to art,” Ross said. “They think fine art like museums and they think that’s all, but it’s a lot more than that, like t-shirt design, fashion andtransportation.”
Dean at one point wanted to go into art, and in ideal conditions would become an artist rather than going into the medical field.
“I would get my own studio, sit around, paint and sell my work,” Dean said.
However, she knows it would not be realistic to become an artist due to her future goals.
“When I imagine my future, I imagine it a certain way and I can’t do that if I become an artist,” Dean said. “I want to be able to take my kids to Florida or go skiing and I wouldn’t be able to do that.”
Fortunate students, such as Sheets, have found a career option that incorporates their old dreams into their future goals.
“When I own my own studio I can still play my saxophone and do what I love,” Sheets said.