As stress piles up, students pick money-making majors

Danielle Nordine

In today’s uncertain economy, many students are choosing majors in fields that guarantee them stability and money, rather than those they find interesting.

According to University enrollment information, the number of students in the Carlson School of Management, the technology program and the medicine program has increased steadily over the past five years.

However, enrollment in the College of Liberal Arts and other programs, such as design, has decreased.

Nick Barnett, a first-year student at the Carlson School said if future salary wasn’t an issue he would definitely study music. However, he said he chose to enroll in the Carlson School because it offers more stable careers.

He also enrolled in the honors program because it gives him “recognition,” he said.

Enrollment in the honors program is becoming increasingly appealing to many students because of its prestige and opportunities.

Many of the University’s honors programs offer smaller class sizes, distinction upon graduation, one-on-one advising and earlier access to internship and job opportunities.

But being an honors student can also add to the stress of being in college.

Lindsay Prowizor, a first-year finance student in the honors program, said she would be a teacher if money weren’t a factor. She said she’s in the honors program because it looks good on a résumé and will help her get a good job.

On the other hand, first-year student Mark Billingsley said he chose to study horn performance because he loves music and wants to become a professional musician.

He worries about money, he said, but wants to do what he enjoys.

Billingsley said he didn’t join the honors program because he didn’t want to deal with the extra classes and added pressure.

However, despite pursuing a major that interests him and not being in the honors program, he said his stress level is still extremely high.

As students graduate, incomes vary depending on their area of study at the University. Statistics regarding Minnesota incomes in 2004 show the average annual income for a business professional is $56,760, while the average income for a middle school teacher is $42,540.