Between Passion, Job and Department: Can We Choose All Three?

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Freshmen of Universitas Airlangga, hopefully no one chooses "wrong majors". (Photo: Bambang Bes)

“I studied in political major, working in a bank as a front linerHowever, actually I really want to work in Education, especially teaching children “.

The statement is not only made by a few alumni. There are a lot of graduates who felt that what they do after college is the opposite of what they want to do. The general term is choosing wrong majors.

But it is not merely about choosing wrong majors. Choosing wrong majors means when someone’s interest is A but he studies in B. However, in this case, the interest is in A, they study in department B, and work in the field of C. So, they had chosen the wrong majors and also chose the wrong jobs.

In Indonesia, based on Indonesia Career Center Network (ICCN) research in 2017, 87% of Indonesian students admitted that the majors they took did not match their interests or in other words they choose wrong majors ( Baranews . Co / blog , 2017). The percentage is very large, as well as the irony that most Indonesian students did not study in accordance with their interest or passion .

As a result, in doing their academic activities they tend to apply “as long as it is finished” principle, without any desire to do their best in their study. A lot of students have had enough of it and will take the majors according to what they were interested in initially.

There are several factors that affect people to choose the wrong majors or even the wrong jobs. Parents as counselors also have a great role in preventing and / or guiding the child to get their education and get the job they want.

However, it should be underlined that there are indeed considerations that cause someone to deliberately or forced to choose “wrong majors and jobs”. One of them was described by Lynn O ‘Shaugnessy (2013) in “New Study Shows Careers and College Majors Often Do not Match” ( www . CBSNews . Com ) that students tend to choose mainstream majors  such as medicine, economics, law, accounting and so on even though they do not match with their interests and desires.

In this regard, after graduation, in terms of quantity, the alumni can easily choose a job in the job market, so the post-graduation unemployment period does not last long. This is a rational factor because non- mainstream majors are less needed in the job market.

On the other hand, students who choose non-mainstream majors, although it matches with their interests and capabilities, are difficult to find suitable jobs in the job market. For example, an alumnus majoring in International Relations who has an interest and talent to be a diplomat, or an alumni majoring in politics who want to be a politician or political analysis, of course the profession is not easily sought in mainstream job vacancies If any, of course it is very limited compared to the number of graduates. Even when they want to work outside their majors, they have to compete with other people in different majors as it requires “All Undergraduate Programs” qualifications.

Entrepeneurship Program

As a response to this phenomenon, a lot of universities then promote entrepeneurship program as one solution to minimize unemployment. Various assistance and competency improvement are held in collaboration with companies, both on large and small scale.

But in reality, only a small portion of entrepreneurship programs are successfully taken out of campus. The lack of continuous coaching, both from universities and other parties, makes alumni struggle alone in winning the competition off college.

Furthermore, not all the students’ desire, whether match or not with the majors, can be developed into an entrepreneurial industry. The concept of entrepreneurship should not also be the main focus of the university’s policy makers in eliminating unemployment of alumni or students.

Because essentially, the university is a formal place of learning in which the holistic discipline develops through various research activities. That is why the final student assignment is a thesis whose content is the result of research of a problem, not the industry.

There is no definitive answer regarding the incompatibility between passion / interest, department and job for each alumni. Any decision taken will certainly have an impact on the next option. Students who take majors according to their interests may not be able to find a job that matches both. So also with the student who choose “wrong majors”, they do not necessarily get a job that they do not like.

This is where the importance of awareness of prospective students to determine the choice that is really desirable, so there is no compulsion in doing its obligations. If something is forced, then the result would be less than the best and it can cause regret.

It is different when doing something according to interests. There is no burden and they are always motivated to do the best, then success can be achieved without having to be driven by others.

Being honest with yourself is an important key in making decisions for the future. It is not wrong to work in a field that does not match with the department and interests, but do we really want that kind of work? Also, do you really want to take the majors? In the end, choose whatever you desire so there is no burdens and regrets in the future. (*)

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Media komunikasi dan informasi seputar kampus Universitas Airlangga (Unair).

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