McNick students decide career paths, popular college majors

Many students struggle with the decision of what their future will entail, specifically which career choice they will make. With college rapidly approaching, seniors scramble to find the most fitting college major for them. According to CNBC, the top five majors chosen by students in 2017 were, in order: Business, health professions, social sciences, psychology, and biological sciences. To give students a sense of where each major can lead, the Milestone found two career paths for each major that might offer some inspiration for graduating seniors.


Accountants and auditors are well associated with a bachelor’s degree in business. These careers involve working with taxes and financial records, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( Director of Counseling and College Readiness Alaina Way said that “if you like numbers and analyzing data, this would be a good job for you.” Typically, these jobs do not require training on-the-job nor work experience relating to business, according to The site added that the median pay for 2017 was $33.34 an hour and the job outlook, meaning the availability in the job market, was 10%.

Appraisers and assessors of real estate is an occupation obtainable after a bachelor’s degree in business and “long-term on-the-job training,” according to With an outlook of 14%, this job offers a median of $25.97 per hour. Responsibilities could include estimating the value of real estate and working in real estate sales. Senior Nick Carter plans to pursue real estate due to his enjoyment of marketing, although he said the career is “not for everybody.”

Health Professions

With a job outlook of 23% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, athletic trainers in the health profession identify and treat physical injuries. A common work environment for athletic trainers, according to, are places such as schools and universities. Athletic trainer Michael McCafferty said, “On a daily basis, generally, I work on paper work and making appointments in the morning. My day [at McNick] generally begins at one [o’clock]. After school is out, I have athletes come in for evaluations, then after that I watch practices and games.”

Athletic trainers receive an annual median pay of $46,630, although it often varies depending on the specific position, and requires a bachelor’s degree. “In college, the athletic training curriculum is very informational. You have to learn a lot but also have to commit it to memory,” McCafferty said. “You are going to take a lot of science and anatomy classes all at once while getting hours while doing course work, so time management is the biggest thing to graduate on time and also to get your clinical cycles done on time.” He added that “this profession is not for everyone – you need to be quick on your feet and a problem solver… but if you’re interested in the healthcare field and want to work with people of all ages, then this field is good for you.”

Majors in health professions can also take a specific area of expertise, such as audiologists, who examine and treat issues involving the ear. Way said that the benefits “would be [working] with people and [helping] them. There’s also an investigative part, figuring what is wrong [with a patient] and doing different diagnosis tests to help people.” Specific occupations like audiology often requires a doctoral or professional degree, according to, and make a median hourly pay of $36.50. Common workplaces for audiologists include hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Social Sciences

One side of the social sciences is agricultural and food science, whose technicians work with scientists by inspecting cultivation and food. They require an associate’s degree and “moderate-term on-the-job training,” according to Senior Lexi Gauger plans to study at the University of Kentucky, majoring in sustainable agriculture. “I am interested in [sustainability] because I feel like if we did so much to the earth through agriculture, we can also heal the earth through agriculture,” she said. “I think that other students would find that agriculture is a large-reaching subject and there’s some component that would reach everyone.” According to, the median pay for the field is $19.19 per hour, although it varied widely, and the job outlook is 6%. Common workplaces include greenhouses, farms, and labs, the site added.

A more common field of social sciences is sociology. Sociologists study human behaviors by observing people and their communication with others. With a master’s degree, said that this profession makes a median pay of $79,650. “The people who are successful in sociology are inquisitive in a macro level,” Way said. “[Sociologists] have to have an analytical mind in a broad sense.”


Majors in psychology can lead to work in human resource departments. A human resources manager works with a company or organization carrying out actions such as interviewing and hiring workers, helping workers communicate with management, and creating plans for the organization, according to The site added that the job lookout is at 9%, and, with a bachelor’s degree, the annual median pay can be $110,120. Way said that a human resource manager “has to be good with working with people” and “has to be confident and be able to stand up for people, such as when people come to you with concerns, you have to be able to address them.”

Psychologists, in addition to having their own practice, can work in the military. Air Force Psychologists, for example, counsel active members or veterans of the Air Force. According to, this occupation requires a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a doctorate in counseling or clinical psychology. These counselors often work with those suffering from PTSD, the site added. “[This career] would be a good way to combine psychology and military if your interests include both,” Way said. added that, depending on ranking and experience, wages vary, some salaries being $33,941 and others rising to $88,178.

Biological Sciences

One biological science, zoology, is the study of the lives and behaviors of animals. According to, zoology degrees come in a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D, and require the ability to problem solve, make decisions, and learn actively. Senior Kiely Round has decided to pursue zoology, she said, because “I’ve always loved animals and always wanted to be a vet, so I chose zoology in hopes to go to grad school to go into veterinary medicine.” She added, “I hope to go to Africa and study the big cats abroad.” also stated that the median salary as of 2015 was $59,680 annually, and the job often requires prior experience. Round said, “I volunteer at an animal shelter where I can watch surgeries and view interactions between vets and the patients. I go to see anything between broken bones to cancer to euthanasia.”

Microbiology is another type of biological science, the study of tiny living things. According to, the median annual pay of a microbiologist is about $61,000. The site added that the tasks of a microbiologist are broad, spanning from researching diseases, analyzing data, conducting tests, and contributing to the advancement of microbiological technology. “I recommend [this occupation] to people who want to learn how the world works and why it does,” Way said.

McNicholas school counselor Kaitlyn Richter assists senior Bryce Miller on finding the career path that is right for him. Counselor are open to discussion with all students on their future occupations and college decisions.

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