The new LinkedIn Field of Study Explorer is most valuable to students and parents as a tool for exploring possible career options for a particular college major.
It is particularly helpful for students considering liberal arts majors and the humanities because it shows their expansive use in the work world. It’s some form of proof (for skeptics) that jobs do exist for these majors, some with well-known, respected, and well-paying employers.
The Field of Study Explorer has some limitations (see below) but as long as students stick with using it as a “what can I do with a degree in ___” resource, it’s useful. Here is a short video about how to use it for that purpose.
The Explorer can also be useful for adults changing careers. What else can you do with law degree? Or a massage therapy degree? To what other career fields could you transition that you might not have considered? You may even find connections you could contact for an informational interview.
For more information, students looking at career options related to majors should look on their college’s career services website for a “what can I do with a major in ____” type of page. High school students can look at a nearby state university’s career services website. The University of North Carolina at Wilmington has a great one as does Kansas State University.
LinkedIn Field of Study Explorer Limitations:
The “Explore More” button has a random selection of majors – they are not related to the one you list in your profile. For example, my major was Politics. Yet “Explore More” recommended “Home Furnishings and Equipment Installation.” And no, I am not a furniture junkie. So you need to have a “short list” of majors that interest you, ideally ones that match your strongest Holland personality types.
I would not use the Field of Study Explorer to choose a college; in other words, ignore the “Where they went to school” as a limited data set. The more majors a school graduates is irrelevant to quality, even if LinkedIn’s data set were more representative of the U.S. as a whole.
- For more analysis, I recommend “The New Rankings,” in Inside HigherEd by Charlie Tyson.
- LinkedIn Blog’s announcement for the Field of Study Explorer.
- Using LinkedIn Alumni to explore career and majors, video on TheCareerKey YouTube channel;
- Career Key's Learn More about College Majors