"You Majored in What?" Now in Paperback

k_brooksThis May flocks of recent college grads will be polishing their resumes, prepping for interviews and priming their answers for The Question: “What are you going to do with that liberal arts major?”

According to Kate Brooks, liberal arts career services director, the answer is: Just about anything you want to do!

In “You Majored in What: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career” (Viking, 2009), Brooks helps students on the cusp of graduation make sense out of their overwhelming job search.

Contrary to the traditional myth that liberal arts majors are limited to few career options, Brooks explains how degrees in such fields as English, economics and history can be very marketable to future employers in various sectors. Through practical techniques including visual mapping, storytelling and experimenting, she shows readers how to plot out their career goals and translate their broad field of study in interviews and resumes.

Brooks uses the chaos theory to show students how to make new connections from the seeming chaos of their lives. One popular aspect of this theory is the butterfly effect: the notion that a small action now can have a dramatic effect in the future.


In a recent Washington Post story, Ivellisse Morales, a public relations major at Boston University, said …“I’ve managed to reasonably plan out my life, but for the undecided college student, ‘the butterfly effect’ is a savior. With colloquial yet comforting language, Katherine explains the need to know one’s self —skills, interests and talents— to find a job after graduation, no matter what major or circumstances…”

“You Majored in What?” is now available in paperback with an added appendix on job hunting in a recession.

For more career advise, visit Brooks’ Psychology Today blog Career Transitions.

Have you been asked The Question? What was your response? Post a comment and tell us about it.