Breadth beats speciality

Why you shouldn’t worry about what to study at uni.

Remember when you were small, how there was always an aunt or a grandparent asking you what you wanted to be when you grew up? Remember what you said?


And do you still want to be a ballet dancer or a footy player or a policeman?

Probably not. But that’s the thing about life – you’re going to change your mind about stuff. A lot. In 10 years’ time, the things that interest and excite now you are probably going to have changed, but here you are at the end of Year 12, expected to choose a degree that could lock you into a career for the rest of your life.

Well don’t panic, because it turns out employers are changing the way they look at things. Sure, they still want people who are good at what they do (obviously), and the focused skills you get from a degree tick that box. But if you don’t want to be stuck doing one thing, great – they don’t want that either. They’re much more interested in graduates with a wide range of skills, who can adapt to all kinds of situations.

That means when it comes to your degree, universities need to be more flexible too, and let you try out a broad range of subjects. At UWA, if you’re thinking about more than one possible career (or you’re just not sure what you’d like to do in the future), you can choose two completely different majors from a wide range of choices. Bachelor of Commerce student Matthew Kolomyjec is studying Finance and Computer Science, two options that offer separate career paths or could even be combined. His broad skill set has already got him a one-on-one meeting with Google to discuss graduate recruitment.

Uni is an incredible time where you are exposed to so many different people and different courses. Don’t follow the masses, find what you’re really passionate about. Life is meant to be enjoyed and you’ll never be happy if you’re always worrying about the next step.

Two majors seem a little much? UWA’s course model means you can stick to one major and still sample almost every subject imaginable. Our broadening units open up hundreds of skills from outside your major, so you can try things you haven’t done before. You can study Physics as a major with a side of Analytic Philosophy as a broadening unit. Or major in Psychological Science with a broadening unit in Social Media and the Law. Whatever subject you pick, you can still branch out in new directions (or even change completely if you decide what you’re studying isn’t for you).

So if you’re struggling to decide on your major, aim for something you’re passionate about and interested in – but don’t feel you have to be pinned down just yet. Take some subjects for a test drive at UWA, because you can never know too much.