October 12, 2016

Vandeveer lecture explores why students change majors

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- It’s difficult to narrow down an exact statistic but experts estimate that approximately 75 percent of students change their majors at least once before graduation. 

Anyone who has changed majors knows it can lead to delayed graduation dates and credits that no longer apply. So why do so many students do it? 

Jamin Speer, assistant professor of economics at the University of Memphis, delivers a Vandeveer Chair Speaker Series lecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Friday, Oct. 14, addressing the issue: “Are Changes of Major Major Changes: The Roles of Grades, Gender and Preferences in College Major Switching.” The lecture begins at 3 p.m. in Faner Hall Room 4135. 

Speer is an expert in the economics of education and labor economics. In some of his recent publications, he examines job outlook and earning trends by majors, labor market conditions and career success by field of study and school-to-work transitions. 

The Vandeveer Chair Speaker Series highlights SIU economics experts and brings guest speakers to campus on a variety of topics, some specific to economics students and some designed for a general audience. The remaining two events of the semester are: Scott Gilbert, SIU, “Profit and Industrial Organization: A Financial Perspective” on Oct. 21, and Chao Gu from the University of Missouri at Columbia, “The Effects of Monetary Policy (and Other) Announcements” on Oct. 28. Both speakers begin at 3 p.m. in Faner Hall, Room 4135.