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Covid-19 Causing Students To Reconsider Their Major at Middle Tennessee State University

DANIEL JONES, MTN Reporter

3/22/21

Like Tennessee's other metro areas, Nashville is feeling the wrath of Coronavirus as the region's unemployment has risen nearly three percentage points from November 2019 to November 2020, according to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The COVID-19 Pandemic has led to unemployment rates rising from 2.4 to 4.2 from November 2019 to November 2020. While this was the lowest out of the metro areas within the state of Tennessee, the rise in unemployment struck Middle Tennessee State University student Xavier Mastin close to home.


Xavier entered MTSU in the Fall of 2020 as a transfer student from Motlow University. Freshly off his 19th birthday, he thought he had his life planned out. With aspirations of being a sports radio host, he entered the sports media program at the school and was fully intent on graduating with a journalism degree. However, one morning he woke up and it just hit him. The job market simply was not secure enough for his liking.

While many Tennesseans were not aware of the rise in unemployment in Nashville, Xavier says that he was aware of the decline. This, partially, led him to his decision of changing his major from Journalism Sports Media to Physical Education with a minor in secondary education. While this might seem like a large jump, there are a few factors that made the change easy for Xavier.


He says that teaching has always been a passion of his, which reflects in work as he is employed within the Murfreesboro City Schools’ Extended School Program, shortened to ESP. ESP is a before and after school care program where employees help extend the education of children. With this passion, and knowing that he would need to have a teaching degree and certifications, he decided that it was time to switch his major.


While he has left the sports media program, he hasn’t necessarily shut the down on that career. He stated that he understands the possibility of freelancing and creating his own sports media content for entertainment on the side. But when it came down to it, he needed a guarantee of a job upon graduation, something that teaching gives him a better shot at.


Audio Transcript: Like Tennessee's other metro areas, Nashville is feeling the wrath of Coronavirus as the region's unemployment has risen nearly three percentage points from November 2019 to November 2020.

This unemployment spike hit close to home for Middle Tennessee State University student Xavier Mastin, who had to make the hard decision of changing his major due to the change in job market.

Xavier entered MTSU as a sports media student, but halfway through this first semester in the program realized that he wanted a career with a more secure job market. This led him to turn to another passion in his life: teaching.

He said that teaching had always been a passion of his and that a teaching job would open the door for a coaching job in football. However, he admits that he was aware of the job market in Nashville and that the decline in employment factored into his decision.

The door isn’t shut on his sports media dreams, though. He feels that he can create sports media content on the side, as a hobby of sorts, while working as a teacher. He just knew that he would need a teaching degree and additional certifications to become a teacher. He didn’t feel comfortable staying in sports media and leaving his future up to a gamble. While it was unfortunate that he had to make the choice to change his major, he was lucky enough to have a second passion to fall back on.


This was Daniel Jones with Middle Tennessee News.