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How Do You Decide On the Right College Major?

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How Do You Decide On the Right College Major?

Old 04-23-08, 04:43 PM
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How Do You Decide On the Right College Major?

Spring semester is winding down and Summer is starting up soon, so I thought this might be an interesting topic.

I'm still early on in my studies, but I'm trying to think ahead. Right now I'm at a local CC and plan on transferring after 2 years so I can get some pre-reqs out of the way. My problem lies in what to do after. I have no idea what I want to major in. Is that bad?

I know a lot of recent college grads who majored in generic degree-paths like Communication, History, and such. All of them are still working at retail stores or in other positions they held in college because they can't find a good job. I don't want that to happen to me. I'm paying for school out-of-pocket (I'm not eligible for financial aid until I'm 24.. long story).. so I want to make sure I'm getting myself into something I will have the most satisfaction in the long run. People say money isn't everything, and I can understand that.. but let's be honest. People need to live comfortably.

I've always had a more than strong interest in film (movies are my life), but I'm not all keen on the whole Hollywood scene. I don't want to be homeless struggling for a decent paying job trying to make it big. That's not my thing. I don't really care for SoCal all too much and honestly when I'm done with school I plan on moving out of California. There's a Film and Media Studies program at one of the local unviersities, which I think may be interesting, but let's be honest.. what kind of job prospects would there be for someone with a Bachelor's in a focus on film.. that's not in California? I would think slim-to-none. But mind you it's not a film production major, it's a study of film and the media as a whole.. still.

That's where my main interest lies. I'm a decent writer. And I enjoy history. I wasn't a math and science kid in high school, and as much as I'd love to just pick right up on it and try something hardcore like engineering I don't think it's feasible.

So after rifling through my post, how did you come about your college major? Was it something you've always wanted to do, and are you happy with your life?

Also, if anyone can assist me with any advice on my dilemma.. I'd appreciate it.
Old 04-23-08, 04:48 PM
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in my case, you don't
Old 04-23-08, 04:52 PM
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mcfly

It sounds to me like you need to have a sit down meeting with a college counselor and ask these questions and not to a bunch of boobs on a DVD forum.

Your major is most likely going to be irrelevant 5 years down the road after college, UNLESS, it is an engineering degree or something more meaningful than communications or art history

Having a successful career is more about who you know than what you know. My advice would be to get out in the world and meet as many people as you possibly can (college is a great place for that ).

Figure out what you think you want to do for a living and do what it takes to get you there. Understand that you won't start out on top, but 5-10 years of hard work will get you to where you want to be if you can figure out where you want to be and stay focused. Try to find a school that has an intern program. If you are a quality employee, being an intern is the best way to prove that to a potential employer.

My guess is your friends working retail are just lost souls and have no clue what they want out life (in realistic terms) or how to get there, so they work retail, yiiippeeeee
Old 04-23-08, 04:55 PM
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You can major in boobs?
Old 04-23-08, 04:56 PM
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I don't think your major matters that much.. it's where your work experience is.. I know it can be a catch 22 since the work experience may based on the major. For example, my whole background is based on computers but I majored in English. I've never been denied of a computer job since I had so much experience in that field.. Whenever, an employer asked about the English major I explained that I didn';t like the computer classes my university had and really enjoyed English.

So don't think that just because you choose one major, you will be stuck in that field of employment for the rest of your life.
Old 04-23-08, 04:59 PM
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Get a major that is broadly useful, where you have to learn either useful information or how to be useful. And one with girls in it.
Old 04-23-08, 05:02 PM
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Most people choose after their sophomore year.

My advice is if you are worried about being able to find a job straight out of college, major in something that you know will lead to employment, such as sciences, engineering, or business. If you choose anything in the humanities (comm, pol sci, history, english) you better be prepared to work retail or go to grad school (this does not mean it is not possible to get a good job with one of these degrees, it just makes it a helluva lot harder). My next piece of advice is to do as many co-ops and internships as possible. This is the best way to network and make many important contacts. It is also the only thing that's kept me from working retail or going to grad school despite a humanities degree.
Old 04-23-08, 05:09 PM
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There is no "right" major - just pick something easy. You can always change it later. Try Art History (kinda useless) or English (also kinda useless)... most people who are in your position usually end up with a major in Communications. It's versatile enough for getting you into film or journalism, but it's somewhat of a throw-away major. The math requirement is easy as well.
Old 04-23-08, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Trigger
There is no "right" major...
Yes there is. It's engineering. Everything else is a waste of time.
Old 04-23-08, 05:32 PM
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I went for the one with the hottest chicks, and then went from there. I didn't want to major in dance...so that's out. Teaching is great, but not for me. Next up was psychology and business. I did them. I took some pre-med, but I'd much rather do academic stuff instead of cutting people and whatnot.
Old 04-23-08, 06:08 PM
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I went with the one with hairy pitted women who played rugby. I was young. Avoid the mistakes of the young.
Old 04-23-08, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by matta
Yes there is. It's engineering. Everything else is a waste of time.
Word! But his lack of interest in math my be a stumbling block.

What about packaging? It is like engineering lite, and there is a pretty high demand for graduates (at least from what I see around here).

I started out in elec. engineering, started considering environmental engineering, then briefly considered biology, then math, and back to elec. engineering.
Old 04-23-08, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
Word! But his lack of interest in math my be a stumbling block.

What about packaging? It is like engineering lite, and there is a pretty high demand for graduates (at least from what I see around here).

I started out in elec. engineering, started considering environmental engineering, then briefly considered biology, then math, and back to elec. engineering.
Well I've always found engineering to be interesting, depending what specific form of it, but being that I wasn't a strong math and science student in high school I thought it might not be worth the effort.

Then again, I had some crappy math and science teachers in high school and its been about 5 years since I've had ANY math or science. Maybe a fresh start could help..
Old 04-23-08, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
Word! But his lack of interest in math my be a stumbling block.

What about packaging? It is like engineering lite, and there is a pretty high demand for graduates (at least from what I see around here).
Or Materials & Logistics Management. Both my daughters graduated from that program although MSU may have changed the name since then.

They both got a lot of offers at graduation, and the more their companies outsource, the busier they are (and more secure their jobs).

I like matta's answer (engineering) but for those who don't like the intense math and science focus, MLM seems a pretty good field.
Old 04-23-08, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by matta
Yes there is. It's engineering. Everything else is a waste of time.
I'd say math or physics.
Old 04-23-08, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
I'd say math or physics.
Well then you're wrong. My comment wasn't a negotiation, it was the answer.
Old 04-23-08, 08:28 PM
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And by the way, I'm kidding. Although, engineering is a really good field because graduates have a lot of opportunities - probably more than any other field. Law schools love engineers, business schools love engineers, medical schools love engineers, consulting companies love engineers, manufacturing companies love engineers, etc.

Plus electrical engineering isn't that hard. El Scorcho did it.
Old 04-23-08, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
Or Materials & Logistics Management. Both my daughters graduated from that program although MSU may have changed the name since then.

They both got a lot of offers at graduation, and the more their companies outsource, the busier they are (and more secure their jobs).

I like matta's answer (engineering) but for those who don't like the intense math and science focus, MLM seems a pretty good field.
i never really liked math, or certain sciences like chemistry, but i ended up with an engineering major anyways. Funny thing is right now, i'm not using much of what i learned in school anyways. but it did help me get a job.
Old 04-23-08, 08:30 PM
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if you go into anything like literature, history, archeology or some other pure liberal art or science be prepared to go all the way for a phd to do anything other than get coffee for the phd's
Old 04-23-08, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
if you go into anything like literature, history, archeology or some other pure liberal art or science be prepared to go all the way for a phd to do anything other than get coffee for the phd's


Like liberal arts PhDs can afford store-prepared coffee.
Old 04-23-08, 08:47 PM
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OK, this is what I did, I picked a major before I even went, then I changed 8+ times, graduated with 2 degrees 8 years later, then decided I enjoyed psychology, reenrolled, and declared Psychology my major...Good luck!
Old 04-23-08, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Trigger
There is no "right" major - just pick something easy. You can always change it later. Try Art History (kinda useless) or English (also kinda useless)... most people who are in your position usually end up with a major in Communications. It's versatile enough for getting you into film or journalism, but it's somewhat of a throw-away major. The math requirement is easy as well.

LOL...my first 2 degrees were art history and English...
Old 04-23-08, 09:47 PM
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Can anyone give any examples of communication graduates having any success outside of jobs they could have gotten fresh out of high school?
Old 04-23-08, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by D.Pham00
i never really liked math, or certain sciences like chemistry, but i ended up with an engineering major anyways. Funny thing is right now, i'm not using much of what i learned in school anyways. but it did help me get a job.
Isn't that what a degree is? Not what you learn, but showing you have the ability to do so. Most places will teach you their method of doing things, and a college degree just shows you have the capability of learning the tasks.

I like OldDude's suggestion. I think they call it "Supply Chain Logistics" now.
http://www.bus.msu.edu/msc/documents..._Logistics.pdf

In addition MSU offers an engineering management degree. That is half engineering, half business. I think it may be called something like applied engineering as well.

Last edited by jonw9; 04-23-08 at 10:00 PM.
Old 04-23-08, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
I like OldDude's suggestion. I think they call it "Supply Chain Logistics" now.
http://www.bus.msu.edu/msc/documents..._Logistics.pdf
Lots of schools offer that degree as Supply Chain Management and Operations Management. Though, if you're going to do that, you might as well get an industrial engineering degree.

Stanford has a pretty decent program out there in Cali. Of course, it can't compete with Georgia Tech's program (#1 nationally for 18 consecutive years), but who really can?



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