Major & Career Choice (1 Viewer)

Aug 1, 2003
17,675
#1
Hallo.

First of all I apologize if similar threads have been made. To be honest, I didn't bother looking if this forum had similar threads. You could always lock it right ? :D

Now, I know it's a bit early, but I've been picking my brains out on a certain issue : After this year, I'll have one more year to go at high school, and after that I'm out. Sounds fun, yes, and I feel glad to graduate at the age of 16.

But after that, what then ? What am I gonna do for my A-Levels? What am I gonna major in at university ? Which uni am I going to ?

I know it's too early to think bout these things but with one more year to go I just want to plan out things.

So my question is, how did you guys choose what you wanted to major in ? What are the factors ?

I'll start.
There are several courses I'm interested in - Marine Biology, Zoology, Language & Linguistics, Ancient History, Theology & Religion, International Affairs and Relations, Law & European Studies.

Unis that I want to go to : OXFORD. Which is impossible. Bah.

The problem is ?

1. I can never major in those things. For one thing, scholarships WILL NEVER be given to those who want to major in 'arts' subjects. and I NEED a scholarship. Second, the government doesn't really approve of marine biology and zoology (science subjects), they prefer medicine etc.

2. How the hell am I going to get into Oxford anyway?

3. The career prospect of all mentioned majors are very bad. They're SO not popular in my country

Did you guys face the same problems ? I want to do something , but I can't do it because there's just no future to it.

ARGH
 

BigIzz

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2002
1,088
#2
I studied political science, which is pretty useless. But I loved it and was very good at it, so I majored in it. Why would I want to major in something I didn't like. Then I would end up with a job that I didn't like and who wants that? So my advice would be to study what you enjoy and not what you think will get you a good job. Most of what you learn in school isn't all that important anyway, its more the learning process that will benefit you. Learning how to read and write (at high levels), learning how to work with others, meeting deadlines, that sort of thing. The actual facts you learn aren't nearly as important as that stuff.

Ten years later, there is a good chance your job won't be at all related to your major. My father was a Zoology major actually and now he is a Probation Officer. You never know where life will take you, so I say go to college and enjoy yourself and if you are intelligent and work hard, everything will fall into place.

As for my "useless" major, it isn't looking like I am going to have too difficult of a time. I may not land an amazing job right out of school but I care more what job I will have years down the road, when I have bills to pay and a family to feed then what job I will have in a few months.
 

Dragon

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2003
27,407
#3
I just graduated and have no clue what I want to major in. I think I want Chemical Engineering but Im not sure. I wanted fashion design but my family wouldnt let me. Im starting to like International relations but now its too late because I didnt apply to the university that offers it.

My advise to you would be to major in biology (if you want marine biology) and then do a degree or specialization in marine biology

If not you could major in International Relations and then you could get a degree in theology. Or study law and then do a degree in international law
 

mikhail

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2003
9,569
#4
I found myself drawn to history and philosophy, engineering, pure maths or psychology. That's three options, between which there was little enough to chose in terms of how much I liked them.

I picked engineering, the hardest of the four courses, but the one which gives me the most career options, and the best job prospects. I guess I'm lucky in the sense that I live close to a major university, and we have a free fees scheme in Ireland at the moment (though they're trying to change that).
 

kurvengeflüster

********* a.D.
Jan 24, 2004
2,179
#5
So my question is, how did you guys choose what you wanted to major in ? What are the factors ?
It's quite clever to think about your future as early as possible. At school I participated in almost every course dealing with biology cuz my objective was to become a scientist or something like that. But know I ended up at an university of media management. And being honest I'm very comfortable here. Why I changed my mind? I really can't say that - this was more a long chain of "belly-decisions" (what is the English word for that? :) )

And another circumstance was the fact that (at least here in Germany) it is very unplausible to work at the job you majored in. So I thought to study media management would be better because it offers me a greater range of options for my future.

Well, that wasn't really a help for you but that's the way I did it.

Nevertheless good luck for your choice! :)
 

mikhail

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2003
9,569
#7
++ [ originally posted by fabiana ] ++
I just graduated and have no clue what I want to major in. I think I want Chemical Engineering but Im not sure. I wanted fashion design but my family wouldnt let me. Im starting to like International relations but now its too late because I didnt apply to the university that offers it.
Take a year out and apply next year. If you really want to do something else, you'll never settle in chem eng.
 

Dragon

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2003
27,407
#8
++ [ originally posted by mikhail ] ++

Take a year out and apply next year. If you really want to do something else, you'll never settle in chem eng.
Thats what Im going to do. Im going to study english in Boston until march and I hope that then Ill know what I wanna do

I like Chemical Engineering and I think its quite interesting, but I also like Systems Engineering.

I also like Social Communication and International Relations but those are a bit too "humanistic" for me...
 
OP
OP
sallyinzaghi
Aug 1, 2003
17,675
#9
It sounds so easy and I really want to do what I like, to hell with what the government wants, but I just can't afford that - you have NO idea how competitive things are now, even if I get straight 10 A1s I probably am not eligible to get a scholarship.

And scholarships are just liimited for those who want to do scientific courses, like computing science and medics. and the great news is ? I suck in Maths and Science. Well I'm not terrible, I do get the results when required but it really isn't my thing.

The other scholarship they offer is engineering. That is something that I definitely WON'T do, although I hear its closely related to physics and I love physics

Scholarship is everything to me. If I don't get a scholarship, I won't get to go overseas because it's too expensive. I really want to study in England, esp. Oxford (but impossible), and I need to get a scholarship to do that. But if I do get a scholarship, I would be doing something I'm not-so-good at, although I could survive it, and also I would have to work for the company that gave me scholarship in the first place for around 5 years. That sucks.

And when I look at the prospectus, brochures on all the scientific courses ... I tell you it's nothing that I'm interested in. THe closest thing that I like about science are animals, biology and physics (but I suck in maths hence I suck in physics, but I love it very much)

Does universities really look at your extra curricular activities ?
 

mikhail

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2003
9,569
#10
++ [ originally posted by fabiana ] ++
Thats what Im going to do. Im going to study english in Boston until march and I hope that then Ill know what I wanna do

I like Chemical Engineering and I think its quite interesting, but I also like Systems Engineering.

I also like Social Communication and International Relations but those are a bit too "humanistic" for me...
Whatever you do, don't waste that year. Read about the courses you're interested. Talk to students and lecturers in the courses you're interested in. Ask them what they do, how they like it, what jobs they want to do (or did in the past), what research the departments look at. Read a couple of chapters off the recommended reading for the "humanistic" courses. Don't walk into a course uninformed - I did, and while I don't regret my choice, I could have.
 

Dragon

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2003
27,407
#11
Ok if you wanna study overseas you could do something like this

Im going to Boston University to study english in a course they offer in english as a second language and Ive heard that if you do that course (they also prepare you for the TOEFL and SATs if you want) you have a really high opportunity to get accepted at BU to study a career. Im not going to do it because the tuition in an american university is like $50,000 per year and here its like 500% less

You could check out the websites of the universities youre interested in and see if they offer anything like that
 

Zlatan

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2003
23,023
#12
Great question Sally, I'm in the same position.

The problem is, there is nothing I really want to do... I'm thinking about law or management, but I still havent decided anything.
 

Dragon

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2003
27,407
#13
++ [ originally posted by Zlatan ] ++


The problem is, there is nothing I really want to do... I'm thinking about law or management, but I still havent decided anything.
Same here!!! although Im almost sure it'll be Chem Engineering


Sally if you like traveling then go for International Relation and you could end up working in an embassy anywhere in the world, or in the UN
 

BigIzz

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2002
1,088
#14
The way I think of my politcal science degree is that while there may not be a set career path for me to follow, I can do a lot of things with it. It isn't limited at all. The more focused majors will put you on a pretty set career path with less room for deviation, so you had better be sure you enjoy doing it.

Anyway, you can always change your major. It may mean more school and in turn, more money, but it isn't the end of the world. Heck I transfered schools and was still able to graduate easily in four years.

Again though, don't do something just because you think it will get you a good job if you won't like doing it. There are many many more important things in this world then money. Think how great it would be to have a job that you loved, so you looked forward to going to work everyday. Would it really matter that it paid a little less then another job you couldn't stand? It wouldn't be a contest for me. Follow your heart and your interests and be confident it will work out.
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,836
#15
sally, first of all it's not too early to think about what you want to do later. The more decided you are right now the more you can already get into the field, the more competitive you will be in college. If your choices are tied down to those where you can get a scholarship, then maybe you don't have a choice in the full range of possible majors but that's just a fact of life then. It's also pretty important to consider what kind of work you can get with each degree cause I know a lot of people pay a lot more attention to their major than they do to their future job options. Which is a bit short sighted.

But even if you can't choose right now, it's good that you keep thinking about it and some time or another you will probably decide. You could, of course, read up a little on the choices you're considering, look at the websites for those colleges and the pages for those majors, see what courses are being given and what you like about them. That way you get something concrete out of your research.

I'll be a computer science bachelor next year but when I was choosing a major/college I didn't have a very good idea of what I would be doing, because once you get started your perspective is a much better one. I'm happy to say I made the right choice thou. :)

++ [ originally posted by kurvengeflüster ] ++
"belly-decisions" (what is the English word for that? :) )
gut feeling :)
 

Stu

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
17,556
#16
Try to pursue a career as an actuary. Don't ask me what I know about it because I'm only aware of the fact that they have little to no social life and waste a number of years passing exams to become an actuary, BUT, when they do become an official actuary they earn shitloads of money :greedy:
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,836
#17
ac·tu·ar·y Audio pronunciation of "actuary" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kch-r)
n. pl. ac·tu·ar·ies

A statistician who computes insurance risks and premiums.

Sounds dull but whatever. :D
 

Erkka

Senior Member
Mar 31, 2004
3,863
#18
I share your problem, I have only one year left of my school and then I'll go to army for a year, but I really don't know what I'll do after that... Since I'm great nearly in everything (honestly... :D) it's really difficult to choose... Right now it looks like I'm going to study law or I'll become economist or a diploma engineer... University it is anyway...
 

Trezeguet_FC

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2003
1,888
#19
++ [ originally posted by Stuart ] ++
Try to pursue a career as an actuary. Don't ask me what I know about it because I'm only aware of the fact that they have little to no social life and waste a number of years passing exams to become an actuary, BUT, when they do become an official actuary they earn shitloads of money :greedy:
INSANLY GOOD CAREER! My sister is studying that in University of Toronto now. She told me that almost 50% of people either drop out or fail in their first few years. Now I'm just waiting to see how she does ;)

Its said to be one of the highest paid jobs in the world. A very rare career too, you dont see much people talking about it, nor even knowing what it is. Oh, I remember when my sister was trying to explain it to my parents :LOL: And my dad is supposedly and "electrical engineer". ;)

But my advice to anyone, get a degree in Math or Physics ;) BEAUTIFUL! absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Math and Physics are the most elegant courses I have ever taken. The way they work dumbfounds me. Forget literature, politics or history. :D

Well I am planning on getting a degree in Math/Physics then heading to medical/dental/optometry school from there. Depending on what I feel suits me better. I was planning on the whole Actuary thing, but I dont know about that anymore...
 

Trezeguet_FC

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2003
1,888
#20
++ [ originally posted by sallyinzaghi ] ++

Does universities really look at your extra curricular activities ?

Well I know here in North America, universities really look hardly are your extra curricular activities mainly the service/volunteer work aspect of it. Its pretty much along with high grades, the best thing you can have in order to get a decent scholarship.
 

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