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Old 02-28-2010, 03:51 PM
 
297 posts, read 862,691 times
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I originally posted this in my "What will happen to the 10%+ unemployed in this country...?" thread but decided to make a whole new thread altogether.

What would you guys suggest for a high school senior who will be going to college next year (University of Texas at Austin) to pick for a major?

I got accepted to the McCombs School of Business but might actually want to pursue a Computer Science PhD. The future seems so nebulous to me that I fear that whichever way I go, I will end up regretting my decision.


It seems that computer science, especially at higher levels such as research, will be more exciting and meaningful, but it also seems that "the future of computer science for Americans" is such a controversy these days. Should I just play it safe and go with a BS/Masters accounting(and CPA later down the road)? I also do not wish to cause my parents trouble and pain later on in life if computer science really does turn out to be the wrong choice.
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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Okay, if it was me, I would go into pharmacy because it's very easy to get a job and the jobs pay very well, $85,000 to start and they will pay off college loans.

But since you never know the future, as soon as I got that degree and landed a nice paying job, I would start looking around for a back up career.
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
677 posts, read 1,541,965 times
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It seems like there really aren't any safe majors anymore. From education to liberal arts to business to computer science to the social sciences...I've heard them all bashed for some reason or another - usually lack of job opportunities. I've heard good things about the hard sciences (Chem, Bio, etc) and math, but that's a lot to take up if you aren't fully interested in it.

If you haven't even begun your post-secondary education yet, I would say just to go for what you are interested in. We can sit here and discuss unemployment rates until the cows come home, but in the end not one of us can predict what the employment rates will look like in four years. We can make educated guesses, but nothing is certain.

You have time on your side - I would just go for something that interests and motivates you. You could always look into double majoring if you're really worried - that would open a lot of doors for you.

Good luck with everything
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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While you can declare for a particular major when you start college, it's not set in stone.

Overall, I think you need to keep a focus that it's your life and your career that you will have to live with, not your parent's.

Getting into school, finding something that you're passionate about, and going on to be independent is what getting that degree is all about. You may even find that your first interests in college are not where you'd want to be in time ... which may lead to other degree paths, other job opportunities, other degrees to achieve your goals. You may find that a degree gives you critical thinking skills which may be used in entirely other ways, perhaps even starting your own business ... and that maybe even that degree wasn't needed at all.

Your independence and happiness is what it's all about. Do well at what you like and your parents should be satisfied to have given you the opportunity and that you've used it wisely.

You may also discover that your avocation and recreation can be combined ... and perhaps not necessarily the most financially rewarding compared to other career paths. But if you're doing what you like every day, then that's a better career path ... in my opinion ... than doing something you don't like just for the dollars.

Good luck with your choices and have a great adventure ....

Last edited by sunsprit; 02-28-2010 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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My degree is from UT-Austin.

You have some things going for you: (1) public university so it's cheaper; (2) McCombs is a nationally well-regarded business school; (3) you are still 4 years out (or more depending on grad school) from entering the job market so you might be in much better shape than someone graduating into the current job market; and (4) you have awareness that will prompt you to stay in tune with what is happening in the employment market and can make changes as needed as you go through school, unlike kids going to college with blinders on.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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I don't see how either a business or accounting degree is 'safe'. Nothing is safe anymore.

Don't live your parents' life, live your own.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:08 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 79,227,831 times
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There are sources of long term research into the paths that have the greatest record of success for college students. The biggest surprise, as I recall, is that the MAJOR is far less important that "achievement" -- the folks that major is something sorta non-employment oriented (like the classic "liberal arts") do just as well over long periods of time as those that major in "career track" things when you factor the whole lenght of a career.

That is why career counselors stress the "do what you love", but honestly what they should say "do what you can 'master'" -- so if your APITTUDES are geared toward the liberal arts and you come out with STELLAR grades you will have a great shot at getting into a demanding graduate program and continuing your success.

In contrast if you STRUGGLE to get a degree in a technical field (from quantitive / scienctific /health care care fields to CS to even education) you will face more competition for on-campus interviews, less ease to enter a professional program and greater job frustration.

Of course the factor of "demand" enters into the equation too -- thus for fields that experience shortages it is somewhat easier to get "a job" right after of the completion of the "in demand" degree, but OVER THE LONG HAUL if the talents to be successful in that field are NOT part of your appitudes things get tougher and tougher as time goes on.

While the Bureau of Labor of Statisics (BLS) has good data for the expected demand for various careers / majors it is wiser to invest as much as you can in determining where one's appititudes lie before you over committ to a particalur path.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:16 PM
 
1,465 posts, read 5,957,507 times
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Free advice:

Unfortunately I didn't have anybody to give me guidance or advice on this subject otherwise I would have traveled a much different path...

Look, its all one big game. Like everybody said it kind of doesn't matter, everybody can be disposable. What you wanna teach these kids is wealth, not education. I throw up every time i hear somebody say major or education...its not that, its occupation and wealth.

-Tell them to go into healthcare related fields that require extensive training. Jobs that require long training and time pay well and have much better security. So pharmacy, physician assistant, nursing, various doctors studies, and so forth.
-benefits are security, they work on contract, they can be consulted on the side and move into corporate america...and make massive amounts of dough doing it..

-the only other careers I can think of computer programming-web desgin, law, and accounting if you plan to get a cpa...

-but tell whoever the real key is ownership not a JOB...own your business. It makes your income unlimited and you'll be much more happy because you control your destiny....so become the ballet dancer, open a studio, become the artist-open a gallery, study non-profit-open your own organization..hell be the pizza man and open your own franchise...thats the real key ownership not job.....big difference...you'll learn more and be forced to lead and not wait for others to determine your fate....my 2 cents...
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:27 PM
 
Location: the good ol' USA where freedom rings
213 posts, read 397,053 times
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For the original poster, I would recommend that he go with computer science since that is what he desires. Do you what you desire and you will have a career rather than a job.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
677 posts, read 1,541,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippy7fo View Post

-but tell whoever the real key is ownership not a JOB...own your business. It makes your income unlimited and you'll be much more happy because you control your destiny....so become the ballet dancer, open a studio, become the artist-open a gallery, study non-profit-open your own organization..hell be the pizza man and open your own franchise...thats the real key ownership not job.....big difference...you'll learn more and be forced to lead and not wait for others to determine your fate....my 2 cents...
Agree 110%!
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