Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A little academic humor - Suffering from college major remorse?

The headline of this article made me laugh out loud.  It discusses the benefits and pitfalls of several different college majors.  As parents prepare their children for the start of college in a little over a month, the article can provide some important discussion points.  Too often, students major in something that interests them without connecting it to an actual career and paycheck.  Perhaps some are destined to become perpetual graduate students, and some will head to college simply to get an MRS. degree.  However, it is important that, whether as parents or faculty advisors, we provide appropriate advice and guidance to all students that will prepare them to meet their goals. 

As a young college undergrad, I changed my major several times due to sort of an identity crisis during my freshman year.  Ultimately, I ended up majoring in psychology.  As I realized during my senior year of college, a bachelor's degree in psychology qualifies you to do pretty much...nothing.  Sure, there are some direct service positions that are appropriate for someone with this degree, but to get a higher-paying job that will enable you to buy a home and live comfortably, a graduate degree is pretty much a necessity.  I was thankful for my secondary major in biology, which helped to qualify me for different positions in the research and science world until I obtained graduate degrees and ultimately moved on to the grants administration field.  My point here is that, had someone spoken to me early on about what my degree would translate into in the real world, I may have made some different choices, such as pursuing a minor in business or undertaking a few more internships.  College is an expensive undertaking, and the last thing any aspiring student wants to do is spend thousands of dollars and be left with buyer's remorse.

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