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emteebee
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How did you choose the right major?

How many times did you change your major?

How long did you go to school (years)?

What degree did you obtain?

What do you do for a living?

What salaray bracket are You in?
a) 40k-50k
b) 50k-60k
c) 70k-80k
d) 80k +

This helps out a lot, thanks.
 

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Rollin' the dice
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I chose Biology; science is the only subject that I truly enjoy. I'm working my way to medical school, but I'm currently a sophomore. Don't worry about not being sure, you can take a few years of basics before you really have to decide what you want to do. Also, by experiencing classes you'll have a better idea of what you want to major in. Just pick something you enjoy...it'll make everything a lot easier.
 

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I went and tried to do Mech Engr. I choose that as I like to design and build things. I figuered I could make better designs with the information in the classes and eventually what I build might make me some money.:thumbsup: However I couldn't handle the last series of calculas and diff EQs, got mad at school and became a mechanic. 5yrs into being a mechanic and I was finally making what an engineer starting out makes and I was working a lot harder to do it.:madman: I have since decided to change to industrial tech and try again.:D

My words of wisdom are; Its ok to not know what you want to do, but find something you like and try to make that happen, its ok to change your mind and many students do that and lastly STAY IN SCHOOL! Above all else concentrate on getting the degree DONE. You will save yourself a lot of headache and wasted time, plus open up a lot of doors that wouldn't be available otherwise.

There are blue collar jobs that you can make decent money and sometimes great money at, but its not easy to get to that spot either. Its far easier to pursue a degree if you are young. Its also more fun when you are young and you can enjoy the rest of the college scene without many other cares in world(ie: kids, house, etc....).

Kevo

BTW, I've been pursueing college since 1995.
 

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Im really good at math, and strangely enough I enjoy it.
Im now 8 terms deep into my degree, and have about 2 years left.

The national guard pays for pretty much all of my school, and I live off my active duty GI-bill + a little working during the year.

-Dallas J
 

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I like to boogy.
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Well, my undergrad major has nothing to do with my current career, but it does come in handy once in a while. I graduated with a degree in Exercise Science (thought I was going to go on to become a Physical Therapist, didn't happen). I graduated in 5 years and had no idea what I wanted to do.

I took a job in sales and was up to 50k by my second year in 1998. Working 70 hours a week in a job I hated was not working, so I quit. Next I went to grad school to pursue a career in higher ed. I worked as a career counselor at a university for about 4 years, so I might be qualified to give you a few pointers.

1. There is no"right" major, so don't stress too much. If you find ten people who have your dream job and ask them how they got there they, there is a good chance they all studied different things in college.

2. Changing majors is a major pain. But do it if you are in something you hate.

3. I took five years to graduate. My brother took seven and a half. National average was around 4.5 last time I checked. Everyone moves at their own pace. Just make sure you aren't burning through your parents retirement plan so you can party every weekend and take the minimum amount of classes.

4. B.S. in Ex. Science, Masters in Education. Ever school offers something different. Listen to Bulldog and pick something you like. Your grades will be better if you study something you enjoy.

5. Work with college students.

6. Let's just say working with college student's doesn't pay a lot. But I love my job!

One more piece of advice. There is an old saying that goes something like this: "Don't let your books get in the way of your education." What it means is don't forget there is a lot to learn at this point in your life than can't be found in classes and books. Find ways to get involved in stuff you like outside off the class.
 

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I chose and stuck with mechanical engineering. I did 2 years at a community college and received an Associates of Applied Science degree there and then transferred to a Technical college for my bachelors of which I'm 12 credits away from. If you are mathematically challenged I'd steer clear of the technical majors, that is the part of the major that has caused the most amount of people to drop it and most take business as a back up. If you can, pick a major and stick with it, however as others have said it doesn't matter really in your first couple of years because it will mostly be Gen Ed classes. It does help though if you decide on a major and stick with it though, because you can get done on time... most of the people in my major end up taking 5 years of college for a 4 year degree, its pretty common. I have been applying locally for jobs and currently waiting for responses from several businesses. Hoping to be in the 40 - 45k bracket and work up from there. Good luck with whatever you choose and take the advice given... stay in school.
 

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Some things to think about...

I wish I would have taken the time to find out where all the jobs were located for those with the degree I chose. Better yet would have been if the educational system had brought this topic up at some point early on. I can't stand big city living. Jobs in more rural areas are much more difficult to find with my degree. Don't count on being able to get a job anywhere - look for the current hot spots & ask yourself if you would be happy living in one of them!

You can do just as well financially in life with or without a degree. With a degree, you will usually become financially secure sooner & before you start hating work than without. Of course some jobs require the degree & it is never a bad thing to have no matter what your goals are. It's a good experience, but has little to do with how happy you will be later in life.

Also, be sure to choose a field you feel some real passion for if you are a passionate sort of person. If you're passionate, it's hard to be happy doing anything unless you are given the opportunity to do the best you can at it. Not all jobs have room for people who really want to do things right the first time around. At the very least, not many necessarily reward such behavior despite their claims to the contrary. It's a lot easier to venture off on your own if you seriously enjoy what you do!

Another thing. Don't expect to make the right choice the first time around. It's completely normal to change your mind a few times the first year. That said, take the choice seriously by thinking about it (as you obviously are) often your first year. Don't get too caught up in goofing around with your new found freedom. Bad choices in your social life can really change the direction of your education quickly!
 

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Go to College!

How did you choose the right major?

How many times did you change your major?

How long did you go to school (years)?

What degree did you obtain?

What do you do for a living?

What salary bracket are You in?

1. Knew what I wanted to do.
2. Five but the last year was just to qualify for student loan to finish a couple of ratings.
3. Major/minor in aviation, minor in business
4. Corporate pilot.
5. Do something because you like it or it interests you.

FlynG
 

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I changed my major twice, changed schools once; spent 4 years at school #1, took a year off, then spent 3 years at school #2. I left a few units short of a degree and picked up a couple of classes here and there and finally earned my degree (industrial engineering). For the last 12 years I've been working in the quality engineering arena in a variety of industries.
The key is to get a degree. In most lines of work when you're just getting started a degree shows prospective employers that you know how to learn. That means that they can teach you the business. No one expects a recent grad to understand the real world, that's what experience is for.
 

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cmktech said:
How did you choose the right major?
Followed my heart/interests as that was the advice I was always given....example, you'll never work a day in your life if you do what you love.

How many times did you change your major?
three...started pre med as I was following money/prestige.....realized why I was doing pre-med and switched to pre vet as I really like animals, and they make money. It was sort of a compromise.... moved to NC to live on the beach and study marine biology. My heart was truly into that.

How long did you go to school (years)?
five years of school, with one semester off(to refocus after realizing my partying was getting a little out of hand:D ) One of those semsesters was used to obtain a second degree/double major.

What degree did you obtain?
B.S. Marine Bio B.S. Environmental Science

What do you do for a living?
I've done a lot of jobs since leaving college.....non of them has been related to my degree unfortunately. Except for one four month stint working with sage grouse in Utah, which was temporary and went nowhere afterwords.

What salaray bracket are You in?
e. none of above...most i've made since graduating has been 40k. And that was bartending.

My advice:

This will be very different than what most will tell you, but it is my take on it. Decide whether you a) really want to do x as a job, with future income potential not a factor and do that...getting as much experience/intern in the actual field as possible while in college. Working your way through college and not getting lots of loans sounds nice, but what you give up in ability to gain practical experience is not worth it...trust me. b)ignore your interests if they will not meet your future wants for income and quality of life. Instead find the career that has lots of jobs nationwide(so you can live wherever you wish/can always find employment wherever life takes you), pays well(meets your quality of life requirements), has a great job demand/future growth(so you can get hired immediately after graduation) and then do your passion in your spare time.

If you are one of the lucky ones then those two may both be attainable in your career choice(like an accountant who actually really likes to do accounting)...but for most they aren't. I may be a little cynical about it all....and don't let this hamper your spirits any but I know when I was younger and in college I just thought everything would end up working out. In hindsight, life really needs to be planned and thought out, and you really need to evaluate where you want to be in 5years, 10years etc and decide if what you are doing is going to get you there.

Sorry for the verbose response, I tried to condense it as best as I could. Anyways....just take all things with a grain of salt, and don't take too many of those idealized quotes you hear too seriously. Wish I hadn't. Needless to say, I am now studying for the gre and am heading back to school :mad:

Peace.
 

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cmktech said:
How did you choose the right major?
I had a vague idea going into school what I wanted to do (sports science) and therefore was able to pick a major, but I wasn't definite about the track until about 3rd year.

Major: mechanical kinesiology, pre-med
Minors: biology, chemistry, history
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cmktech said:
How many times did you change your major?
I was always Kinesiology but changed my track from exercise physiology to athletic training to mechanical during the first couple of years.
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cmktech said:
How long did you go to school (years)?
Undergrad: Five years including three summer sessions (thirteen semesters)
Medical school: Four years plus two years of Residency
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cmktech said:
What degree did you obtain?
Bachelors of Arts but went on to get a Doctorate

cmktech said:
What do you do for a living?
Podiatric Surgeon

cmktech said:
What salaray bracket are You in?
a) 40k-50k
b) 50k-60k
c) 70k-80k
d) 80k +
Ave. income for my profession is d) 80K+

Parting thoughts:
  • Go cheap on the undergrad, go huge on the graduate school.
  • You don't have to take [whatever class you're complaining about at the moment]. You chose to be there. Always remember the alternative of not going to college. It's good motivation.
  • Never let the words "Do I need this for my major?" part your lips. Educate yourself for the sake of education, not to look good on a resume.
  • Study a little bit frequently rather than a lot all at once and suddenly exams are easy.
  • Undergrad is the best freaking time in the world!
  • Don't go streaking and T.P. the Dean's house.
 

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cmktech said:
How did you choose the right major?
When I was in trade school, my teacher told me that I REALLY should go to college for engineering. Electrical Engineering seemed to be a natural step from electrician

cmktech said:
How many times did you change your major?
none.

cmktech said:
How long did you go to school (years)?
5 yrs. Seems to be the average for most engineers I know. You can do it in 4, but man it's a rough route.

cmktech said:
What degree did you obtain?
BSEE w/ a minor in math

cmktech said:
What do you do for a living?
Work for a public works facility on a military base doing designs for remodeling buildings, putting in generators, scopes and cost estimates or what else pops up.

cmktech said:
What salaray bracket are You in?
a) 40k-50k
b) 50k-60k
c) 70k-80k
d) 80k +
c

cmktech said:
This helps out a lot, thanks.
You're welcome
 

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Its slow so here are some answers

How did you choose the right major? - Never did. I'm not sure what the "right major" would even be for me. I do not work in either of my majors but, honestly, having a BA and a liberal arts education has paid off enormously in giving me an excellent understanding of the world.

How many times did you change your major? - Once. Political Science to History

How long did you go to school (years)? - (4) Full time undergraduate, (3) part time graduate

What degree did you obtain? - BA - History, MBA - Marketing

What do you do for a living? - Procurement

What salaray bracket are You in?
a) 40k-50k
b) 50k-60k
c) 70k-80k
d) 80k + - This one.

Almost as important as the money are the benefits. I have (30) days vacation, secure pension, secure job, excellent health care and little job related stress.

School certainly paid off for me anyway.
:thumbsup:
 

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The Quimby!
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366 Posts
G'day Cmktech :). I did my tertiary education in Australia, so I am not too familiar with the American "Major" system; but here goes my ramble anyway.

How did you choose the right major?

I chose to do Mechanical Engineering. This was an easy choice for me as I have wanted to be an engineer my entire life.

How many times did you change your major?

Never.

How long did you go to school (years)?

Four years.

What degree did you obtain?

Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering.

What do you do for a living?

Work as an Aircraft Mechanic for Cathay Pacific and a Research Associate at University.

What salary bracket are you in?
A) 40k-50k
B) 50k-60k
C) 70k-80k
D) 80k +

I haven't really earned any salary directly from my degree yet.

Parting thoughts;

- Don't be afraid if you spend a year or two or even three finding out what you want to do. I worked as an Aircraft Mechanic for 7 years before I started university / college at the age of 25.
- Do something you are interested in and have an aptitude for, as it is the only way you will get through 4 or 5 years of hard study. Don't do something purely for perceived status or money; you will lose interest and motivation very rapidly (No point being a high paid dentist if you can't stand looking inside peoples mouths all day).
- Don't go into a degree thinking it will necessarily end with you earning more than a blue collar job. The way I see it; the most priceless aspect of a degree is education, knowledge and the additional opportunity it provides.
- Work hard; if it hurts to do it today, it will hurt a whole lot more in the future because you didn't do it. There is no point prolonging your pain and misery by having to repeat subjects. Hit it hard the first time and put in as much effort as you can muster. By all means socialise, but put your study first and foremost. Hard work is much more critical for success in your studies than raw intelligence.
- Learn all the required course material. Anything you can't be bothered with is sure to turn up in a final exam.
- Appreciate it as one of the best experiences of your life :) !
 

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The Quimby!
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366 Posts
Rev Bubba said:
What salaray bracket are You in?
a) 40k-50k
b) 50k-60k
c) 70k-80k
d) 80k + - This one.

Almost as important as the money are the benefits. I have (30) days vacation, secure pension, secure job, excellent health care and little job related stress.

School certainly paid off for me anyway.
:thumbsup:
School certainly did pay off big time for you Rev Bubba :D ! US 80K+! You must be able to affort some blinged out rides :thumbsup: !
 

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A little home grown profiling..

How did you choose the right major?

I combined public policy and urban/regional planning

How many times did you change your major?

didnt

How long did you go to school (years)?

around 6 years between a Junior College and CSULB..

What degree did you obtain?

BA

What do you do for a living?

Im a Associate Planner for the state DOT
 

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Have a BS and MS in Wildlife Biology. Have one more year left to go on my PhD. Been in college 10 years this fall. Never changed my major, but don't sweat it if you have to. When I finally get out of school starting salary for my profession will probably range between 40-60K a year.

For whatever you decide to do take a look at the US Dept. of labors occupational outlook site (http://stats.bls.gov/oco/). Always find out from professors if you will need to get a graduae degree to make a decent wage.

Also, hard work is definitely the key to success, but being smart about it will lead to a happy career. Remember: Hard works begets hard work. Do't let employers use/abuse you.
 

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Belltown Brazer
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How did you choose the right major?

I was in love with sailing in my teens and wanted to design racing sailboats...so Naval Architecture. I went to a Maritime Academy, and also got a USCG engineer's license. School pretty much sucked, but that's because NYM gets you a Bachelor's of Engineering - 5 year degree in four years...along with the license.

I have never designed any kind of boat post college. No biggie...NA is basically structural engineering anyway. I used the USCG license portion of school a lot. Sailed in the Merchant Marine for a number of years. Then power plant work (power plants are the same system as ships, just spinning a generator instead of a prop...and you can go home at night).

It's tough to know what the heck you want to do at 17-18. You haven't seen or experienced anything yet. Your biggest years of personel growth are your 20's. Look at the job situation out there. Don't waste your time and $$$ on a degree that has a questionable use. If you have certain skills...writing or math or science, etc...look in those fields. Remember that the job is only one (very important) component of a life. Consider the lifestyle of the major...do you really want to be making 150K a year working in Manhattan 80 hours/week...never seeing the sunshine.

Engineering is pretty broad. You can do so many different things with a Mech engineering degree it's incredible. Everything from power plant stuff to auto design to bike design to building roads or rollercoasters. One of my profs told us that they don't actually teach you anything in undergrad engineering...the only thing you learn is how to think. You don't start learning something about something until graduate studies. I'm sure there is a correlation to this with humanities.

I guess what I'm trying to say is not to put too much pressure on yourself to pick the "right" major. As long as you're in a general field that you enjoy the rest will come along.

How many times did you change your major?

None in school. After graduating and working some jobs, I decided to go back to get my masters in Environmental Engineering.

How long did you go to school (years)?

Four years full time, five years part time.

What degree did you obtain?

See above.

What do you do for a living?

Environmental Engineer at an electric power plant.

What salaray bracket are You in?
a) 40k-50k
b) 50k-60k
c) 70k-80k
d) 80k +

d)

This helps out a lot, thanks.[/QUOTE]
 

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How did you choose the right major? IT CHOOSE ME

How many times did you change your major? NONE

How long did you go to school (years)?
COLLEGE 4 YEARS
MED SCHOOL 4 YEARS
RESIDENCY 4 YEARS

What degree did you obtain? M.D.

What do you do for a living? PHYSICIAN

What salaray bracket are You in?
a) 40k-50k
b) 50k-60k
c) 70k-80k
d) 80k +
E) THIS ONE

You left out an important question. HOW MUCH DID YOUR EDUCATION COST?
my total student loan is well over $200,000 (principle loan amount).

it was all worth it. now i can buy all the bike toys i want.
 
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