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  1. #11
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    I think this would vary significantly based on what field you're planning on going into. For some fields, your degree doesn't matter. For others, it really, really does.

    In my case, my degree didn't matter much at all, but several of my unpaid internships were absolutely crucial. I wouldn't have my current job if it weren't for my unpaid internships. (It helped that my alma mater has some good name recognition, but I know for a fact that I would have gotten this job even if I'd graduated from an unknown school.)

    Edit: I recognize that not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford doing an unpaid internship. In those cases, I would still prioritize summer/semesterly jobs relevant to whatever field you're going into. Even work study jobs doing data entry for the admissions office will count as office experience later on. As long as you graduate with something marketable on your resume, your major shouldn't matter much.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Sadly, not all of us can will whatever we want into existence.
    If you want something badly enough, Nico, you'll make it happen.

    That in the year 2014 people are stuck in the rusty gear of thinking they have no choice but to consider what would interest an employer, is not exactly what I consider being smart. Perhaps they might consider that upon leaving college they will be self-employed, rather than being dependent on someone else for a job. There are some who leave college early to start their own business. A pal of mine left college in his junior year to start his own business. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well within, hardly something one suddenly imbibes from sitting in a classroom.

  3. #13
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    That in the year 2014 people are stuck in the rusty gear of thinking they have no choice but to consider what would interest an employer, is not exactly what I consider being smart. Perhaps they might consider that upon leaving college they will be self-employed, rather than being dependent on someone else for a job. There are some who leave college early to start their own business. A pal of mine left college in his junior year to start his own business. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well within, hardly something one suddenly imbibes from sitting in a classroom.
    For those with that entrepreneurial drive, that's true, and a great point.
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  4. #14
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I have an English degree which is one of the worst. But I do okay for myself and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

    I do hope my kids are drawn to fields that will position them for more likely job success, though. My daughter right now is interested in biochem but she's also a gifted musician with a knack for teaching (started giving cello lessons at age 13) and may decide to pursue music education. If she does that she will most likely need multiple income streams but she's had some good instruction in how to do that from her music teachers.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    If you want something badly enough, Nico, you'll make it happen.

    That in the year 2014 people are stuck in the rusty gear of thinking they have no choice but to consider what would interest an employer, is not exactly what I consider being smart. Perhaps they might consider that upon leaving college they will be self-employed, rather than being dependent on someone else for a job. There are some who leave college early to start their own business. A pal of mine left college in his junior year to start his own business. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well within, hardly something one suddenly imbibes from sitting in a classroom.
    A nation without employees where everyone runs his own business by himself...

  6. #16
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    I have my B.S. in chemistry, and am working on a PhD in organic chemistry currently. The sad truth of the matter is, a B.S. in chemistry is becoming more and more useless over time, and a MS or PhD is almost a requirement now adays.
    Part of the reason for this is there is an ever increasing glut of STEM majors, perperpetuated by the false-claim of a lack of them. What's lacking is quality STEM majors. There used to be a lack indeed, but now there's too many and many shouldn't be in it. Anyway, I digress.

    ALL majors really require some sort of experience external to education. Internships, externships, etc. something that gets your feet wet for a while. A degree is a piece of paper, but it doesn't really speak of the quality of it. I know fellow chem majors who made it, but should they actually have their degree? No. They did what was asked, but didn't actually learn anything.

    The issue is quality a lot of the time, and it's not entirely the students fault. The system is set up to track students to act in a way of "must make it to the gate!" and not actually care as much about learning.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    A nation without employees where everyone runs his own business by himself...
    Start a plantation and hire slaves. Keep those little bastards in line, Nico.

  8. #18
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    I changed my major for these reasons from one in the "worst" list to a more quantitative major that is not on either list but did get me a related job. I graduated not with the perfect marks I could have earned in my dream major, but with good ones nonetheless.

    I'm glad I made the choice I did because before I graduated, I was too self-sheltered to know or feel the value that money and livelihood have to me, and when I did get out, I learned that my degree of independence and what I produce comprises a lot of my self-concept as a personality, at least as much as my personal interests do. Looking back, that was obvious all my life, but it was only when I began looking for self-supporting employment that I grappled with it enough to become self-aware of it. If I were still struggling to find work today like one of my family members who stuck with a liberal arts major, I would not be mentally well. Today, I enjoy the job I have and am one of the better performers in it, but work on different, more impassioned projects when I get home.

    Maybe for some people in college who don't know what they're doing, they've just never supported themselves before, and under the pressure of independence, something would come to them. Not necessarily their dream career path, but something that would support what they as distinct individuals need most in life. Being solely responsible for netting one's instinctual needs tends to make what those needs are really, really clear. If I ever had children (I won't), I would encourage them to work and support their own lifestyles before college so that they would have that self-knowledge at the age that I needed it.

    On the other hand, the question of my major decision's authenticity bites me on occasion, and I still admire people who went after their love willing to suffer for it. Ironically...some seem to have grown up more in an interpersonal way than I did over their transition into the "real world". I have the proof I need of myself, but they don't need proof so much. I have misgivings about the effect that comfort has on me. Of course, many others who choose that path just don't make it.
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    Biomedical, don't you mean? Quite a different from biochemical engineering.
    My bad.

  10. #20
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    While I would say that speaking from purely money standpoints, yeah, what you choose determines a lot.

    If you're going for an education, you need to plan around that. A doctor can go to a nice school because they'll eventually pay that shit off. But if you're a doctor trying to help people in Africa for shit pay.. then you need to consider getting subsidized for your education somehow.

    I'm going to nursing school, and I wouldn't have made it through college without the army's help. I won't be in debt, and that's freed me up for working PRN (as needed) or overseas, which is the sort of schedule that suits me--lots of work in a little time and lots of time off in between. My current education would not have been worth it at a big prestigious school. I can get the same cert and degree at my state school in a 1 1/2 years.

    Being an artist is no less important than being a biochem engineer. But biochem engineers don't have to be as smart about their money as artists do. It's a trade-off. Money is not the most important part of the education, but denying it is important and needs to be accounted for is idealistic and foolish. People with 150k debts because they were art students at harvard are ridiculous.
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