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  1. #1
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    Default Being Smart About Your Degree Choice

    This is mainly geared at TypeC members who are still in high school or in their first year at university.

    Understand that university lecturers will always tell you that their courses have practical applications, as it is in their interests to do this. Success stories abound on leaflets. The reality, however, is that some courses are far better investments of time, energy and of course, money, than others are. My situation is a bit unusual because I am accruing income from trusts, investments and some part time work, and have hardly any debt, but even I have made some bad decisions with arts papers. Composition for example is something I think it is better to do in my spare time, as only the basic theory can be taught at university - the rest depends on raw talent and using it.

    With online resources now available in many subjects for a fraction of the cost of attending a university, I don't see the need for people to attend many university courses anymore unless they are planning on entering the boring, stifling and self-censoring environment of academia. Subjects like politics and history are best just to read about in your spare time.

    Here is an article by Forbes looking at the ten worst college majors The 10 Worst College Majors - Forbes. Compare that list with the one of fifteen most valuable ones The 15 Most Valuable College Majors - Forbes.

    The top 10 best, in order:
    1. Biomedical Engineering
    2. Biochemistry
    3. Computer Science
    4. Software Engineering
    5. Environmental Engineering
    6. Civil Engineering
    7. Geology
    8. Management Information Systems
    9. Petroleum Engineering
    10. Applied Mathematics

    Do not be fooled into thinking that this just applies to the US, either. It doesn't.

    N.B. I wish I didn't have to make it explicit, but this is a serious thread. If you don't have something constructive to add just lurk in the shadows. You will be doing everybody a favour.
    Last edited by Kullervo; 07-25-2014 at 12:48 PM.

  2. #2
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Geology and Biochemistry - hard to believe imho. The remaining part of the list seems fair.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Geology and Biochemistry - hard to believe imho. The remaining part of the list seems fair.
    I can imagine many research projects in demand for biochemists (molecular biology, such as genetics) and geologists (anything earth/environment related).

    Like you maybe, I was surprised that medicine and law weren't mentioned, but perhaps there is an oversupply of young graduates in these professions.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    I got two out of ten of the worst. Who can beat me?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kullervo View Post
    1. Biochemical Engineering
    Biomedical, don't you mean? Quite a different from biochemical engineering.
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
    -Nikola Tesla

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    “What you make depends a lot on what you take,” says Anthony P. Carnevale, Ph.D., director of Georgetown’s CEW.
    “Most young people in college take whatever interests them, without thinking what it can really do for them.”
    The money you make depends on you, not a piece of paper.
    My degrees were thrown out in the trash years ago, along with the illusion that they actually matter when it comes to being successful in business.

    I disagree with that stick-up-the-ass fella. Take classes that interest you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kullervo View Post
    Here is an article by Forbes looking at the ten worst college majors The 10 Worst College Majors - Forbes. Compare that list with the one of fifteen most valuable ones The 15 Most Valuable College Majors - Forbes.
    Oh God, I think I cycled through literally half the list of "worst majors" in college.

    But yeah, if I had any advice, it'd be, get your head out of your idealism cloud, and at least pick a major with actual marketable skills. Don't float around trying to find your passion or "calling" in college. Time to be practical.

    If you already KNOW your passion, different story, but I find these people to be in the minority.

    sidenote: if you're passion is building toothpick models, maybe you should have a back up plan to actually get paid.
    I've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!

    Each thought's completely warped
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    Male johnnyyukon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I got two out of ten of the worst. Who can beat me?
    Me. See above.

    English, Anthropology, Graphic Design, English.
    I've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!

    Each thought's completely warped
    I'm like a walkin', talkin', ouija board.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    The money you make depends on you, not a piece of paper.
    My degrees were thrown out in the trash years ago, along with the illusion that they actually matter when it comes to being successful in business.

    I disagree with that stick-up-the-ass fella. Take classes that interest you.
    Sadly, not all of us can will whatever we want into existence. Those pieces of paper do matter.

    Deplorable as it is, I think universities are on their way to becoming training centers for market-oriented professions. Given this trend, which is hugely influenced by market demands, it makes more sense for young people to choose a subject that is likely to yield a good job later on than to pick one of personal interest like philosophy or literature, which, unfortunately, are far from interesting to employers.

    Luckily, we can nowadays train for a profession at university while pursuing our true vocation privately. With access to the internet and a library, everybody can now learn as much about almost any subject as they would in college.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyyukon View Post
    Me. See above.

    English, Anthropology, Graphic Design, English.
    Do you have a degree in all of these? And two in one?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Sadly, not all of us can will whatever we want into existence. Those pieces of paper do matter.

    Deplorable as it is, I think universities are on their way to becoming training centers for market-oriented professions. Given this trend, which is hugely influenced by market demands, it makes more sense for young people to choose a subject that is likely to yield a good job later on than to pick one of personal interest like philosophy or literature, which, unfortunately, are far from interesting to employers.

    Luckily, we can nowadays train for a profession at university while pursuing our true vocation privately. With access to the internet and a library, everybody can now learn as much about almost any subject as they would in college.


    Do you have a degree in all of these? And two in one?
    Oh you actually have your degree in those? I meant I officially changed my major to all 4. So no, I guess you win. Still. I was so dumb back then.
    I've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!

    Each thought's completely warped
    I'm like a walkin', talkin', ouija board.

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