Deciding on a Major

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Stridder44, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    I've been trying to decide on a major for quite a while now. I'm about 2 semesters into college and still can't figure out where I would go. First it was Psychology, but decided against it after talking to several people who have their Ph.D's and say you pretty much have to go all the way (12 years) unless you want to become a school psychologist.

    Then I switched it to Business Marketing/Marketing, but every time I tell someone this I die a little inside and become less and less interested in it. I thought it would be cool to come up with advertisement campaigns that would promote a companies product, but meh. I have no idea what to go into.

    I love working with an audience, making people laugh, really just being able to entertain people. I love presentation, whether it's with a film, a game, anything big and loud that will affect and entertain a lot of people. Being in charge of something like that would be awesome! I'm currently (while continuing school) trying out acting, and I love it! But I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket by going for a BA in drama. I want to have a plan B (or plan BA if you will ;)). I guess I just wanted to get your insight or personal experience.
  2. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Why not major in Scientology Studies?

    I kid, I kid!
  3. goodtimes5 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
  4. Stridder44 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    You're right. Maybe I have too many thetans in my body or something and that's why I'm so lost. :rolleyes:
  5. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    . The most useful majors are engineering. But if that's not you, don't do it. . Just do what you enjoy for your undergrad. You don't have to go all the way in psychology in my opinion. Better to do psych, enjoy it and get good grades.

    Also, I heard doing an undergrad in business is one of the dumber things one can do - if you plan on doing an MBA later or even in general.
  6. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Major in Communications Studies (like me :p)
  7. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    With your degree in marketing you could get a job as an events planner, which sounds like it could fulfill the love quoted above. Maybe the reason you're dying inside is because you're thinking of other types of marketing? Could events planning be for you?
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    You could always get a teaching credential. It only adds an extra year if you coordinate it with your undergrad work, and (assuming they're not firing all the teachers like we're in the middle of here in California) is instantly marketable.

    Plus you'd get the chance to be in charge of something that entertains a bunch of people 180 days a year!
  9. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    I'm a Marketing/Business major and the degree by itself will look better than a Psychology degree or some other pointless degree. On the other hand though, many companies just want to see you got your undergrad and what you got it in wouldn't matter much.

    That will differ from company to company.

  10. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Go talk to your career center at your college. Most of them have some very nice little test you can take that help out and they are surprising at how good they are. These are not the ones you see online but some the schools shell out a fair amount of money for.

    On top of that talking to them about what you like they can guild you to what career field is good for you and which majors go well with it.
  11. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    This was exactly what I thought when he said he wanted to talk to people.

    You need to do PR work, seriously. Major in Communication Studies and minor in something like business. Just do what you enjoy, really.

    I agree it is hard to decide. I'm thinking of starting a PhD or going back for a second Master's and I'm having a hard time deciding if I do go for a second Masters what it will be in. For some reason though Psychology majors are just more driven liberal arts majors. I'm sorry but you are right, unless you go all the way it seems nearly pointless.
  12. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    Go for the Ph.D. in psychology and then you can entertain students when you teach.
  13. McGiord, Apr 3, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    go for other languages

    to be able to communicate/translate in other languages of your interest, in any field of experience, is always a professional advantage.
    Dodge 330 specifications
  14. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    I don't know where you heard that; behind Engineering and Computer Science majors economics and business majors are generally next in line for highest starting salaries (depending on your emphasis - Accounting, Finance, IT, Marketing, etc). Also, having an undergrad business degree can cut down the amount of units you have to take to get your MBA and in some cases allow you to obtain it in as little time as one year.

    Personally, I'm an accounting major and I love it. Its definitely not for everyone, but you get to work in teams often, solve problems, and put together budgets and financial statements. Its interesting. Job prospects are excellent as well: starting salary for a B.S. averages about $47,000 nationwide and for students from my school has been about $55,000 plus signing bonuses for students going to one of the big 4 firms. If you choose to get a M.S or an MBA your salary will increase. Personally, I'm leaning towards getting an M.S. straight out of college and then going on to my Ph.D from there and becoming a professor, but that's a couple years away.

    Good luck on your major quest, it took me a little while to find mine too.
  15. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Do something you enjoy, I don't know what major would fit what you described. Try to find something similar, even if it isn't exactly what you want.

    listen to Steve Jobs.

    It's about the journey, the experiences. I love that speech, one more reason to love Apple.
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you were going to go into Engineering or Computer Science you would have know that in high school. It seems there are two kinds of students. Those who can do match and those who can't. If you did not already run through the algabra through calulus math seriaes in high school you would have to make al of that plus the two years of Calc and diff eq. yo umissed at the university. it would take years.

    I have kids now. What I tell them is that if that don't take math (algabra, geometry, analytic geomery, trig and calc.) then they can not later deside to go into enginerring or the hard sciences. But if they do complete the five year high school math sequence then they will have more options later. Nothing wrong with libral arts I was a dual major in philosophy and comp sci./EE
  17. Agathon macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2004
    Do what you enjoy doing. You won't do as well at anything else.

    There are basically two choices.

    1. You can do a vocational degree, which will make it easier to find your first job and will likely result in a larger starting salary.

    2. You can do a non-vocational degree, which will make it harder to find your first job and will likely result in a lower starting salary.

    Most people will take #1, which is somewhat of an illusion. The long term salaries for #2 are on the average lower, for the simple reason that more women take degrees like that, and many of them end up not working or taking time off to raise a family (this is one of the big problems in our society).

    However, last time I looked, if you are any good, you will end up earning more in the long run if you do #2. Vocational degrees are tied to narrow fields of skill, whereas the other sort are tied to a much broader skill base. People often wonder what humanities degrees are for. Well, they teach you to think, speak and write coherently, as well as to solve qualitative rather than quantitative problems. If you look at our societies, there are a hell of a lot of jobs that need those skills. If you've ever read a report or business letter written by the average person, you will know why this is a valuable skill.

    It's the same within the sciences. Abstract fields like physics require a much greater degree of talent than applied fields.

    You can see this if you look at standardized test results. The students with the highest scores overall are those who take subjects like Physics, Philosophy and Economics. Lawyers, engineers and computer scientists score much lower on average (although Chemical Engineers do quite well). The reason is that Physics, Philosophy and Economics are much harder subjects and require a greater degree of intelligence to succeed in.

    Do what you want. Making long range plans is rather daft IMHO. When my parents entered the job market, the economy was very different than it is today. In another 20 years it may well have changed again.
  18. wvuwhat macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2007
    Communication Studies, FTW. I moved from business administration (and had that dying feeling inside) to sports management the to advertising, then finally settled on Communications with a minor in Advertising. I'm happier than ever and I enjoy the career freedoms that a degree in Communications offers, plus I enjoy learning about graphic design and all the things that go along with Advertising, so it was a natural choice.
  19. Agathon macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2004
    What on earth is Communication Studies? I swear that people are just making new subjects up.
  20. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    I disagree with this. I don't really think physics, philosophy, or economics are much harder than law, engineering, or computer science, nor do I think they require a greater degree of intelligence to succeed in. Most attorneys I know are equally intelligent to all the economics, philosophy, and physics professors I've had (strangely enough I've taken classes in all three). I think to succeed in anything you need to be intelligent, no matter the subject, and I think a lot of people at the college level and beyond are equally capable of succeeding in physics as they are at computer science, provided they are willing to put in the effort and have the desire. I've found, at least for me, that economics, law, physics, philosophy, accounting, geology, english, etc, all take similar intelligence to succeed in.

    Bottom line, do something you enjoy, no matter what others say about it.
  21. wvuwhat macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2007
    While I do agree with this. I have to say that there's a different skillset involved with each major. I consider myself intelligent, both in book and streetsmarts. I took some economics classes and did very well, but I didn't enjoy the math aspect. Call me crazy, but I don't want to be dealing with math for the rest of my life. I can get straight A's, but I lose interest very quickly. I think that people need to do what they want to do and they will show interest and succeed in their endeavors. Either way, it's better to be majoring in something that you enjoy in my opinion than just making their way to getting a degree and being stuck in something that doesn't interest them for the rest of their career.
  22. wvuwhat macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2007
    And, yes, I am drunk and I apologize for the terrible grammar. Do what you want, you can always find something you like and go to grad school. Which, I am doing...communication studies to law school...HURRAY!
  23. Agathon macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2004
    Then why do philosophers, economists and physicists smoke them on standardized tests like the GRE? If you wanted some independent test of academic aptitude, it would have to be something like that.
  24. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Well first off the GRE is more of a formatively for engineers so a lot of them do not give a hoot on the test.

    But you calling Philosophy and economics harder than engineering. Now that is a joke. A way to look at majors on how hard on is look at the average GPA and you will notice Engineers do not have the highest average. Very few students graduating with honors compared to lets say philosophy which very few graduated with out honors.

    2nd off half of the test is in a area engineers in general are horrible at. The math section is not hard enough to off set it and is still more friendly to the philosophers since logic is on the math side.
  25. Agathon macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2004
    Where's your evidence? The fact that Chemical Engineers seem to do quite well compared to all the other engineers would seem to count against this supposition (perhaps it attracts particularly smart people). IIRC the engineers do quite well compared to the computer scientists.

    Note that we aren't talking about all students, but those who were at least thinking of grad school. That's not going to be the C students.

    That's not a very convincing argument. GPAs may well differ according to subject. But that doesn't matter, since grades may well tend to be standardized within departments. I'm sure many English students receive high grades, but they don't do as well on the standardized test. The GRE, whatever its faults, is at least a common measure of aptitude.

    I'd have to say that many parts of Aristotle's Metaphysics would be a somewhat harder read than any engineering book I've seen.

    The kind of formal logic philosophers do has very little to do with the math section on the GRE. In any case, the GRE is specifically designed to measure intellectual aptitude. If it's authors could eliminate bias, they would. Whatever "it" is: the physicists, philosophers and economists (and some astronomers, IIRC) have more of it.

    One could mount a convincing argument that the current GRE is worse for engineers as it now includes an analytical writing section as opposed to the former exam, which included analytical puzzles. But that would make no difference, since the trends I have mentioned go back long before the changes were made to the GRE about a decade ago.

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