Cory6188
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One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Wed May 16, 2007 1:13 pm

One thing that Career Services has repeatedly drilled into our heads, even as freshmen, is that we should give absolutely no concern to what we major in while in college. They've repeatedly told us, "Major in whatever you like - it doesn't matter! Pick something you enjoy, and go for it - the job will come regardless of what you do during your time here at Dartmouth."

And to some extent, I guess it's true. I know a bunch of seniors who have random majors that all have gotten jobs in the corporate world. For example, I know a Neuroscience major that's going to work for Bear Stearns, an Art History major that's working for Accenture, a Philosophy major going to work for Google, etc.

However, I'm also a bit skeptical of this mentality. For those of you who've completed college and gone way beyond, what has your take been on what you majored in and what you ended up doing? Or even just your experience in the working world in general, even if it doesn't specifically apply to you?

For myself, at least, I'm currently planning on double-majoring in Economics and Geography. I absolutely love human geography - it's all about how people and countries and societies have developed over time (it's kind of hard to describe, I guess) - and I would drop Econ if I thought it wouldn't make a difference down the road, but I'm leery that just Geography alone seems kind of pointless...
 
stlgph
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Wed May 16, 2007 1:39 pm

Quoting Cory6188 (Thread starter):
For myself, at least, I'm currently planning on double-majoring in Economics and Geography. I absolutely love human geography - it's all about how people and countries and societies have developed over time (it's kind of hard to describe, I guess) - and I would drop Econ if I thought it wouldn't make a difference down the road, but I'm leery that just Geography alone seems kind of pointless...

Economics and Geography is a good combination.

As matter of fact, there is a whole Economic Geography sub-sect of Geography by itself. Geography has many sub-sects that you can apply towards other majors. It's actually very great and very strong as a stand alone major, but as a double major it definitely is complimentary. Just as a warning though, Geography is *NOT* at all an easy major. Geography as a discipline in the "real world" itself has grown. I know, I, too, have a degree in it.
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USAFHummer
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Wed May 16, 2007 2:53 pm

I can't speak to myself as I am still in college, but in the case of my dad, he majored in Sociology in college, then spent his entire working life in the business side of pharmaceuticals...no correlation whatsoever...
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Charles79
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Wed May 16, 2007 3:01 pm

I got a BS in Chemistry at Yale and actually worked as a chemist for 3 years after college. Totally enjoyed it, but then I decided to join the Air Force. Now I work as a Program Manager, in charge of a portion of a new satellite program...ok, so it's space and management, but the skills I perfected at college have always come in handy.

Around me there's a broad variety of educational backgrounds, including business, econ, art, engineering, and philosophy. Many of my friends with those degrees are getting out of the military and getting good corporate jobs...doing things that have nothing to do with their majors.

In the end, I think it's a combination of experience and the degree that gets you the job you want.

Have fun at Dartmouth!

Cheers

Charles
 
jafa39
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Wed May 16, 2007 3:02 pm

I think that what they say is true and this is why the corporate world is full of weirdo's who come up with whackjob schemes and treat the poeple who do the real work like serfs.

Far better to have a specific degree for the job.

Mine is in Youth and Community Work and that is what i do.

The real problem is that a teenager at college is really in no position to know what he/she wants to do for a living.

Far better to travel and see the world, get an understanding of things and go to college when you're like 30 or so.


I went to University when I was 39, I was at Technical College when I was 16 and although the skills I learnt are useful, I would never have guessed how my life would change once i passed 30.
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CaptOveur
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Wed May 16, 2007 3:58 pm

I have been in school for far more years than I care to discuss without completing anything I can put on a resume.. In my extensive experience the one lesson I have learned that I want to pass on to others is just pick a course of studies you are good at and love. Don't worry about the job at the end. I have spent several years chasing careers I thought I might like with degrees and I end up just studying things I hate and am horrible at while discovering my own limitations.

You will have plenty of time to worry about the job when it comes time to graduate, just don't go out into the job market thinking a job is beneath you.. Everyone starts somewhere and it is almost always the bottom. Very few of the truly successful people I know have degrees with any relation to what they are doing.




I mean come on.. You are going to Dartmouth.. You could study basketweaving and someone would hire you.
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gunsontheroof
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Wed May 16, 2007 4:01 pm

Major: Integrated Studies (Evergreen doesn't do majors. You take what you want and design your own course of study)
Relation to Career: Effectively guaranteed unemployment.  Wink
 
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falstaff
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Thu May 17, 2007 4:11 am

Quoting Cory6188 (Thread starter):
"Major in whatever you like - it doesn't matter! Pick something you enjoy, and go for it - the job will come regardless of what you do during your time here at Dartmouth."

That maybe true, but try getting a job as an accountant with a degree in art history....


I have a BS in Automotive Technology, from Southern Illinois University. I teach auto shop and am a automotive technician. Most of my friends from school with the same degree work in a variety of departments for automotive OEMs and suppliers.

One of my best friends has a degree in Race Track Management and is the auditor at a horse track in Illinois.

Some degrees you will find a job, but it may be just that a job. Majoring in something you love and finding a job doing that is a bit more difficult.

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 5):
Everyone starts somewhere and it is almost always the bottom.

Very true, many times the entry level jobs in some fields pay VERY low and you will have to pay your dues.

Some jobs require skills that some some majors will never prepare you for. If you end up being an electrical engineer you probably were not a history major.

At the Universities I attended they had many majors that were very career specific. Aviation, A&P, Auto tech, any number of engineering programs, construction tech, metallurgy, etc. The great thing with those majors is that jobs are somewhat easy to get when you graduate. There are lots of business majors, but few metallurgists. When I graduated in 2000 all 40 or so SIU graduates in Auto had a job before they graduated. I had my job lined up at Ford 8 months before graduation. Friends in other more common majors took months to get the jobs.

Quoting Cory6188 (Thread starter):
I know a bunch of seniors who have random majors that all have gotten jobs in the corporate world

That isn't always the best place to get a good job. I have a friend, Fritz, who is a college grad, but builds and rents airplane hangers. He does very well. Much better than most people, his age, with the average corporate job. Sure he works hard and gets dirty, but when you own three airplanes and the hanger they come in that is a nice reward.
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cba
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Thu May 17, 2007 4:32 am

Quoting STLGph (Reply 1):

Economics and Geography is a good combination.

 checkmark 

Economics is a powerful degree to have as you can do almost anything with it! Geography is also a good combination to add to it. Economics is a great degree because it places emphasis on both qualitative and qualitative analysis skills.

That said, enjoy your time at Dartmouth. It's a top notch school, and I hear it's loads of fun!
 
sovietjet
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Thu May 17, 2007 6:30 am

I'm still in college double majoring in mechanical and aerospace engineering...so we'll see in a couple of years...
 
AirCop
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Thu May 17, 2007 7:35 am

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 7):
That maybe true, but try getting a job as an accountant with a degree in art history....

An accountant, boy that sounds like fun.  banghead 

Once you get the sheepskin that alone will open up doors, and then after that its all up to you. Of course, a diploma from Dartmouth will open more doors than one from lets say, Utah Valley State..Personally, I have my major, minor and masters all in different fields which has resulted in numerous opportunities.
 
tz757300
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Thu May 17, 2007 7:47 am

Heh, I'm thinking about doing the dual degree at WVU. Always have one degree or the other to fall back on. Mech engineers seem to be always in some sort of demand.
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Cory6188
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Thu May 17, 2007 10:12 am

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 7):
At the Universities I attended they had many majors that were very career specific. Aviation, A&P, Auto tech, any number of engineering programs, construction tech, metallurgy, etc. The great thing with those majors is that jobs are somewhat easy to get when you graduate.

I can totally see how that makes sense - you get the training in a certain area, and you have a pretty strong foundation in that specific career path once you graduate. However, Dartmouth (and many colleges) subscribe to the "liberal arts" notion - where none of the courses that you take are actually practical - they're just teaching you how to "think", as they say - and then once you get into the real world, then you can learn how to do all of the day-to-day stuff.

It's two disparate mentalities, I guess, and it's not to say that one is better than another - they're just different.

Quoting AirCop (Reply 10):
Of course, a diploma from Dartmouth will open more doors than one from lets say, Utah Valley State

It's pretty true. Basically, once an employer sees that you were competent enough to get accepted to an Ivy League school and then flourish once there, it's a pretty good signal that you'll do well in most careers, regardless of what you majored in while in college. As you pointed out, a random major from a lesser-known school might not be the best idea, but the impression I get is that basically, that admission letter from an Ivy League school (or anything at that level, at least) means that you're set for life...

Quoting Cba (Reply 8):
That said, enjoy your time at Dartmouth. It's a top notch school, and I hear it's loads of fun!

Thanks! There's no doubt that it is tons of fun! We work really hard, but when we're not working, it's simply wonderful - skiing, kayaking, partying, etc. - you name it, you can probably do it here.
 
asuflyer05
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Thu May 17, 2007 10:57 am

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 7):
That maybe true, but try getting a job as an accountant with a degree in art history....

My ex-gf was an Art History major. She subsequently interned at and was hired by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

I wouldn't worry too much about your undergrad major as it will most likely be replaced by a Master's.
 
flipdewaf
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Thu May 17, 2007 11:08 am

Im doing my masters straight out in aerospace engineering. I want to build those little yellow slingsby fireflys!

Fred
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CaptOveur
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RE: One's Chosen College Major And Relation To Career

Thu May 17, 2007 5:51 pm

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 7):
If you end up being an electrical engineer you probably were not a history major.

I know one of the top network engineers at lexis-nexis.. He never even graduated.

Rare examples aside, something that is going to call for a state license of some sort, like engineer, accountant, lawyer, doctor, etc will obviously have specific educational requirements.

Side note:
Alan Greenspan has a BFA in music of some sort, and he did pretty well for himself in a non-musical field.

The undergrad degree just gets you started, when you get into something you like and want to stick with you may want to go for a more specific masters degree- and if you are lucky the company is paying.
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