2 answers

Best colleges for science majors?

Asked Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I'm a CareerVillage staff member and I'm posting this because we know that many young people are looking for the answer to this question. This is among the most popular questions searched by youth, and we're hoping you will take a moment to share your response to it. Thank you! #college #science #science-major #choosing-a-college #biology #medicine #chemistry #physics

Things you can consider for this specific question...

What colleges are highly ranked for their programs in the sciences?
If you majored in a science, where did you attend? What did you think of the program?

2 answers

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

It does not really matter where you go to school. The important things are getting to know yourself to know which area of science, which is very broad and has many applications, to choose (based on your personality traits), work hard to get the best grades, and do well at developing and maintaining interpersonal (vs computer based) networking contacts and support, which will benefit you throughout your education/career journey.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

Anne’s Answer

Updated Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ken Simmons makes some very good points. It's not a simple question to answer. Everyone is different so the "best" science university might be the worst school for some students. There's a lot to think about when deciding where to go after high school, so here are some thoughts...


What area of science do you find most interesting, intriguing, etc?


What colleges offer that major?

Are they big universities? small colleges? public or private? city or suburb? expensive or affordable? generous with financial aid? close to home or an expensive plane ride away? What aspects are most important to you besides your science major?


Google/search online for professors who are doing research in the field of study that you are most interested in. Where do those professors teach? Go to their school's website and look at the majors that are offered and the individual classes that are offered in the course catalog.


Once you find a school, learn the facts about it. How is it ranked nationally against other similar schools? What are the admissions requirements. Are you a good candidate? Do you have the grades and scores required to get accepted? What is the campus culture like and does it sound like a good fit for you? Are there extracurricular activities that also appeal to you?


Finally, try not to get too stressed. Where you go to college is not that important. What you learn and how well you do is key. And it should be 4 of the most enjoyable years of your life so don't choose the "BEST" school if it's not the best fit for you.



 #college #science #science-major #choosing-a-college#biology #medicine #chemistry #physics #geology #environmental #choosing-a-major