10 answers

College Major Choice/ Career Advice

11
100% of 11 Pros
Updated Viewed 180 times

Hi! I'm a senior in high school, and I'm currently applying to colleges. I'm noticing that my list is rather small due to my specific major choice, marketing.
I don't know if I should apply to the "prestigious" colleges that don't have business majors and just major in econ. I have taken econ courses in high school and I don't find them that interesting as I'm not really a math/stats person. I found that I like learning about consumer-social psychology and customer-corporate relationships.
So I'm wondering is it worth it for me to spend 4 years studying something I'm not really into but go to a college that has "prestige' and will allow me to make life- long connections.

#college #college-major #marketing #business #career #internship

11
100% of 11 Pros

10 answers

Garrett’s Answer

1
100% of 1 Pros
Updated
To me the most important aspect of a college is the opportunities it provides in terms of internships and co-ops. Connections at a prestigious college do not matter as much as the connections you make in the business world, from my experience. The internship opportunities and business connections that a college has for their students are by far the most important aspect of what college can provide. Especially when it comes down to the cost of the college vs the value you receive.
1
100% of 1 Pros

Robert’s Answer

0
Updated
Abdullah, do you have a dream? When I was your age, my dream was to become President/CEO of a business. As such, at that time I envisioned several channels to success, finance, manufacturing and marketing. Today, I would add informatics/data analysis. Based upon these thoughts, I majored in Business with a minor in Industrial Engineering.
I then sought job opportunities, with multiple management jobs, first in manufacturing, then finance, training, sales, domestic and global marketing, global strategy and finally global venture capital. This led to my succcess as a President, a CEO and a Chairman of global high technology businesses.
A business degreed course will expose you to the various facets of running a business as well as the interaction between various disciplines in that business. A minor in global marketing, will offer the opportunity to study analytics as well as being grounded in global customer and government business enterprise. (To be honest with you, I struggled with analysis)
Much of what you dream, in terms of a career, will drive you to understand and become successful in various aspects of business.
Whether it is a prestigious university, a specialized private university, or a public university depends upon your finances, scholarships, comfort in terms of school size and location, major offered as well as academic achievement.
You are way ahead of your peers in terms of the questions you are asking and the knowledge that networking is important.
At the same time, you should study something you really love and are comfortable with. University networking is important but not as essential as you may now believe.

Robert recommends the following next steps:

  • I would suggest that you speak with marketing executives in global businesses. You will find that many of them would be p leased to speak with you.
  • In addition, give some thought to speaking with a venture capital executive about global marketing.
  • Another thought is to perhaps speak with a Professor of Marketing in a nearby university. And, speak with a student majoring in Business as well as one in Marketing.
0

Sharkita’s Answer

0
Updated
Hi Abdullah,

I would suggest, as some others have, that you follow your passion and interests. Connections and networking can happen through different college organizations at any school that you attend. The key is to maximize the opportunities that you have in front of you.

Attending a good school, (maybe a state school) with a diverse population and your area of interest will allow for you to make the connections you need while fulfilling your desire to pursue marketing.

In this instance chasing "prestige" could be unfulfilling and may not sustain you through the program. I would only go that direction if you genuinely enjoyed Econ or other degree program that the "prestigious" school(s) offer(s).

Lastly cost is another thing to consider. If you are going to be funding your own education, it is wise to choose something that you will receive a strong return on your investment.

Hopefully this helps.

Sharkita recommends the following next steps:

  • Explore Networking Organizations/Opportunities at the institutions who offer a degree program in marketing.
0

Iris’s Answer

0
Updated
Personally, I feel you should go to undergrad to get a degree that you are interested in - and if you change your mind, your OK. Don't worry about the prestige ($$$) consider the big picture. You want to graduate, get a job and pay back any accumulated loans. I think companies look at you and what you did at college not where you went.

Perhaps check out:
= FISKE Guide -Good overview of colleges with "if you like this college, also consider this college"
= Dave Ramsey - he's a $$ guy who likes to see people debt free. Check out his view on colleges

Wishing you the best of luck.
0

Aika’s Answer

0
Updated
Hi Abdullah,

It's great that you already have something you are passionate and interested in.
But, you can try different courses in college as electives which teaches you an overview of specific concepts.
I would advise you to also be more open to options as I majored linguistic in college but started my career in IT business analyst.

From my personal experience (from small liberal arts college to studying abroad in a bigger and more prestigious school), I had more courses to select from when attending a prestigious school. Of course, there are strengths and weakness to each school, so I would advise you to look further investigate at some course guidelines online and see if you like it or not.
0

Jennifer’s Answer

0
Updated
I would advise you to find a school to allows you to take on a minor or double major in something else (maybe psych), because you can better understand your audience. When people have only a business admin major with a marketing emphasis, they may not be as in tune with the industry they want to go into. For example, someone who is majoring in game design may have a better understanding on the demands and experiences of the audience for their game company, because they are a target audience as well. It's possible to find a big school with connections and have a fulfilling major.
0

Jacob’s Answer

0
Updated
No, do something you are passionate about and the right career will find you
0

Caroline’s Answer

0
Updated
Abdullah, it's wonderful that you have some self-awareness about what you are interested in at this point! I have some thoughts to share on picking your major and school.

One thing to consider is that you don't necessarily need to have studied business to work in business in a marketing function one day. For example, I have worked in business in different functions (first operations, and now Human Resources) after studying Political Economy (which is a mix of Econ classes, political science, language, etc.). I considered studying business as an undergraduate, but the major was impacted and I instead opted to study something that would form a solid foundation for how to understand the problems going on in the world around me. After working for a handful of years in operations, I decided to go back to get my graduate business degree (MBA), and now work in the HR function, which includes people who have studied other things like psychology and organizational behavior. I share all of this detail to say that paths are not necessarily as linear as they might seem. and your major will not necessarily dictate your career.

It's also good to keep in mind that math and stats would be part of any business degree. With most majors there are always some classes that will be less interesting and more difficult for you, but there are always resources to help you through them.

It sounds like you have an interest in psychology which is feeding into your intention to go into marketing. I would recommend you look at psychology programs/majors offered at the schools you are interested in. A psychology degree might serve you well, and business fundamentals can be learned through on-the-job experience at a company, perhaps through an internship to start.

A couple of other things to consider based on your interest in marketing. A communications major might be interesting to you. Marketing is also becoming increasingly analytical and based on data, so take a look at what different marketing programs offer in terms of courses that are focused on data analysis.

Most schools will allow you to switch majors as you go, so don't feel overly pressured to have it figured out before you even get there :)

When it comes to picking a school, there are many things to consider like the majors offered and prestige as you mention. You have to think about how much prestige matters to you. There are many many people I encounter who are extremely successful who did not go to schools that are considered very prestigious. A degree from a prestigious school will open doors for you, but ultimately, it's my opinion that your actions and performance will dictate your success over the long-term--not the school you went to. There are also other factors to consider in finding the right school for you (not the best school according to other people). You'll also want to think about things like:
- Do you see yourself at a large or small school?
- Are things like big sports teams important to you?
- Do you want to stay close to home, or get further away?
- Would you rather be in a rural or urban environment?
- What does the school cost and what options will you and your family have to pay for it?

I know this is a lot to think about, but just remember to stay focused on what you feel is right for you. Best of luck to you!
0

Justin’s Answer

0
Updated
I think the best way you can find what you want to do is by talking to people that are already involved in the field you are interested in pursuing. You could ask questions about their daily tasks, future career outlooks, and opportunities within the field. One way you can leverage this is by attending networking events or creating a LinkedIn and reaching out. Best of Luck!
0

Margo’s Answer

0
Updated
Hi Abdullah,

If you already know the field you want to go into after graduation and can study that directly, fantastic! But there's nothing wrong with broadening your consideration set for your undergraduate major, too. Most schools offer robust certificate and minor options to add additional focus via your elective classes.

The key thing is that your studies allow you to build the basic skills you need (critical thinking, communication, strategy, leadership, plus whatever specific skills required for your desired career) while still excelling in your classes.

I'm speaking as one of the 73% of college graduates who does NOT work in the field they majored in. (I'm in marketing -and love it- but I majored in international affairs.
-Stats: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/05/20/only-27-percent-of-college-grads-have-a-job-related-to-their-major/

With regard to the value of a prestigious school, that depends very much on your financial situation. More and more studies suggest that paying the sticker price of a 'prestige' school may not result in enough additional salary and earning power to justify the cost -at least in many fields. This is highly dependent on your financial situation and desired field of study.

But in general for a business type undergraduate degree, I'd say if you have to take out student loans, you will likely be better off with a flagship state university vs a prestige private school.

I'd definitely use https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/ as a resource "College Scorecard breaks down annual costs, median debt and other statistics like field of study median earnings for institutions of higher education to help high school students make their college decisions."


Some other articles on the subject:

* https://www.wsj.com/articles/do-elite-colleges-lead-to-higher-salaries-only-for-some-professions-1454295674
* https://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/20/your-money/measuring-college-prestige-vs-price.html
*https://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2015/03/24/prestige-and-price-why-top-colleges-arent-for-everyone/#41cc4a2377a2
0