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Can someone recommend me a major to consider?

Hi everyone i'm applying to colleges right now am i'm having a hard time choosing a major. I like math and science but my natural strengths are in writing and public speaking. I would like to go to grad school after college but I also want a major that offers good career options right out of college. Thanks so much! #majors #career #career-path #career-counseling #stem #science #math


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John’s Answer

Emma some students find that selecting a major or degree program is a difficult process. Many people seem to know exactly what they want to study and are able to walk into an undergraduate program without considering anything else. Others take longer to make this decision, spending a semester or two “undeclared” as they weigh the pros and cons of different options. Still others are looking for the most interesting degrees in general, or in a particular field; and some are simply looking for degrees with a future. The best thing to do if you are feeling indecisive about your education is to talk to people. Talk to working professionals in careers that interest you – try to get a feel for what type of education is best suited for ending up where they are. Talk to other students in degree programs that interest you and ask them where they plan on heading after graduation. Leverage your resources on campus and sit down for a while with a career advisor or guidance counselor and talk about the best degree to major in.

There are a number of majors and degree programs aimed toward students looking for a more generalized education in a field and do not have the narrow focus some career paths require. Consider the benefits of choosing one of these most promising majors. A general degree program will offer the opportunity to become exposed to several different disciplines and experiences. A more general degree may offer a broader range of career options after graduation than a very specific degree. And the trend in education toward getting a graduate degree to advance your professional skills may mean that now is not the right time for you to specialize anyway. A more general degree would provide a good background for the challenge of graduate education in a wide range of areas, provided you spend a little time thinking ahead.

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
One thing that surprises most students who choose a major in Business or Business Administration is that their coursework is actually really interesting. A person with a good Business degree understands the fundamentals of marketing, can create finance and accounting systems, navigate laws and regulations, help an organization develop better management structures – and this is just a small sample of the desirable skills these majors develop. You may not be sure what business or industry fits you the best, but a good Business major will expose you to the right opportunities. And don’t think “cubicle” every time someone mentions a business degree, as this kind of education is very helpful in non-profit work, hospital administration, pre-law, and any number of unexpected professional environments.

CONMUMICATIONS
Communications majors are similar to Business majors in that they gain a surprising amount of experience in several different areas at once. A Communications major will appeal to people interested in marketing, public affairs, business administration, or even rapidly growing industries such as human resources. If you are not sure exactly what you want to do with your life, but know you have an above-average knack for communicating ideas or organizing information, a communications degree can turn this natural ability into a very marketable resume. These skills are in constant demand from a variety of industries.

HEALTH SCIENCE
A Health Science degree will interest people that want to be involved in the healthcare industry at a clinical or administrative level, but are not sure exactly where they want to end up long term. These programs offer a balance between issues related to clinical practice and general administration or healthcare policy. This major is especially attractive to students that already have credits or experience as nurse or clinical specialist that want to take their career to the next level. As the program is very general, it provides a good foundation for future certifications or graduate programs in any form of medical care. But it also works well for someone interested in healthcare administration, social work, or the pharmaceutical industry. If you are interested in the ever-expanding healthcare world, a Health Science degree is a good place to start.

ECONOMICS
If you have even the slightest interest in a future in government policy, law, finance, politics, international relations, or education, an Economics major is a smart place to start. This major introduces students to the basics of social, political, and commercial processes. Think of the Economics program like a laboratory in which students get to experiment with history, philosophy, politics, math, and current events. This laboratory produces graduates that are ready to bring this wealth of knowledge to bear on law degrees, careers in the federal government, or the business world. An Economics degree can be demanding, but this will only help you get a better handle on what you connect with in the job market.

Armed with more information about your options, you will have a better sense about what degree program fits your strengths and career goals the best. Even if you are feeling indecisive, you can still set yourself up with success by taking advantage of a more general degree Emma.

Thank You for your continued support Dexter. If you talk about it, it’s a dream. If you envision it, it’s possible. If you schedule it, it’s real. John Frick

Thank You for your continued support Ro. No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another John Frick

Thank You Anum. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill John Frick

Thank You Aparna. “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” – Erma Bombeck John Frick

I second all these! As someone who loved so many different topics in school, I'm really glad I chose Economics for my major. It's given me access to great jobs across the healthcare and insurance industries. If you love theorizing, and don't mind doing research and 'doing the math', Econ could be a great option. Lauren Michaud

Thank You T. “Our generation has the ability and the responsibility to make our ever-more connected world a more hopeful, stable and peaceful place.” — Natalie Portman John Frick

Thank You Chris. “Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr. John Frick

Thank You Allison. Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in. John Frick

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Ro’s Answer

Like yourself, I had many interests when I was entering college. If you are attending a 4 year college for a BA/BS, I recommend that you take intro courses in majors that may interest you AND fulfill your basic college graduation requirements. This way you can try out different fields while still fulfilling your basic courses, and then choose which major you want to pursue. The advantage of this is that each school's major departments are a bit different and your particular school may or may not fit you better. Additionally, you can make meetings with professors and department counselors to assist you in deciding a major. I decided upon my major in the second semester of Sophomore year, and I was able to take courses in a lot of different areas: Psychology, Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Biology, Astronomy, English Literature, Statistics, Music, Advertisement, Religion, Business, Economics, and History...all before deciding upon Political Science. Each course I took fulfilled some kind of graduation requirement, so as you can see, I was able to try out a lot of courses before finally choosing my major.

If you will be pursuing an associate degree, then you will not have the luxury of taking a lot of time to choose a major since the courses are generally more focused, so in this case I'd go to college with a major already in mind - so you should talk to a counselor now about your possible career choices and majors. Some 2 year colleges are very focused or offer only courses for a specific subject, so you should know this information before applying.

Good luck in your choice - I would review some of the answers that were provided here as well to get a better overall sense of what your strategy will be. Everything may get turned on its head because of how schools will be run during COVID19, so make sure that you get as many resources as possible to make an informed decision. Your major won't always determine your job, but it will be a guide and starting point, so it's best to really take some time to make a choice. Happy hunting!

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Amy’s Answer

I would recommend nursing as a career. I have throughout my career, been able to use science and math skills, as well as writing and public speaking. I have been very fortunate to become an occupation health nurse for a large entertainment company. We do education for employees on wellness as well as illness management. I have also been able to be a facilitator for the entire company onboarding new employees, speaking in front of groups up to 100 people. With nursing, you are able to combine the art of caring with science of health management. I have been in my career for 20 years, but am always being challenged with new opportunities, such as Covid Tracing, as this is a current and very important role in our World. Always look for careers that continue to challenge you and allow you to grow and change.

I agree 100%. my recommendation was similar jennifer sanderson

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T’s Answer

Hi Emma,

I see there are a lot of great responses here. I think your question is so timely and I am sure those same things are running through the minds of so many students today.

My best advice to you is this: Take the pressure off of yourself (easier said than done) - declaring a major can happen later.

Immerse yourself in as many different experiences and disciplines as you are able while you are completing the required undergrad courses. Find what fits you - don't try to change yourself to fit a major. You may be surprised at where you find your passion, but once you do find it you will excel which will inevitably bring success. In my experience that is the one thing in common that I find in the most accomplished people - a true passion for their work.

I wish you nothing but the best.
You've got this!




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Amy’s Answer

I would recommend nursing as a career. I have throughout my career, been able to use science and math skills, as well as writing and public speaking. I have been very fortunate to become an occupation health nurse for a large entertainment company. We do education for employees on wellness as well as illness management. I have also been able to be a facilitator for the entire company onboarding new employees, speaking in front of groups up to 100 people. With nursing, you are able to combine the art of caring with science of health management. I have been in my career for 20 years, but am always being challenged with new opportunities, such as Covid Tracing, as this is a current and very important role in our World. Always look for careers that continue to challenge you and allow you to grow and change.

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Kevin’s Answer

Hi Emma, have you considered engineering? Many companies hire people with engineering degrees to do a lot of different jobs. For instance, I graduated with my B.S. in chemical engineering 2 years ago and I currently work as a project manager. As a project manager, having the technical background that engineering school gave me was a big bonus, but honestly, my normal daily job functions don't require high level science or math. Rather, I need good writing and public speaking skills. Additionally, engineering students can go to grad school but by no means do they have to. I did not go to grad school and I actually don't recommend grad school unless you have a very specific reason to go. An engineer with a B.S. in engineering does not necessarily have better job prospects than an engineer with an M.S. Engineering is all about internships rather than degrees.

I agree with Kevin. Engineering is a wonderful discipline to study and then pivot to other roles. I studied Bioengineering. This allowed me to get my foot in the door in the pharmaceutical industry. Now, I work in quality assurance but with a customer focus. This means that daily I'm working with our clients to ensure their work is being performed to their requirements and regulatory standards (FDA & EU drug laws). Additionally, I work with supplier and internal auditing, which is about analyzing processes and then identifying areas of improvement. This requires analytical skills along with technical writing skills and presentation to stakeholders . Jordan Protchko

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Donna’s Answer

Emma; this point in your life can be overwhelmingly stressful. As I am sure you are thinking this is what I am going to do for the rest of my life. The point of college is to pursue a long term career goal and commit to it. That being said, I know many individuals who are not even working in their college disciplines. The point is your personal willingness to learn and grow into yourself. I myself had no confidence in myself, tried college, dropped out and ended up in the military. My ASVAB test showed I had a high scores which qualified me for computer repair and system maintenance. As I went through military schooling I still struggled but my instructors encouraged me that I did have an aptitude. Now I am a successful engineer at Verizon Communications, planning fiber optic networks. I have put a website next options take some of these tests maybe it will help you decide your path.

Donna recommends the following next steps:

https://www.criteriacorp.com/assessments/cognitive-aptitude-tests

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Darin’s Answer

Hello Emma it's ok to be undecided with what you want to do. Not everyone knows what they want to do when they enroll in college, I was one of them. College is the best place for that to happen and the best place to explore new experiences for yourself because if your studying something and decided into it that it's just not for you it's easy to change your major to something else. How I narrowed down what I wanted to study is I sat down and put together a list of things I was interested in and possible careers I could do with my interest. Then I set up an appointment with my college guidance counselor to discuss options for myself and got myself in a career and life planning class. The best advice I could give you is explore things and take classes that sound interesting to you or it's something you've been wanting to learn more about. Doing that you never know where it may take you or a new hobby you may find.

It sounds like you have some idea knowing what you like and your strengths. Having strengths in public speaking and writing maybe the education field, especially having an interest in math and science, could be a math or science teacher, even speech or english teacher. Wishing you the best of luck on your future Emma

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Taylor’s Answer

Hello! I would like to recommend a liberal arts education - this is what I did and found extreme value and see how I am using my education in career and life. Here are just a few reasons why I would highly recommend this type of education.

1. Size - Many liberal arts colleges are small in comparison to public universities. In addition to creating a more intimate, “family” feel on campus, the smaller college size creates opportunities for personalized, individual learning experiences. I knew all of my professors on a personal basis and enjoyed this so much.

2. Approach to learning – A liberal arts education integrates different areas of study which will expose you to a wide range of subjects - some of these subjects might be things you never even had an interest in! Business majors will have classes in the arts, while pre-med majors may get a taste of sociology. This broad education prepares truly will prepare you to be successful in many different careers and also have a broad understanding of the world we live in. From personal example, I studied Economics, but I took courses in religion and art. I loved this balance and it kept my course list fun also!

3. Get to know faculty and professors – I alluded to this earlier, but the professors with smaller class sizes get to know your name, your strengths, development opportunities and passions. They are able to provide mentorship in a way that faculty at larger institutions aren't always able to offer.

4. Critical & innovative thinking skills – A liberal arts education can provide the problem-solving and critical thinking skills through their curriculum. The professors get students to focus on how to think, not what to think. Instead of memorizing facts and then forgetting the information, professors help students learn to examine, think and connect ideas. These are such valuable skills that are used throughout the entire college experience. I even took these skills with me for a study abroad experience.

6. Post-Graduation Jobs - You will graduate this type of education ready with skills that employers value most – critical thinking, communication and the ability to view ideas from multiple perspectives. Best of all, they actively contribute to developing real solutions to real problems.


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Eric’s Answer

Greetings Emma wow you are amazing and highly intelligent. Math, Science, Public Speaking, and Writing. You can do anything ok, Think about Television Editing, News Reporting, Sports Casting,
Don't know about Busness during Carona. Virus chaging future endeavors.
What feels like fun? I always hear experts say find something that sounds like fun then it won't feel like work. May you have a prosperous and happy profession in the name of Jesus.

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Monika’s Answer

Hi Emma. Great question! In truth, almost everyone I know (with the exception of pre-med students) changed their major after entering college. So, you have a lot of options:

1) Since you like math/science/writing/public speaking, consider work that will incorporate all of these, such as business (business development may be a great path for you). I had the same interests as you and studied English in college, then applied what I learned to the thousands of sales decks I have created over the years. You would be surprised how few people know how to write convincing arguments anymore. You may want to look into the business side of science as well. There are professionals to work in licensing of patents and tech for universities or bio companies. These jobs are incredibly well paid, have job security because they are specialty roles and evolve regularly as science advances, keeping your career path interesting. Law may be another great path for your stated interests because ALL companies need lawyers and you can take that knowledge to apply to specific industries as you discover what you want to do. Many of my fellow business folks also have law degrees because business people are always working on contracts. See that connection? Same goes for IP licensing (think Disney, Mattel), Bio/Pharma (Pfizer, Roche, Novo Nordisk), etc.

2) You may want to consider choosing a major based on the school you want to go to -- just to get in. For example, MIT may be more partial to engineering students, but UT may be looking for education. You can always change your major after getting into the school you want to attend. Just a thought.

3) If you "kind of" know what you want to do, pick a school based on the alumni as they will be your most valuable asset when searching for jobs just out of school. For example, University of Chicago is great for finance and Stanford is great if you want to be an entrepreneur. This information is readily available online and may be a great driver to help you determine your path. Nobody will tell you this, but the social connections you make from your college are as valuable as the actual curriculum you learn. Truth.

4) Do some online research about which industries have the greatest growth opportunities, and choose a major based on what might interest you. A quick search shows the following list:
Home Healthcare Services
Outpatient Care Centers
Individual and Family Services
Other Information Services
Offices of Health Practitioners
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories
Computer Systems Design and Related Services
Forestry
Other Ambulatory Healthcare Services
Software Publishers
Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting
Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services
Office Administrative Services
Support Activities for Mining
Warehousing and Storage
Other educational Services
Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
Offices of physicians
Elementary and Secondary Schools
Junior Colleges, Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools

Good luck!

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Pamela’s Answer

You might consider teaching if you are good at math and science and public speaking. You could get a dual certification and teach both disciplines, perhaps. It might be a good idea to shadow two or three different disciplines. Just decide what you might be interested in - call them - ask if you can shadow (basically hang around and follow the employee at work) so that you can see what a day-to-day looks like. Then you can try to picture yourself in the different situations. Remember to ask "What is the worst thing about your job?" and "What is the best thing about your job?"

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Bryce’s Answer

Hi Emma,

Personally I would recommend applying to college as undecided. In your first semester take general education courses that cover a variety of topics. These general education courses will allow you to explore each of these subjects and potential careers in that field. Within that first semester I would also go to undergrad advising or your college's career center which can help you talk through what your passionate and give you ideas of potential careers.

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Desi’s Answer

Hi Emma! I would strongly recommend science and engineering fields, I think science is desperately missing people who are good at writing and communications. One of my favorite parts of studying chemistry has been learning how to write technical vs general audience lab reports/abstracts/essays and presenting posters at conferences! It's an essential skill to communicating your work to both your collaborators and the general public/policymakers. As for employability, I've noticed that my engineering friends are much more employable than my fundamental science friends. People in fundamental sciences typically need a graduate degree to be more employable, whereas engineers do a little bit better with just an undergraduate degree. I think different engineering schools might have different writing/language/humanities requirements so I would look into specific programs, particularly to see if they have a scientific communication focus/courses.

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Morgan’s Answer

Everyone's answers here are great, and I think it would be smart for you to start college undecided and take lots of general classes to see what you'll like! Just adding another major to the list here: have you considered computer science?

You say you like math and science, but they're not your "natural" strengths: Computer science majors sometimes require a lot of math classes and its definitely the same type of thinking, but you don't have to do much of that number-crunching yourself.

Grad school options are plentiful! We need more CS researchers!

If you want a great job right out of college, the average CS graduate's starting salary is significantly higher than the average college graduate's salary ($70k vs. $50k), and there are lots of options for first careers.

One example of a CS career you might excel in is Project Management. It requires that analytical-STEM thinking you enjoy, but requires the writing and communication skills you already have!

That being said, this is only one option. You sound like a smart individual with lots of great things ahead! Best of luck!

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jennifer’s Answer

Hi Emma,

As a healthcare professional myself, I think that a career in Nursing would suit you well. It not only focuses on a subject you excel in (science), it uses strong professional written and verbal skills necessary to educate, and articulate the needs of the patient, and be a patient advocate.

You mentioned that you want to pursue a graduate degree as well. This would be a perfect degree plan as Nurse Practitioners are in desperate need, not only due to the health care crisis, but many nurses are retiring and there are not enough new nurses to replace them. A nursing shortage creates HUGE demand for immediate post-college placement. It is also a transferable license as you are in a compact state. It has reciprocity in many other states if you choose to move and practice out of Texas. A career in nursing also has MANY transferable skills in terms of changing fields within the nursing umbrella, from sales and marketing, business administration, community education, private practice, public relations, professor/teaching positions, to name a few. In other words, the nursing field is diverse. I hope this advise helps you on a successful professional pathway.

I wish you the best of luck.

Jennifer

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Donna’s Answer

Emma; this point in your life can be overwhelmingly stressful. As I am sure you are thinking this is what I am going to do for the rest of my life. The point of college is to pursue a long term career goal and commit to it. That being said, I know many individuals who are not even working in their college disciplines. The point is your personal willingness to learn and grow into yourself. I myself had no confidence in myself, tried college, dropped out and ended up in the military. My ASVAB test showed I had a high scores which qualified me for computer repair and system maintenance. As I went through military schooling I still struggled but my instructors encouraged me that I did have an aptitude. Now I am a successful engineer at Verizon Communications, planning fiber optic networks. I have put a website next options take some of these tests maybe it will help you decide your path.

Donna recommends the following next steps:

https://www.criteriacorp.com/assessments/cognitive-aptitude-tests

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