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Should i switch or not?

So tbh i chose Machine learning engineering mostly because my high school gpa and some other skills would be most useful there -except math, god i hate math , never being good at that- . Im creative unluckily in my country graphic design is severely underpayed ( not even kidding, you can make the same money working in a factory , no degree needed there) so out of all fields tech was the one that seemed the most convinient and machine learning sounded kinda interesting so i went ahead, applied, got accepted and im currently starting my freshman year.

Computer science as a whole is not something that im thrilled about. Had some introductory courses in hs that bored me to death (combination of terrible teacher and useless outdated knowledge).

I'll give this a try untill february and hopefully by then i'll know what to do
My gut feeling tells me that i should switch ASAP,however the introductory university courses are tolerable (? Even a little interesting)so im not neccesarily miserable here
How do i make sure i enjoy whatever im doing? All my classmates have at least some experience programming for real and im so scared of this major. Dont want to switch and end up missing my current major :-/ #college #computer-science #math #career #engineering

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Leo’s Answer

"god i hate math , never being good at that"

If you honestly hate math, then you're just going to be miserable in Machine Learning, Computer Science or anything related to actual Engineering.

Machine Learning is hard-core Computer Science. It's _heavily_ based on mathematics. You may end up using one of the multiple frameworks out there that do a lot of the work for you (like TensorFlow), but you'll still need to do some pre-processing to the input data to make them work. That'll usually involve statistics and normalization of data.

I don't know what's the rest of your situation and your circumstances, but based on what you shared, it doesn't sound like you're going to enjoy Computer Science or Engineering.

"How do i make sure i enjoy whatever im doing? All my classmates have at least some experience programming"

The answer is already there in that sentence: your classmates already had previous experience. That means they had tried it before and found that they liked it. How can you make sure you enjoy what you do? Try stuff and see if you like it or not. I'm sure you should already know which topics you enjoy the most at school.

You also mentioned Graphic Design and Creativity. It sounds like those are areas you'd enjoy more. You also mentioned that those areas pay poorly. So it's a tough choice: do something you like, but get paid poorly; or do something you hate, but get paid well. I'm not saying that you should do the following, but in my country there aren't many options either, and a lot of people choose Money and they find ways to cope with doing things they hate all day long because that's better than just being poor and not being able to do anything at all.
Thank you comment icon I also like biology, so maybe i should try that instead. Not my biggest passion but i like it enough to not find it plain boring Barbara
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David’s Answer

I think the best piece of advice I can give is that you don't have to be following your passion in order to have a meaningful life. There's lots of things that you can do in life, and even if you aren't doing what makes you 100% happy all the time, there's always small things in whatever you're doing that you can appreciate and have fun with. Conversely, even in extremely creative fields such as Animation or Art, there are also constraints- there are deadlines, meetings, lots of self-marketing, etc.

So if you're still struggling, maybe another angle might be to think about what you're not willing to tolerate- and then work from there. Consider that you'll be doing this for a LONG time- so if you don't enjoy the process of what you're doing, then switching may be a good idea.

At the very least, you're never "wasting time" if you decide to continue going forward with your current major. Everything and anything you learn can be applicable to what you eventually decide to work on in some way. As an example: when I was in high school I also had a big dilemma about choosing what to apply myself towards (STEM or Arts). I personally really wanted to work towards a career in art, but because my school had limited art programs and because I was already very advanced in fields like math and biology, I felt like I was wasting a lot of time taking those classes when I could have been drawing or learning on my own. Now I'm in 3D Animation, and surprisingly, those seemingly unrelated skills and knowledge have actually been very useful in animating creatures, navigating software, and working with graphs.

I'd also say that there's no reason why you can't do multiple things at once, like keeping up your creative output through a hobby, side gig, or other outlet.
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Pro’s Answer

Try an Interdisciplinary, Liberal Studies, or General Studies major, that will let you combine multiple interests. Or an Individually Designed major that you can even name yourself.
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Marie’s Answer

Hi Barbara!

I totally understand wanting to make a great living and following your passion may not align. Keep in mind that you will work for much of your life and you should lean into what makes you happy. If you chose a career that makes you miserable, you will truly WORK your whole life. You should continue to look for careers that encompass your talents and strengths. Then work will not feel like work!
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Jorge’s Answer

Hola Barbara,

My recommendation is that follows what you are passionate about and not necessarily what is good for making money.

In my case I knew nothing at all about computer systems when I entered the career, but as time went by I started to understand where I could fit in the world of systems and here I am with a 20 years career in the field.

If you feel you have talent in the area of graphic design, look for ways in which that passion can be incorporated into the world of technology, for example, 3D computer animation, visual effects, etc.

As long as you follow what you are passionate about, it may not necessarily pay off in the short term, but if you work hard at it, you will see results in the long run.

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Peregrin’s Answer

I think it is great that you will give it a try. That is a key part of learning anything.

After trying it, if you still don't like it and don't think it is something you would like to do long term... Switch. If this is your first semester, I wouldn't think 1 computer science course would disrupt your whole college career. In the meantime, think through what are other areas of interest, what did you find interesting about this area? Start Identifying some alternatives, see if you can sit in on a class or 2 to see if your interest is there.

Best of luck.
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Karla’s Answer

You have a great. questions that a lot of students wonder about: Am I in the correct major?
I am an engineer and I did love maths, I have to confess that I was not excited about some topics. But the situation is: there will be some topics that you will like and other ones that you won't. Same as in high school or elementary school.
What you have to think about it? What makes you happy? If 4 out of 5 topics at school are good to you and you feel challenges, that is fine. But if in contrast, you do not like 3 out of 5, then you may reconsider which other major will make you feel more excited about it.

While Machine Learning is a great career and I think it will be the near future for a lot of projects and work-related activities, you need to like it. It will also require a lot of maths involved on it and if you do not enjoy that it could be a good moment to give it another try and then if you are still struggling, yes you should switch.

Talk to students taking other majors you may be interested in, to understand if your next move will be what you like.
Define what is your goal in life, what. do you see you doing in 3 more years. Could you visualize that? Listen to your heart and talk to people you trust. This is an important decision and you need to feel 100% sure of what your next steps either switching or not.
I know you will find the answer and you will enjoy the major you decide to go for!!!! The best in your career!
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Luis Enrique’s Answer

Hola Barbara,

That is a good and a question that many students may have. My first advice to you is to take a test called "Vocational" so the outcome of that test may tell you what are the main areas you have good skills and strenghts, then based on that specifics areas chose the 2 or 3 you most like and the ones that also you can make a good money, but as other person advice to you before, it is realy important that you select something that you like and you are appasionate instead of selecting something just to make money.
Hope I can help you, very good luck in your carrer selection and have a success Life ahead.
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