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Choice of Major Does Impact Jobs

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Replies to: Choice of Major Does Impact Jobs

  • circuitridercircuitrider 3473 replies173 threads Senior Member
    Plenty of kids seem to do fine "waiting it out," living with roommates, working at entry level jobs,

    Stupid question, here: When did this *stop* being the norm?
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3419 replies40 threads Senior Member
    I think it stoped being the norm when private college tuition climbed to 70k and students and their parents expect an immediate return on their investment, particularly if student loans,are due. I wish people would stop saying, they can always get an MBA. Obviously another degree can provide marketability if the first doesn't, but not everyone has the extra 200k and 2 years that requires. And the market for MBAs is quite soft right now.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 804 replies9 threads Member
    I love that some “pity” the bio major. I know three recent bio grads - two got good paying employment right out of college that they are thrilled with. The third got a job less to her liking, but is getting her grad degree through work for free. No pity needed.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1568 replies35 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    Going back to OP's original assertion, major does impact jobs. However, it's hard to be certain that 10, 20, or 30 years from now, that major, whatever it is, will still be in demand. My S attends a tippy top in one of the currently most desirable fields (which also happens to be an area he's currently most passionate about). He seems to be doing well both academically and socially (he's at or near the top of his class after the first year and goes out with his friends almost every weekend). There seems to be plenty of opportunities for internships, from the biggest names in high tech to the biggest names in hedge funds. Nonetheless, I'm still concerned. Things change. If you take a closer look, some of these highest paying industries employ mostly young people. You won't find too many employees in their 40s or beyond. Specialized skills may also become obsolete. It's infinitely harder to learn new sophisticated skills when you're in your 40s. That's why some general skill set is helpful when your specialized skills become obsolete. My S also pursues a second major in biz/econ partly for that purpose.
    edited September 2019
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80192 replies720 threads Senior Member
    1NJParent wrote: »
    If you take a closer look, some of these highest paying industries employ mostly young people. You won't find too many employees in their 40s or beyond. Specialized skills may also become obsolete. It's infinitely harder to learn new sophisticated skills when you're in your 40s.

    That is why, for those who get to an income level substantially above subsistence, it may make sense to financially plan for the possibility of involuntary retirement at age 40-50.

    Note that, even in the absence of explicit age discrimination, employers often expect that those with more experience are looking for upper level jobs at upper level pay, and are less likely to consider them for entry or mid level jobs. But there are fewer upper level jobs, and many of these are highly specialized (meaning that generalists and those in other specialties are unlikely to be hired).
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80192 replies720 threads Senior Member
    Too late to edit, but the phenomenon described in reply #45 appears somewhat analogous to "up or out" in some industries like law, accounting, consulting, and higher education (for tenure-track faculty).
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35236 replies399 threads Senior Member
    For 20 years or more, theyve been saying non-stem majors are dying.

    No particular posters in mind, but if we want to congratulate ourselves on being savvy, we need to be open to ideas and actions, not just go on gut or something we read somewhere. And our kids need to be able to, so to say, dance on their toes.

    All this reminds me of advice when I was in college, decades ago. Ultimately, we are responsible for our energies. If anything, we need to move away from the notion you walk into a high paying, perfect job. People still start in the proverbial mail room, you know.
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  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 1199 replies3 threads Senior Member
    Refining my earlier post, I think that any student enrolled in college can build a solid footing for a career AND grow their rational and analytical abilities in many fields of interest. It’s not an either-or proposition although some seem to think it is.

    Additionally, many seem to take the rather elitist position that STEM curricula amount to little more than expanded trade school classes. If you fall into that category please check out the degree plans at any of the top research universities. The general education requirements are large and rich in reading, writing, and discussions/debates. As for research skills, STEM fields are typically driven by research and the internet has made what once was a tedious and time-consuming task much simpler allowing the student to spend more time on actually applying, expanding or refuting current knowledge.
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  • mathmommathmom 32775 replies160 threads Senior Member
    I shared houses and apartments with others until I was 31. It's not the end of the world. My CS kid is making lots of money, but honestly he'd be happy with half his salary.
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  • thumper1thumper1 76523 replies3386 threads Senior Member
    I’m a speech pathologist. It was a shortage area with excellent job potential in 1973 when I graduated, and continues to be now over 40 years later. The standards for licensure have changed as well as the masters programs. When I started, there were still places where a speech path could work with a bachelors. Now the masters is the entry level degree. Plus, masters programs are now two years, while mine was one.

    So...some jobs DO stand the test of time. But I didn’t choose my major because of that. I chose it because I actually liked the work (we had practicum beginning sophomore year).

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80192 replies720 threads Senior Member
    mathmom wrote: »
    My CS kid is making lots of money, but honestly he'd be happy with half his salary.

    Seems like he is in a great position to set himself up for the ability to handle involuntary retirement at 40-50.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80192 replies720 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    thumper1 wrote: »
    I’m a speech pathologist. It was a shortage area with excellent job potential in 1973 when I graduated, and continues to be now over 40 years later. The standards for licensure have changed as well as the masters programs. When I started, there were still places where a speech path could work with a bachelors. Now the masters is the entry level degree. Plus, masters programs are now two years, while mine was one.

    Does the job itself require much more actual skill and knowledge now than before? If so, then it may be expected that the required or expected education is greater, but requiring a two year master's degree instead of a bachelor's degree significantly raises the barrier to entry to the profession.
    edited September 2019
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  • thumper1thumper1 76523 replies3386 threads Senior Member
    Does the job itself require much more actual skill and knowledge now than before?

    Yes...but it is off topic to this discussion so I am sending you a PM.
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  • jym626jym626 56590 replies2968 threads Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus - Several therapies now require more advanced degrees
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1568 replies35 threads Senior Member
    If you're in a field where innovations are constant, you have to innovate along with it. If you can't keep up with the innovations, your career will likely suffer in such a field. Firms in these sectors/fields certainly pay more (well into the six figures for many new grads), but they may not be the best choice for everyone.
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  • gwnorthgwnorth 413 replies8 threads Member
    edited September 2019
    @Rivet2000 wrote:
    Additionally, many seem to take the rather elitist position that STEM curricula amount to little more than expanded trade school classes...The general education requirements are large and rich in reading, writing, and discussions/debates.
    I can't say in the U.S. but here in Canada engineering degrees in particular are extremely structured with only about 3-4 free electives that can be taken not from a constrained list. It was in large part the very strict structure of the program that led DS19 to choose Physics over Engineering. Both are STEM, but engineering being a professional program leaves very little room for exploration of other interests.
    edited September 2019
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  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 1199 replies3 threads Senior Member
    @gwnorth interesting. Some US schools may be that way too, but many are not. Good reason to consider programs individually.
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