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What job/major should I do?

planetmoonbyulplanetmoonbyul 1 replies1 threads New Member
edited April 3 in Parents Forum
Hi, I'm a sophomore in high school right now and soon I'm going to need to apply for colleges. I know I have 2 more years, but to build my apps I'm gonna need to know which colleges to apply for, and to choose I'm gonna need to see which programs I want to do. I'm aiming for the UCs because they have generally have really good programs for many studies. But I'm really conflicted with what I want to do, my interest range is so large and I really really love space exploration, studying biology, learning different languages, digital design, business, and music production. I have gone lengths to show my interests in all of these throughout my 1 (and a half, cos corona) years in high school, such as planning to start an astrophysics interest club in school, taking AP Biology and planning on doing both Bio E and M subject SATS, designing official club apparel for 2 clubs, winning awards in carnatic singing, took 3 college course in Japanese and planning to learn Spanish (and taking subject sat for japanese), being in FBLA, learning basic music production in my spare time and having been CFL speech and debate champion in original advocacy. I hate the fact that we're all kind of forced to choose one major in college because I would much rather put my all in a multitude of careers than choose one for the rest of my life (even though that's pretty unrealistic). My life goal is to bring humanity a step forward (such as in space exploration and business) but I don't like math more than science and I have a very creative mind that would require a job that allows me to express creativity as an outlet. I'm not so passionate in biology that I would drop everything and become a doctor, ultimately my goal is to have a job where I get to interact with people, problem solve and make a big difference while still being allowed to practice my own interests. I've heard that to be a doctor you must be passionate about only medicine, and I FOR SURE am not and don't think I would enjoy being one because you help people individually, and I would rather do something more large scale. I know I'm quite young to be thinking of this now, but I would really appreciate some expertise or advice. thank you !
edited April 3
11 replies
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Replies to: What job/major should I do?

  • me29034me29034 1958 replies94 threads Senior Member
    You do not need to decide on a college major when you are a sophomore in high school. Neither of my kids were sure of a major when they started college. You have plenty of time to figure this out. For now, just participate in the extracurriculars that you find most interesting. That may help you narrow it down a bit. Or not. There is no reason you need to decide now.
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  • 2plustrio2plustrio 305 replies5 threads Member
    You would be surprised I think by how many colleges have flexible curriculum plans which would allow you to explore many of your interests. Enjoy high school and keep the love of learning!
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  • wis75wis75 14376 replies65 threads Senior Member
    edited April 4
    You are still evolving as a person. You do not need to know your future job or even college major yet. Continue to explore various subjects and eventually you will find those that appeal more than others. I recall stating I was only going to take the minimum required scienc in HS- I went on to major in chemistry and while in college decided on becoming a physician. Physicians have many varied interests that have nothing to do with medicine, btw.

    Do not worry about your ultimate post college job. Do not worry about a future college major. Continue, as above, to learn. Eventually- years from now- you will figure out a path. And- even after you have a career you may find you are making changes. Life is not a straight line with everything mapped out. Allow yourself to enjoy the present and the future will work itself out when the time comes.
    edited April 4
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  • thumper1thumper1 78032 replies3500 threads Senior Member
    Agree with the above. Many...many college students change majors multiple times. Many enroll as undeclared in terms of major. Many change course after they receive their bachelors degrees.

    Many folks have jobs that aren’t directly related to the undergrad major.

    At most places, you don’t need to declare a college major until your start of junior year.

    One of my kids made her career choice AFTER undergrad school was all done...actually a couple of years after she got her bachelors.

    You don’t need to pick a Major now.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3573 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Agree with the above and add only to the length of the timeline! Many people "discover" their passions later in life and don't even use their major in a formal way in their jobs. Take a deep breath and perhaps look at some of the colleges in CA that offer a chance to declare your major at the end of Sophomore Year rather than apply for specific majors. Finding a few of those would help set your mind at ease in knowing you have time to decide. FWIW, CA has a public liberal arts college at Monterey Bay. CA also has many private LACs and if your grades are good you might get merit funding at one of those schools. Best of luck to you.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6424 replies1 threads Senior Member
    Most students including both my daughters change their major after starting as a freshman in university. When I graduated from university (as a math major) I still had no idea what I wanted to do for a living. We all figure this out over time.

    It sounds like you are doing well. Keep you grades up. Participate in the extracurricular activities that you want to participate in. Whatever you do, try to do it well. With this you will be fine.

    Are you in-state for the UC's? If so they are are great schools. If not they can be expensive for out of state students.

    Also, learn to write in paragraphs! This will be useful regardless of what path you end up taking in life.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82822 replies738 threads Senior Member
    edited April 4
    There is no need to decide on your college major while in 10th grade. Continue to take a well rounded base college prep curriculum in high school, adding electives and advanced courses as you have interest in them, so that you will be prepared for any college major direction you choose.

    Possible decision time points:

    * 12th grade: When applying to colleges, some colleges require applying to a division (arts & sciences, engineering, agriculture, etc.) or a specific major, and it may require a high GPA or another admission process to change into a more popular one after enrolling. If you are undecided, you may want to prefer a college where all of your possible majors are less competitive or non-competitive to enter after enrolling.
    * college frosh year: Some majors require taking a sequence of prerequisite courses starting from the first semester, so do not delay starting those courses for any and all of your majors of interest if you go in undecided.
    * college soph year: At this time, you can see the administrative deadline to declare a major approaching, so you need to be getting ready to do that.
    * college junior year: At this time, colleges usually expect you to have declared a major or be declaring one.

    As far as jobs and careers go, some are major-related or major-specific (or at least related to specific course work or equivalent independent learning). Some require or are greatly helped by professional credentialing or licensing (e.g. nursing, accounting, civil engineering, actuarial, school teacher), so a relevant major may be required (especially if the prerequisite for licensing is a subject-accredited bachelor's degree) or highly helpful.

    But other jobs and careers are more major-agnostic, though they may prefer or require a bachelor's degree to enter those pathways. For these types of jobs and careers, many majors can be done, but building strength in various desired skills like reading, communication, math/statistics, humanistic understanding, logical thinking, and behavioral understanding will be helpful. But be aware that there can be considerable competition for some of these jobs and careers, since anyone with a bachelor's degree may apply for them.
    edited April 4
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14473 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    edited April 6
    Another thing you could do is to take your interest in something, say, space exploration and look at related jobs and then see what backgrounds are required for those jobs.

    Look at the NASA careers site and see what jobs are available and what requirements they have.
    https://www.nasa.gov/careers

    Look at LinkedIn and search for people who work at NASA and see what their jobs are and what background they have.

    Look at the NASA site and look at videos and such...do you want to be one of the people explaining space to the public? Creating simulation videos? Working on the Website? Being in the control room? Writing about the space program?
    edited April 6
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  • RelicAndTypeRelicAndType 200 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I'm going to take a slightly different tack from the other posters here. I agree with them, of course, that it's too early to choose now. But what you can do now is maximize the range of choices you'll have in the future. That means excelling as best you are able in all your subjects, including/especially the ones you may not like or don't feel your greatest at. And for many students that means math. Being serviceable at math opens up many fields for your consideration, including many subspecialties of bio, which are getting increasingly quantitative these days.

    So study hard, watch Khan Academy if it helps, and you'll get to a place where you can make your best choice. Good luck.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82822 replies738 threads Senior Member
    I'm going to take a slightly different tack from the other posters here. I agree with them, of course, that it's too early to choose now. But what you can do now is maximize the range of choices you'll have in the future. That means excelling as best you are able in all your subjects, including/especially the ones you may not like or don't feel your greatest at. And for many students that means math. Being serviceable at math opens up many fields for your consideration, including many subspecialties of bio, which are getting increasingly quantitative these days.

    Strength in math and statistics can also help one do better work in biological and social sciences than one would if one were weak in math and statistics.

    For some other students, English is a high school course that they are unenthusiastic about. High school English courses are typically a bundle of writing / language skills and literature analysis. The writing / language skills are widely applicable across most fields, so they in particular should not be ignored, even if one is not a fan of literature analysis.
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  • wis75wis75 14376 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Ditto on the paragraph writing. It was hard to read your post. OP- I almost did not. Break things up into small units.
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