Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Jan 8, 2009

Choosing the Right Major — A Tough Decision

Filed under: Education — admin @ 12:28 am

During this winter break, the topic that my son and I talked about most was his major. He considered majors from computer science to mathematics, finance, and politics. And he had ample explanations for each of his choices. I could not give him anything specific.

I realize college education is, among others, the process of getting to know yourself, discovering where your interest is and where your strength is, etc. It can be a difficult decision because for most of people it will determine what a person will do for a living for the large part of his/her life.

On the one hand, you want to do what you are interested in; on the other hand, you want to make sure you can land on a job upon graduation and move on your life with some financial foothold. Nobody can last long playing the guitar merrily, the sky being the roof with no food or drink. For this, you have to reach an acceptable compromise between job market need and your interest.

College is also the place with endless possibilities; and college education gives you a nearly once-in-lifetime chance for career advancement. After all, you are young and fresh from college only once in your life, which is perceived as uniquely valuable to many people. This is especially true with good-brand universities where recruiters from big companies are eager to attract the young and talented.

Here are what I have to in mind:
(1) You major does not have to determine your future. You can be happy and successful no matter what your major is.
(2) A major does not clamp you down in one place, doing one thing all your life. You forever have your choice.
(3) You are still in the process of learning and discovering yourself even beyond your college life.
(4) An opportunity, once lost, will not come around again. Therefore, take full advantage of whatever opportunities that are given to you at this point of life and move on with full speed.
(5) The first job is meant to be a platform for you to advance your career. Even if you have got the best possible job, you still need to have your own agenda and follow your own set path. After you have enriched yourself with some real-work experience and have a better understanding of yourself, you can always make a career change. I myself have changed careers half a dozen times, and not all willingly though.

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