Be Practical When You Select Your Major In College

Thursday, June 3, 2010, 6:28 AM | 1 Comment

There are a few realities in life you must consider before you select your major in college. You just cannot choose your field of work based on your passion for the profession anymore. Whatever you select, you must be proficient in it and you must excel in it. There are no guarantees that you would lead a financially successful life, but still you would be in a better position to pursue your career.

Proficiency and Excellence

Those days are gone when way back in the 1950s to 1970s and probably in the 1980s as well, even with a high school education, you could get a decent paying job with the likes of AT&T and IBM. You could work at those companies till you retired, collected a decent pension, social security and live happily ever after in retirement. Not anymore. Not only the United States and Europe but the whole world is too competitive for us all. These days, even with a 4-year college education, there is no guarantee that you would get a job let alone with more money. The only way you can achieve financial success in this competitive world is to be proficient and excel in your profession.

I know a guy, Mr. Kim who was one year senior to my kid in high school, who throughout his elementary, middle and high school, got straight A’s except once when he got A-. The story goes that he cried at his A- grade and worried that he would not get admitted to an Ivy-League institution. He was offered admission in all 7 of them. However, he chose Harvard to be closer to his immigrant parents who spoke very little English if at all.

Profession with good job prospects

I know everyone cannot be doctors, lawyers and investment bankers, but still when you as student select your major in college and the profession you intend to work in, you should think over the prospects of getting a decent-paying job after you graduate. It has always been the case that some professions have better paying jobs than others. However, any profession you select, you must excel in it to get 1) a job at the earliest and 2) a decent-paying job.

Financing education is the hardest part

When you finally decide on what field to pursue in college and have the best intentions of being proficient and excellent in your studies, the next step is how to finance your education. Not everyone can be Mr. Kim who got full scholarship for his studies with the promise from Harvard – reported in the media at the time – that all his education will be paid by the institution even when he decided to go for a doctorate.

If your parents are not able and most probably they will not be to support you in all 4 years of your college endure, the next best thing is to try to get a scholarship directly from the college you intend to attend and also to avoid the scams that have been floating around online and offline as well.

If you cannot get a scholarship, you should apply for a government-sponsored loan program, again to avoid the scums of the world. In this regard, read the few posts that I have written previously to get you some idea of what steps to take.

In essence

Without hard work and according to Tom Peters smart work, it’s getting increasingly difficult to join and advance in your profession. Today’s environment is very much different than your parents’. So work hard, work smart and be fruitful to your neighborhood and the community at large. Don’t get in a position later in life to say: “I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am [Marlon Brando in the Waterfront.]

In a Nutshell
Read the story written by by Ron Lieber about an individual named Cortney Munna. The title of the article is “Placing the Blame as Students Are Buried in Debt“. Also read the article that Cortney Munna wrote in response to the original. You don’t have to go through the experiences yourself what Ms. Munna and others have been through. You can learn from other folks to avoid the same mistakes.

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