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Choosing a major

  1. Sep 8, 2003 #1

    Cod

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    I just started my second year of college and still have not decided on a major. I need to decide soon so I've narrowed my list of choices down: software engineering, mechanical engineering, chemicals engineering, or mathematics. I've met people in all of the fields I've named and they all spark a lot of interest to me. Also, the majors I've narrowed my list down to all contain stuff that I already enjoy. So maybe some of y'all could elaborate more on each major if you are in that major, have a degree from that major, or work in a field involving that major. I'd also like to know WHAT I can do with each major (career wise, etc.).

    Basically, I'm just looking for some guidance in my choice that I cannot get from my parents since they think computers are the ONLY way to go now-a-days. Monday, at school, I'm going to stop by the counseling office to see if they can lend me some assistance as well.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2003 #2
    Just a word to the wise on computer technology. There is still a demand for it, but due to the dot com bust, the economic downturn, and the trend towards exporting of IT jobs overseas, you won't find the huge salaries that the IT field was commanding 5 years ago. In the late 90's it was not uncommon out of college to land a job at 70K+ with stock options. At this point I know many It folks with 5+ years experience who have been out of work for almost a year, with no end in sight. And the positions that are being offered are more in line with other white collar jobs. Not to mention that it's a 50 to 1 applicant to job ratio due to the enconomy that being said...

    The lifestyle is pretty decent as far as jobs go. Always in an office. Many times work an 8-5 schedule with little or no overtime. If there's a project deadline that must be met, they may ask you to put in some, but otherwise not that demanding. Of course you have to enjoy sitting at a desk 40 hours a week. Programming takes a certain mindset, because you're always sitting at a desk debugging code. It can get tedious at times, and has been likened to accounting. If you're not inclined to be attached to a desk, there's always the network engineering/systems integration route, which basically has you setting up networks. those of course typically demand more hours, but don't have you sitting at your desk. More likely you'll be troubleshooting server and router LAN/WAN topology issues. A bit more exciting than programming, but by no means heartstopping.

    Speaking as someone who's been doing IT for a while now, it gets tedious and repetitive after a while, like everything else, but there's always that occasional challenge to shock the heart out of cardiac arrest and get the blood flowing- if only from the stress.

    As for me, that's why I'm going to be a doctor:wink:
     
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