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HELP! How to pick a major?

  1. May 3, 2012 #1
    I've pretty much exhausted logic at this point. I have numerous interests and can't commit myself to just one. I've always been this way; it's just my personality. For those of you who've been there, what helped you decide?

    Here is a little background info:

    1. I like hands on work and research
    2. I like to plan
    3. I'm an A type personality
    4. I like solving complex problems
    5. I like autonomy
    6. Business oriented


    1. Math/Physics
    2. Math/Computer Science
    3. Math/Economics
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2012 #2
    I would suggest particle theoretical physics, as it incorporated many complex equations for the people with strong mathematical backgrounds. This field isn't extremely hands on though, it is mostly just solving equations, and required tremendous amounts of patience, concentration, and dedication.
  4. May 3, 2012 #3
    I disagree with the suggestion about theoretical physics, especially since you only specialized in theory in graduate school.

    Based on your six point list, I would say you sound like an Electrical Engineer or a CS student.

    If you go to a school that offers an EECS degree (such as UC Berkeley) that might be the best choice. You can specialize in CS if you choose, but you'll get more breadth and be in a great position to decide what you want to do in graduate school. You won't be closing many doors.
  5. May 3, 2012 #4


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    ... and with an extremely poor employment rate.

  6. May 3, 2012 #5


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    The first year in any of those programs is likely going to be very similar. Since all of your listed options include math, why not just sign up as a math major for your first year. Then take all the courses you need to keep your doors open for any of those avenues. Once you have your first year or so under your belt, you can steer your ship to go with favourable winds.
  7. May 3, 2012 #6
    Not being able to commit to just one interest and also all the bullet points you listed (except the last one) makes me think you'd enjoy physics. A physics education gives you knowledge of a broad range of topics and you don't have to specialize until you get to graduate school.

    Now, if you don't want to go to graduate school, then I'd suggest maybe an engineering and business double major. You sadly won't have an easy time finding a job with just a physics bachelors, so you should plan ahead for that.

    You could do math/physics and then get an MBA if you want to be business oriented and still work with technology. Engineering and an MBA would work well too of course.

    How long do you want to study for? Do you want a bachelor's degree and then go get a job? Do you want to stay in school after you get a bachelor's degree?
  8. May 4, 2012 #7
    I know for a fact that I want to attend graduate school and possibly pursue multiple degrees: Master's/PHd. I'd like to be done with my bachelor's and master's degrees in ~6 years.
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  9. May 4, 2012 #8
    Thanks! I just might do that.
  10. May 4, 2012 #9
    You should watch out, though. Most engineering majors require you to apply before you can take their core classes, so you should keep that in mind. You can pretty much always switch to math or physics, as those aren't competitive majors (more slots open than there are people wanting to get in), though, so in this case it might be easier to apply to engineering first, and if you decide you don't like it, switch out.
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