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Does Your Undergrad Major Really Matter?

A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
I was reminded of a blog I used to read here and there. With acceptances rolling in, I thought I'd share a couple pretty blogpost.

Your major doesn't matter: http://calnewport.com/blog/2007/10/24/does-your-college-major-matter/

Don't major in business: http://calnewport.com/blog/2009/02/18/want-a-job-dont-major-in-business/

What do you think?
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7 replies
A photo of lemony lemony
Nothing new, really. Choose to study what you actually like. Kind of makes sense considering you're going to be doing it almost everyday for a (probably) long time.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
Actually the first blog post argues you might not be doing anything relevant to what you study.

Also, I posted this on the business thread because generally I find what is written in the beginning of the second articles resonates very well with the current trend now - "don't choose Business because you want to work in business". Is that nothing new around here - I sure don't think so?
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A photo of MattUK MattUK
I chose my major out of interest, and it just so happens to be quite employable.
A favourable stroke of luck, I suppose.
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A photo of viii viii
I entirely disagree with the second link.
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A photo of SkylarNoeL SkylarNoeL
Maybe a select few (read: select few) group of employers will think that someone who majored in Ancient Greece and dabbled in some math must be very artsy, sophisticated, and confident, but I'm sure the rest will think "so this kid basically has extensive knowledge in nothing but the historic past of a foreign country, and probably tried to switch over to something practical, like math, but wasn't able to keep it up and gave up... why is he even wasting my time?" The article nails onto the fact that many business administration jobs don't require technical knowledge the way programs such as engineering or math do, but the message should be interpreted more of a "don't be discouraged if you're not a business major but you want to do business" than "the best way to do business is to actually study anything but business." To interpret it like in the former would be like saying "since you can learn programming yourself, to become a software engineer, you should study fine arts, then at the interview show them how you know just as much as everyone else even though you studied Ancient Greece; that will make you outstanding among the rest of the candidates." Yes, you can still become a software engineer even if you didn't take CS/SE, but going out and purposely avoiding the program doesn't put you ahead in any way. The target audience of this article is for the wishful and regretful who want to pursue their dreams despite having a different major, not the aspiring and envisioning who have the correct program within their reach.

The first article makes more sense, and I like the refreshing perspective that it provides. A lot of people seem to think that the program they're entering will concretely determine exactly how much money they'll make for the rest of their life, and some people get the impression that where they're going dictates whether or not they are, as a person, more valuable or important than another. Getting into a program, or not getting into a program, doesn't guarantee anything, yet everyone goes around thinking that it does. Of course, you should pursue the major that you're going for if you know what it is, the article is simply saying that it's okay if you chose wrong or change your mind later.

I'm sure that these articles will greatly annoy elitist students in certain programs who will indignantly try to claim that they and their colleagues and ONLY they and their colleagues will ever get certain jobs because they are so very special, and that's what makes the articles entertaining and useful.

But I still have no intention on switching into Ancient Greece anytime soon...
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
Liberal Arts in Canada is pretty bad and unpopular unlike the States where Undergrad Ivy League is all Liberal Arts or Science. Here, the only really well known non-technical programs are the business programs. I don't think why this is the case, but it just is. So it may be hard to understand what everything in the blogpost is about. I seriously do not think Ivey/QC/Schulich's academic curriculum content matter at all.

Also, it's not encouraging switching to Ancient Greek studies rather just choosing a major that you want to major in, and not one you think that aligns 100% with your high school career ambitions.
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