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Switching Majors

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by Dmonkey, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Apr 5, 2012 at 1:27 AM
    #1
    Dmonkey

    Dmonkey [OP] Drop it Drop it Low

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    Alright, So I'm currently going for a BA: Music with emphasis on music tech. I chose this because I really enjoy recording music, working in my community college's radio studio and doing live events and setting up sound. I graduated from that program which was comprehensive and there is really no need to further education on that part.

    I transferred to university hoping for a greater expansion on what I learned and hoped to be proven wrong about not needing further education in this field. I'm on my second semester now, I'm taking a poly sci class (I'm heavily into politics) and I honestly can't get enough of this class, I want to take more and more poly sci classes and learn all I can.

    I'm considering switching to Poly sci, I'm not too far behind in units, in fact I'm only about 4 units ahead in my music BA than if I were to switch over to Poly sci.

    Here's the hang up, I'm 26. the idea of this switch puts me close to an anxiety attack. I kind of feel like a failure as it is due to my age and I'm concerned about switching majors for this reason. I know I shouldn't judge my success based on others but I should have been done with this whole thing 4 years ago.

    what do you guys think?
     
  2. Apr 5, 2012 at 1:38 AM
    #2
    1980

    1980 Well-Known Member

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    Like Chicago said "It's never too late to start all over again." There's also something called the double major.
     
  3. Apr 5, 2012 at 1:49 AM
    #3
    Dmonkey

    Dmonkey [OP] Drop it Drop it Low

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    ye I'm aware of the double major, I just feel like my current major is a waste of time as I already have all the skills needed. there's people in my life(not my gf, she's supportive) saying things like "you're getting close to the age where you should be in a career" really screws with your head, makes you afraid of changing anything.
     
  4. Apr 5, 2012 at 1:56 AM
    #4
    k9cop

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    if you can swing it financiallly it would be cool. Getting your degree is what will open doors for you. Unless you are a doctor, attorney or engineer what you get your degree in doesn't matter as long as you have one. I would have stayed in college forever if I could afford it and if I wasn't so sick of being broke..
     
  5. Apr 5, 2012 at 2:07 AM
    #5
    Dmonkey

    Dmonkey [OP] Drop it Drop it Low

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    Yeah, I can swing it financially, I'm pretty sick of being broke but luckily California has figured out that problem for me, with a 12% unemployment rate.
     
  6. Apr 5, 2012 at 2:49 AM
    #6
    1980

    1980 Well-Known Member

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    There are plenty of broke college graduates too but a degree can help you get a job. That's not saying you may ever be paid what your education is worth. If you are not then welcome to the real world where colleges pay coaches 200 times what they pay their professors, a 21-year-old pipsqueak butter bar outranks a 50-year old sergeant major who has fought in three wars, and CEOs are paid hundreds millions to leave after they have run a company into the ground, then are hired for more hundreds of millions more by another company.

    Rant aside, ask yourself what career you would enjoy having most in five to ten years and then pursue the education that will help you attain that goal.
     
  7. Apr 5, 2012 at 3:24 AM
    #7
    WAGONWHEEL

    WAGONWHEEL Active Member

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    It's never too late to go college. I went back at age 40 for a second degree. My personal opinion is engineering. As an engineer, you WILL get a job that pays you well! However, there is something to be said for doing something you enjoy. Best of luck.
     
  8. Apr 5, 2012 at 4:37 AM
    #8
    The Driver

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    I started college as a Pol Scy major. I wound up with an Accounting Degree. Why? I too loved politics, but Pol Scy majors only true avenue of success is Law School.


    Whatever you do, make sure that earned a degree that is employable. Nothing wrong with being a Starbucks Barista, if that is what you want to do (not implying anything, just an example), but I had better ideas and bigger dreams.


    Good luck!


    BTW, I was 27 when I earned my B.A., as I swapped majors 4 times. I had 182 hours by the time I was done with undergrad...
     
  9. Apr 5, 2012 at 4:39 AM
    #9
    bethes

    bethes Señorita Member

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    I started out in business administration; I was a mediocre student and was happy to skip class if I could. Late in my junior year I took a geology course. I NEVER missed it, I loved it, I WANTED to attend lecture.

    It was late in my junior year though. Too late to change majors, I thought. I'd nearly have to start over, so I finished my business admin degree. I worked in a horrible job I hated every second for 2 years after college. It had nothing to do with the pay, although that sucked, too. I just hated the job; I referred to work as the 7th Circle of Hell. One day I had a realization. I was miserable. It was literally to the point where I would think about continuing this way for 5 more years and I would want to kill myself.

    Did you read that? I was so miserable with my job the thought of continued employment made me suicidal.

    I went back to school, then age 25. I basically started over, so few of my business credits applied to my geology degree. I think I took 2-1/2 years of classes and then decided to get my master's (still working on this while I work full time). Now I'm about to turn 29 for the 3rd time :D and I have no regrets about going back to school.

    If I could have offered myself one bit of advice from Future Me, it would have been this: Do what you love. Change you major, pursue what interests you. You will spend nearly half your waking life for the next 40 years at work. That's far too much time not to love your work. If you found something you have a passion for, pursue it. A little extra time in school pays off in much more important ways than a paycheck.

    :) good luck!
     
  10. Apr 5, 2012 at 5:20 AM
    #10
    afd23a

    afd23a Well-Known Member

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    I have a music industry degree and loved all the classes I took in college. I had maybe two music industry related jobs after getting my degree before I moved on to other industries/technologies. What I eventually learned is that it takes a special type of personality to succeed long term in the music industry and I don't have it. I have been able to move on to jobs in other fields because of my skills, personality and the simple fact that I have a degree (not what it's in). Some employers care what your degree is in and some don't. However, I do wish that I had gotten a degree in a different area so that my job selection wouldn't be quite as limited.

    If I were you I'd do the double major or drop the music industry degree and go with poly-sci. This doesn't mean you can't continue to pursue a music industry job, but if it doesn't work out (like so many in the music industry) then you have something else to fall back on ie. possibility of law school.
     
  11. Apr 5, 2012 at 1:03 PM
    #11
    Dmonkey

    Dmonkey [OP] Drop it Drop it Low

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    Thank you all for your comments. It's really helping me think about this stuff. I think the turning point for me was when I would rather go to my political science class than be in a concert for the University. Normally I love these opportunities because it gets me out of boring classes. I enjoy each and every moment in the class, the discussions, learning the functions of government and in this case how the supreme court works.

    I guess I'm just scared of the extra time It would potentially take to get a poly Sci degree. I'm not worried about a music degree because the only reason I was doing it is to have the Bachelors to fall back on since as many of you have pointed out, most end up in unrelated fields.

    I enjoy playing music and learning music but the associates I have in this field also has a technical certificate and that will not enhance after I graduate with a BA. In fact, my AA is certified by the audio engineering society and my BA will not. It seems they take a half ass approach to my focus, they dont have dedicated studio professionals, they call it music technology ffs, anyone in the field knows that Sound is not music.

    This thread has made me less afraid to seek out a potential new path, I'm grateful. I need to look through all my units and apply them and see exactly where I'm at in this Poly degree and move from there.

    The more input the better btw! My dream job would be doing political radio
     
  12. Apr 5, 2012 at 1:10 PM
    #12
    TacoDaTugBoat

    TacoDaTugBoat Well-Known Member

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    I was 26 when I got my BS in Civil Engineering, 8 years full time, 2 AS (Computer Aided Design, Mech Engineering). I would still like to go back and get a masters. Your never too old.
     
  13. Apr 5, 2012 at 1:15 PM
    #13
    macgyver

    macgyver Well-Known Member

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    Just remember that the majority of people don't even work in the field that their college degree is in.
     
  14. Apr 5, 2012 at 8:52 PM
    #14
    The Driver

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    I'd like to see data to back up such statement.
     
  15. Apr 5, 2012 at 9:27 PM
    #15
    1980

    1980 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have general data but can say from personal experience that many people migrate to other careers once they attain a degree. Here are some degrees and final occupations of people I've gone to school with.

    Communications -- USDA administration
    Communications -- Construction
    Agricultural Business -- Bank loan officer
    Political Science -- NASA administration
    Education -- Welding
    Education -- Works for a Petroleum Company
    Paleontology -- Industrial Hygiene
    Geology -- Environmental Protection Agency
    EMS -- Law Enforcement
    Biology -- Art
    Interior Design -- Data entry
    Linguistics -- World Bank
    Communications -- Firefighter

    Several people I know have jobs in their career fields too (note that most of these are professional degrees):

    Admin of Justice -- FBI
    Education -- Elementary Education
    Nursing -- EMS
    Medicine -- Pediatrics
    Mortician -- Mortician
    Law -- Law
     
  16. Apr 5, 2012 at 9:43 PM
    #16
    The Driver

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    ^ I don't mean to be a dick (which is surprising as I can be quite good at it) but the majority of your chart is exceedingly vague at best.


    Example: Adm of Justice: FBI...

    Doing what? Not everyone that works for the FBI is a Special Agent. I could deconstruct your statement to pieces, but I've been awake since 5 am Central, and it is almost midnight.


    BTW, sample size of one, good stats does not provide...
     
  17. Apr 6, 2012 at 5:50 AM
    #17
    macgyver

    macgyver Well-Known Member

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    I don't really have any data to back it. I've just observed that over the years. I work with people that have a wide variety of degrees.

    I do corporate investigations (theft, fraud, and employee misconduct) and data analytics for a large cell phone company and of our team here in my office our degrees are: Business management (mine), History (colleague), Retail Asset Protection (my boss, probably the closest degree to our field), English (Bosses boss), Journalism/English (Our director, former FBI agent then director at the FBI).

    My next door neighbor has a Marketing degree and he's a computer programmer and a pastor. Another neighbor has a degree in Turf Management and he's an insurance agent.

    My point is that you shouldn't focus too hard on trying to figure out what your degree should be because chances are you will change your mind a few times. Just pick a "broad" degree and as you get older and more experienced you will figure out what you're good at and what you do and don't want to do for a career.

    The days of doing the same thing and working for the same company your whole life are over. People nowadays will change careers multiple times.

    Personally, I'm really good at Data stuff, Ie. Data mining (SQL -self taught), Data analysis, building relational databases, and I'm a great investigator but to be honest it's not the career I want to do the rest of my life. I just do it now because I somewhat enjoy it and it pays really well. Ultimately I want to get in the real estate business rehabbing and flipping houses. That's my dream job because I love anything to do with houses and remodeling.
     
  18. Apr 6, 2012 at 2:50 PM
    #18
    bethes

    bethes Señorita Member

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    I say the poli sci major working in NASA admin probably is right where he belongs, major-wise. The admin of NASA is not a science or technology job, it's a political one.

    Also the geologist working for the EPA can be considered being in his "correct" profession given his major. Even if he's not strictly working with rock or soil issues, science fields are generally largely overlapping. Geology is the study of the Earth and Earth processes and you'd be hard-pressed to find an environmental issue that doesn't fall under that.

    :)
     
  19. Apr 6, 2012 at 4:22 PM
    #19
    worthywads

    worthywads Well-Known Member

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    I work in a brewery and everyone of the 35+ that work there has a BS degree or better, but none in brewing or anything close.
     
  20. Apr 6, 2012 at 7:40 PM
    #20
    1980

    1980 Well-Known Member

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    You are probably right about the NASA job, though I included it because it's actually more technical than it seems. Of course this was a farm kid too who knew his way around machinery.

    The EPA job is actually a she -- it's my cousin. You are again correct -- geology (she has a second grad degree too but I can't recall what it is) is such a broad field that it can encompass many other disciplines.

    Which brings up a point for those thinking about getting some more education. There are many complementary double majors that have a synergistic effect to make you much more hireable than a single degree would itself.

    I have biology and medicine (with another hundred hours in all sorts of things) but any two of the hard sciences will usually complement each other as will engineering and a hard science. Poly-sci and communications goes well together and as someone already mentioned a great many of successful career politicians have poly-sci and law.

    Some people end up with amazingly lucrative careers by using their degrees in innovative ways. Below is the web page of a guy that I went to grad school with who has taken his biology degrees and combined them with a family history of artistic talent to become a very successful nature illustrator. His illustrations, unlike those of some artists, are so exacting to detail that new subspecies have actually been discovered through his drawings of the fish he has caught.

    http://www.americanfishes.com/
     
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