T Nation

What To Major In ???

Now, I am aware that most will say a degree in things like engineering, math etc. would be best money wise. However, I already have an A.A degree and have a chance to get into an “Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree Program” due to my work/volunteer experience.

These are a few of the options:

“Sustainability Management”

“Supply Chain and Logistics Management”

“IT Operations Management”

"Business Analysis and Management "

“Behavioral Science”

“Healthcare Management”

[quote]maverick88 wrote:
Now, I am aware that most will say a degree in things like engineering, math etc. would be best money wise. However, I already have an A.A degree and have a chance to get into an “Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree Program” due to my work/volunteer experience.

These are a few of the options:

“Sustainability Management”

“Supply Chain and Logistics Management”

“IT Operations Management”

"Business Analysis and Management "

“Behavioral Science”

“Healthcare Management”

[/quote]

Whether you go the accelerated route or whatever else you can do, try to get a degree in a SKILL or at least a specific field focus. So the IT operations or Healthcare Management would probably be pretty good, but I’d rather see you get a degree in the IT field, get experience in the field and work your way up to Management.

I’m not exactly sure what you could do right out of college with a healthcare or IT Management degree. Most people I know who get a degree in Management or something like that end up working at Enterprise Rent a Car…and I’m not joking.

Yeah I would say IT there’s many incentives to work in that field from what I’ve heard from the people that work in that area.

They’re accelerated for a reason, my man. What exactly is it that you are pursuing? It seems like you’re just going with this because it was presented to you in a nice package and looks nice.

If you need to ask, you don’t have a passion for those roles and you are best pursuing something else. Find what you’re passionate about and chase it down rather than just taking something you’re presented with.

If you’re asking what I’d do because you think I’m a cool guy and you’d like to model yourself on me then I’d stay away from IT operations, serious drudgery right there (sorry IT ops folk).

I’d look at the business analysis one. First BA is a pretty cool job and it’s the only one besides behavioural science which has a non management aspect to it (i don’t like behavioural science). I have no experience in the other industries and I wouldn’t inflict myself with no experience on the poor souls I’d need to “manage”.

Well, right now I have a warehouse job and do art on the side. Making o.k money altogether. Without the BA though I feel like chances of a better job or advancement are slim. There is nothing I am really passionate about except for art but, that is not really stable and I would prefer to keep it as a side job, making something I love my primary source of income my take the fun out of it.

Realizing that except for art or getting paid to sit on my ass watching tv ( unlikely) there is nothing I am passionate about profession wise is why I am asking. That is not to say I do not work hard and bust my ass at work (I am the youngest section supervisor) many times I work overtime/ weekends just that any job is going to be for money/security and I am cool with that.

My concern is more job availability, outlook, and potential pay.

Ugh.

A bunch of management tracts, with zero passion or interest, just looking for a “stable job”.

That, right there, is the wrong outlook.

If you’re not trying to be good or even great at whichever you pick, I don’t really think you should ever be in management.

Fortunately, you can change that.

Most of it is always just going to come down to buckling down and doing the hard and tedious work, with sporadic parts where you actually love what you’re doing and feel you can offer something positive.

If you’re only picking from those options, I’d lean toward the route that caters best to your own natural talents. If you’re good with people, vs if you’re good with systems, vs if you’re good at analysis, vs. etc.

And then work hard, get really good at it, and maybe start to like it (because you’re good at it).

OR.

Figure out a way to make money with your art and just apply your passion there. Make it work somehow.

And there’s design work, which isn’t really the same, but it’s close enough. You can apply a little creativity there without getting too invested emotionally, and you can use your job/s to develop skills that you can use for your own personal art.

Work is work

Find something that you can put up with for 40hrs/wk it doesn’t have to be your passion or something you love, that’s what hobbies and free time are for.

[quote]maverick88 wrote:
Well, right now I have a warehouse job

[/quote]

So supply chain…

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
Work is work

Find something that you can put up with for 40hrs/wk it doesn’t have to be your passion or something you love, that’s what hobbies and free time are for.[/quote]

I’ve really come to appreciate this outlook.

Just as it’s unrealistic to expect your spouse to meet every need, so is it unrealistic to believe your job will fill your every need. If you’re looking for fulfillment, find it elsewhere. If you need a creative outlet, find it elsewhere.

Sometimes a job is just a job and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s actually a freedom that comes with putting in your 40 hours and spending the rest of your time pursuing things that actually speak to you as a person.

[quote]ZJStrope wrote:
I’m not exactly sure what you could do right out of college with a healthcare or IT Management degree. Most people I know who get a degree in Management or something like that end up working at Enterprise Rent a Car…and I’m not joking.
[/quote]

+1

Save the management degree for your MBA unless you’re really passionate about working in a specific field eg healthcare. If you have an excellent GPA from a competitive school, it may give you a leg up getting into a rotational program but otherwise you’re starting at an entry level position, just like the English Lit major.

Literally doesn’t matter. Just get your $150,000 piece of paper so you can get your foot in the door of job interviews. You’ll learn more about whatever job you get into in the first 6 months of actual work than you will in all four years of college.

There are some exceptions to this, but not really in the fields you mentioned.

[quote]csulli wrote:
Literally doesn’t matter. Just get your $150,000 piece of paper so you can get your foot in the door of job interviews. You’ll learn more about whatever job you get into in the first 6 months of actual work than you will in all four years of college.

There are some exceptions to this, but not really in the fields you mentioned.[/quote]

Terrible, terrible idea to spend that much.

And I think unless you go after one of the specific majors in which it does matter what you major in (ie, you’ll get a job in your field of study), in many cases it doesn’t even make sense to go to college.

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
Work is work

Find something that you can put up with for 40hrs/wk it doesn’t have to be your passion or something you love, that’s what hobbies and free time are for.[/quote]

I’ve really come to appreciate this outlook.

Just as it’s unrealistic to expect your spouse to meet every need, so is it unrealistic to believe your job will fill your every need. If you’re looking for fulfillment, find it elsewhere. If you need a creative outlet, find it elsewhere.

Sometimes a job is just a job and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s actually a freedom that comes with putting in your 40 hours and spending the rest of your time pursuing things that actually speak to you as a person.
[/quote]

That is the way I see it.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]maverick88 wrote:
Well, right now I have a warehouse job

[/quote]

So supply chain…[/quote]

I have been looking into that one.

[quote]maverick88 wrote:

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
Work is work

Find something that you can put up with for 40hrs/wk it doesn’t have to be your passion or something you love, that’s what hobbies and free time are for.[/quote]

I’ve really come to appreciate this outlook.

Just as it’s unrealistic to expect your spouse to meet every need, so is it unrealistic to believe your job will fill your every need. If you’re looking for fulfillment, find it elsewhere. If you need a creative outlet, find it elsewhere.

Sometimes a job is just a job and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s actually a freedom that comes with putting in your 40 hours and spending the rest of your time pursuing things that actually speak to you as a person.
[/quote]

That is the way I see it.[/quote]

Yup.

I have enough control over my actual job now to do things that I enjoy and that matter, but it took several years to get here. Sometimes I actually do just want to do punch-the-clock kind of work (e.g., if I want energy to spend elsewhere in life), but I can usually arrange that.

Managing expectations is one of those really useful skills I wish I knew about when I was younger.

[quote]csulli wrote:
Literally doesn’t matter. Just get your $150,000 piece of paper so you can get your foot in the door of job interviews. You’ll learn more about whatever job you get into in the first 6 months of actual work than you will in all four years of college.

There are some exceptions to this, but not really in the fields you mentioned.[/quote]

I already have an AA and it was practically all paid for by financial aid. Tuition not including books will be about 20k and I still qualify for financial aid (FAFSA) obviously not nothing but, easy enough to pay for.

As you said “so you can get your foot in the door of job interviews”. That is really what it comes down to what major has the most open doors.

[quote]maverick88 wrote:

[quote]csulli wrote:
Literally doesn’t matter. Just get your $150,000 piece of paper so you can get your foot in the door of job interviews. You’ll learn more about whatever job you get into in the first 6 months of actual work than you will in all four years of college.

There are some exceptions to this, but not really in the fields you mentioned.[/quote]

I already have an AA and it was practically all paid for by financial aid. Tuition not including books will be about 20k and I still qualify for financial aid (FAFSA) obviously not nothing but, easy enough to pay for.

As you said “so you can get your foot in the door of job interviews”. That is really what it comes down to what major has the most open doors.[/quote]

Well, it’s more, which major will give you the highest chance of actually getting the job.

It doesn’t do much good if the one with the most open doors has 5x as many applicants as the others.

What are your strengths?
What kind of work environment do you work best in – busy and bustling, or quiet?
Would you rather be working toward the manufacturing/production end of the spectrum, or the desk-job end of the spectrum?
Do you prefer to be on your own most of the time, or interacting with people most of the time?

Those kinds of questions should also be important to answer when you’re making this decision.

For instance, I work in a fairly large company, but I work mostly on my own, in my own office, usually with the door shut. I don’t actually have to interact with very many people to get my work done. However, I have the option to interact with people if I want, and it’s mostly social. There’s the right amount of flexibility to fit my needs/wants.

[quote]maverick88 wrote:

[quote]csulli wrote:
Literally doesn’t matter. Just get your $150,000 piece of paper so you can get your foot in the door of job interviews. You’ll learn more about whatever job you get into in the first 6 months of actual work than you will in all four years of college.

There are some exceptions to this, but not really in the fields you mentioned.[/quote]

I already have an AA and it was practically all paid for by financial aid. Tuition not including books will be about 20k and I still qualify for financial aid (FAFSA) obviously not nothing but, easy enough to pay for.

As you said “so you can get your foot in the door of job interviews”. That is really what it comes down to what major has the most open doors.[/quote]

Well it depends on how you look at it.

Any degree that gives you a skill will have a lot of open doors…so Accounting, Programing (you could argue you can teach yourself though), Engineering, Management Information Systems, etc, will give you the most opportunities, in the most places, with the best starting salaries. And as long as you are 3.0+ GPA and not a douche, you’re pretty much guaranteed a job somewhere.

If you get a general degree, list history, management, marketing, etc, there are a lot of doors but you have a couple of things against you.

First, there’s significant competition for the jobs you qualify for out of college. Not only do you compete with other people in your degree, but you would also compete with people like me since Accounting or Engineering experience can translate to Management jobs but the opposite rarely works.

Second, you will only qualify for an intro level job since you have no actual experience…so look forward to making $30-36k/year to start…unless you are SUPERSTAR and you graduate from a top school. Then you could get into like a GE Management trainee rotation program which probably starts out in the mid $40’s.

So, to recap, unless you get a specific skill set or you are a super star coming from a top school, you’re best bet is to focus on getting your foot in the door somewhere, going to school part time, and getting as much experience as you can and learning from the people in the business.

If you are going to school for a generalized degree, you will have a hard time applying it directly to a career. IT Management SOUNDS specific, but you don’t learn the processes any specific company or industry uses, but the general principles. I’m in IT, with a B.Sc in Computer Science.

It’s one of the few things that come close to being directly applicable, but since it was a BSc, and not “Certificate in Mainframe ISOXXX”, it’s not directly applicable. I didn’t have meaningful IT work for many years, but that was also due to the economy and that I graduated during the dotcom bust.

There are only a few higher education paths that lead directly to work. Engineering, law, medicine, dentistry for the university stuff, and multiple stuff in college (I didn’t do college, so I cannot testify exactly). Also trades and apprenticeships, like electricial and plumbing.

If you live in Canada, the market to be a lawyer is shrinking, and dentistry is tightly regulated in terms of how many graduates they allow. Even the powerhouse of the last few years - “go into finance/trading” is shrinking now, as I’ve heard the major firms are not hiring as much.

From what you listed, a warning : many management positions, if you are just looking for a “job” and not pushing hard to go near the top, you will end up in lower-to-middle management, which are the first positions to let go.

If you get a “hard” skill like a trade, or engineering, or repairing people/organs, as long as people are living in North America, and you keep current, you will be employable. Otherwise, your supply chain logistics management will require learning how to live in Indonesia, and IT management means you are either getting no respect from IT guys in a call center in India, or no respect from IT guys in North America until it gets moved to India.