Saturday, September 26, 2009

What criteria is best to decide what to study in college?

Interest, ability, and marketability.

First, lets be clear that whatever you chose to study in college will definitely NOT define what you can and cannot do for the rest of your life.

Studying something that interests you is fun. Studying something that you have a natural ability for is also fun because it is easier. And, studying something that is marketable is great because with money you can really have a lot of fun!

So, does it all boil down to having fun. Sort of : )

Lets start by asking ourselves why we go to college in the first place. It is a reasonable assumption that this huge investment in time, money, and effort is, first and foremost, made to acquire some sort of marketable skills so we can make a living later on.

So what is all this advice about: pursue what makes you happy, do not commit too early, make sure you know exactly what you want, be a generalist, leave your options open, follow your dreams, etc. They are all nice aspirations but the reality is that the real world will hit you hard if you leave the “marketability” part out. Mainly because, unless you are somehow set for life economically, things cost money.

So, what should you do if you cannot make up your mind? Should you commit to studying something interesting and marketable even if you are not sure that is what you were put on this earth to do? Absolutely.

As your interests change and opportunities present themselves, you can adjust things as needed.
Here are a few things that people forget to tell us about:
  • You do not have to do what you studied in college for the rest of your life
  • If you do not like what you are doing, you can change it
  • Life is long and you can relearn anything you want
  • Enjoying your job/career is mostly about attitude
  • And......if it all fails, you can always start your own business and design your dream job/career
So, don't sweat it. Commit to a marketable major. A useful one. One that you have an interest in and some ability for. Even if you are not sure.

Once you are out in the real world, you should be able to find the fun in everything you do. If you cannot, then change it. Life is too short to not do something you enjoy.

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