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Kid about to go to college - need advice

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posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 12:32 PM
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Fellow ATSrs,

Our eldest is about to take on the big bad world by starting college in the fall.

Hard working kid - got first semester college chem and calculus out of the way at local community college during his last two years of high school.

From what I can tell he has got some sense what he is going to be up against in the "real world" and knows not to count on anything getting handed to him.

Going to a good state school close to a major job hub where there will be lots of chances for internships in various industries.

He is majoring in bio engineering at the moment. However we are not naive about how difficult any flavor of engineering can be. I've told him if it turns out he can't hack engineering (I sure as heck couldn't) then he should get at least something in the hard sciences or some sort of financial studies.

Here is my question: what should he major in if engineering turns out to be not to be what he does?

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to share hard-won wisdom.




posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

I had 2 friends. One was studying Arabic and accounting. I thought he was crazy. He's very wealthy now...the other? Engineering and Finance minor/also studied Arabic.

Moved to the middle east, rebuilt and redesigned cities after war rebuilding. He moved to Abu Dhabi and is a millionaire now...



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 12:54 PM
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originally posted by: olddognewtricks
Fellow ATSrs,

Our eldest is about to take on the big bad world by starting college in the fall.

Hard working kid - got first semester college chem and calculus out of the way at local community college during his last two years of high school.

From what I can tell he has got some sense what he is going to be up against in the "real world" and knows not to count on anything getting handed to him.

Going to a good state school close to a major job hub where there will be lots of chances for internships in various industries.

He is majoring in bio engineering at the moment. However we are not naive about how difficult any flavor of engineering can be. I've told him if it turns out he can't hack engineering (I sure as heck couldn't) then he should get at least something in the hard sciences or some sort of financial studies.

Here is my question: what should he major in if engineering turns out to be not to be what he does?

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to share hard-won wisdom.


He should major in a subject that HE loves. Life in the adult world is hard enough even when you LIKE your job. He won't be doing himself any favors if he chooses the thing that guarantees him a job but it's something that makes him miserable. Why isn't HE the one choosing his major?



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 01:00 PM
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Tell to him disregard anything he hears from anyone calling themselves a feminist/liberal/activist or anything remotely political, and listen and learn from any people still within in the college system that believe in expanding minds through application and self discipline.

If the college your kid goes to does have a majority of the latter, let other parent know about it.
edit on 20-4-2017 by CulturalResilience because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-4-2017 by CulturalResilience because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 01:01 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

I've considered getting a CMA certification. its like a CPA, but for people who are specilist in business and management accounting. Historically its been undervalued as a certification, but its gaining popularity as there is a large number of accounting professionals who don't have the CPA education.

Im torn on accounting.....as i think it will likely be mostly automated soon. One of the primary uses for human touch in accounting is coding data for entry. Technology exists that can do this for you by simply taking a photo of an invoice. Most of my current role is in figuring out how to automate my companies accounting tasks and relieve our exponentially growing need for accountants.

Engineering and medicine are the only 2 fields I can think of where you won't compete against people witout education (smaller pool to compete against) and that won't be obsolete witin a generation.



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 01:09 PM
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a reply to: KansasGirl

Oh no, he chose the major. (His mom always says the same thing you just said, lol.) He's been talking about something like this for years.

He has been looking into majors for a while and right now this is the direction he thinks he wants to go in.
edit on 20-4-2017 by olddognewtricks because: Clarity

edit on 20-4-2017 by olddognewtricks because: Spelling error



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 01:13 PM
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I wish I had of partied with my friends in the liberal arts. They seem happy...money isn't everything. Now I'm stuck with a huge debt and nowhere to go with a degree in math unless I want to get a Phd. and teach. No thanks.

Blessed to have served an apprenticeship in something rewarding, both financially and emotionally.
edit on 20-4-2017 by olaru12 because: Alison 9k007k



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 01:13 PM
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posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 01:47 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks
Trade school.

Learn a valuable skill and master it, then demand for his skills (along with appropriate compensation) will always be there, even in an entrepreneurial way.

My take on it, anyhow--I hold a fine arts degree, and I'm very good at what I do, but I'm willing to bet that only maybe 1/3 of the people with whom I went through college have careers in their majors.

Jobs are really no guarantee, regardless of the degree held. The best advice is to find what he's good at and pursue that--at least if he can make a living being good at something, even if it's not his favorite thing to do, he'll be able to pursue his wants in life later.

Often times, that ends up being found at a trade school.



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 01:59 PM
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originally posted by: olddognewtricks
Fellow ATSrs,

Our eldest is about to take on the big bad world by starting college in the fall.

Hard working kid - got first semester college chem and calculus out of the way at local community college during his last two years of high school.

From what I can tell he has got some sense what he is going to be up against in the "real world" and knows not to count on anything getting handed to him.

Going to a good state school close to a major job hub where there will be lots of chances for internships in various industries.

He is majoring in bio engineering at the moment. However we are not naive about how difficult any flavor of engineering can be. I've told him if it turns out he can't hack engineering (I sure as heck couldn't) then he should get at least something in the hard sciences or some sort of financial studies.

Here is my question: what should he major in if engineering turns out to be not to be what he does?

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to share hard-won wisdom.


Here is what I'd recommend. I got a very hard to get prestigious job out of undergrad (consulting and wall street) and went on to a top 3 MBA program. Majored in business, but initially thought I wanted to be an engineer.

The problem with college is that often times students don't really know what they want to do. They may not discover they don't like something until they get into the major. With that said,engineering is by far the most versatile major and usually sought after by any number of companies. Even though I worked in business, I'd say 75% of my co-workers were engineering majors. The management consulting firm I worked for loved engineering majors because the entry level analyst jobs entailed a lot of math, statistics, and working with databases/excel.

If he can hack it, he will not go wrong by majoring in engineering even if he ultimately decides he doesn't want to be an engineer. He should minor in finance or economics. it will make him more attractive.

The trick to getting a good job though is to start early. People often over look the value of internships. Working at the local mall ain't going to cut it. He should be starting now to figure out where he is going to work during the summer and how to get those jobs (most decent school have placement centers so he should be making an effort to meet the Director). He will need to have at least two summers of high quality internships (especially the one between Junior and Senior year) as that is the one the best companies tend to look for.

Good grades are a must, but most companies tend to cut engineering majors some slack vs other majors imho.

If he is going to major in something soft (lib arts), he needs to minor in something more quantitative like econ or finance.



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 02:07 PM
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something in the trades maybe

cant go wrong with a degree in material science



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 02:07 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

A great point....make sure that when you graduate you can build a database of some form, and then write the queries and reports that make the database useful.

No matter what industry you are in, being able to create solid analysis of datasets will always keep you employed. Especially in smaller under developed businesses and industries like hotels and small fish call center outsourcers and supply chain management.



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 02:45 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

Husband went from engineering into bioscience. He ended up with two degrees - biology and microbiology. These days, a lot of the graduates in the biosciences fields are specializing a lot in those areas. There is a lot of potential in the biosciences, but I would recommend that if he go that route, that he take the time to dual his undergrad and take a general degree like microbiology along with the specialized one because the vanilla degrees are getting increasingly rare and do actually open some doors in the field with the companies because they are versatile.

This would be from my husband who is on a level that can hire and fire. Also, if he goes that route, he won't necessarily need advanced degrees to get his start, but if he plans to climb the ladder very far, a lot of places like advanced degrees eventually. So he would need to plan on eventually getting at least a Masters and eventually a Ph.D. Thing is that there are companies that will compensate you for pursuing those degrees while you work for them.
edit on 20-4-2017 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 03:01 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

I would advise him to not go to school to learn but learn how to learn.

The world opens up. Multidisciplinary is also another idea. Two fields that seem disparate but work together.

Sounds like he's got a good start. Walking into college with a few credits under your belt takes some of the pressure off to "pick a major, get done in four years." In the bad old world, a college degree is an indication of being able to stick with something to the end. The "learning how to learn" means being placed in a needed position that is similar the concepts can quickly be learned; no floundering around.

Best wishes! High school will soon be a fond memory which is funny because of how much importance it seemed to have at the time!



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 03:06 PM
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If calculus/mathematics is his thing, then astrophysics is the science subject to take. That provides access to advanced mathematics/physics as well as high performance computing. All those skills are transferrable to the financial sector or to any other industry.



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 03:08 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

The first year of civil engineering was fairly boring. At times I considered leaving to find something more challenging.
Then once graduated I got involved in mining. And became a mine engineer.
Now I look back and think I must have cursed myself asking for something harder.

There's a saying in Mining that everyone involved can agree on:
If I wanted and easy job, I would go crab fishing.



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 03:12 PM
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originally posted by: Macenroe82
a reply to: olddognewtricks

The first year of civil engineering was fairly boring. At times I considered leaving to find something more challenging.
Then once graduated I got involved in mining. And became a mine engineer.
Now I look back and think I must have cursed myself asking for something harder.

There's a saying in Mining that everyone involved can agree on:
If I wanted and easy job, I would go crab fishing.


There is one of the smaller unis. Up in the Dakotas, I think, that has a really good mining science degree and has a really good rate of return on investment for it with grads that are highly, highly sought.



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

Anything STEM Related is going to do him wonders.

Stay away from English, and philosophy and does sorts of degrees and majors, even minors in there can be a shot in the foot later on.

Engineering is really really really wide in it's different sections. I imagine he'll spend some time in the different faculties and find the type of engineering he likes best.

`Tenth



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 03:51 PM
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Not to knock up a cheerleader. bad life decision. (or a teacher for that matter)



posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 06:36 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

Thanks to everyone who took the time to post!




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