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SassyPink's avatar

RE: Biology vs. Marketing. Should I major in my parent's choice or mine?

Asked by SassyPink (276 points ) August 13th, 2009

my questions needs editing so i repost it…..

My parents wanted me (actually forcing me) to major in biology to become a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, etc. That way I can make more money ‘especially in this economy’. My parents are both accounting and nursing. (I figured they mainly wanted someone in family to do science since my two sisters are in law school to become a lawyer or an attorney, they’re pressuring bio on me since I’m the baby of family).
However I wanted to major in marketing to become a realist and entrepreneur. I have interests in creativity and art. And I would rather major in any career that involves me doing something I love best. So with marketing I’ll at least use my creativity to plan, build, and to create ads.(knowing my folks, if I decided to go major into a career as an artist or a fashion designer, they probably wont agree and say that I wont make money or go anywhere in those areas. That why I went with marketing at least). I told my dad this, but he said I’ll make more money in nursing then in business and that frustrates me. .
I hope majoring in bio doesn’t mean I’m entitled to such careers like doctoring. I’m feeling so overwhelmed at this point…. Also how do I connect biology with creativity and art!?

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24 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

Do not, I repeat, do not major in bio unless it’s what you want to do.
College is a time to make huge leaps in becoming who you are not who your parents want you to be.
Your dad may be right- you may make more money in nursing. Or you may not. But who cares? You can make a nice living in marketing, and enjoying what you do is worth millions.

You didn’t mention if you’ve tried to sit down with your parents and calmly and maturely explain your thoughts and wants to them. Have you? What was their reaction?

jaketheripper's avatar

I was so close to going into marketing and graphic design. When i started looking around however there werent many good jobs on the market and the industry is flooded so its way too competitive for me. If you know you could make it in that field then go for it. But if it’s just a halfhearted interest i would look elsewhere. Remember that you most likely get your life satisfaction from your work, but on the other hand you can’t have a career you hate. Think about any other areas of interest and your skill set

Facade's avatar

You need to make your parents realize that YOU are in charge of your destiny and success. Major in what YOU want to major in. Believe it or not, having a major you don’t want leads to a job you don’t want which leads to unhappiness. You don’t want that. Making important decisions on your own is a part of maturing.

Likeradar's avatar

Also, when does your university require you to chose a major? I’d advise not choosing one yet if you don’t have to. Take lots of classes in all sorts of subjects, including biology and things you think you don’t have much interest in. You may discover a passion you didn’t even know you had.

alive's avatar

my dad wanted me to major in engineering (because of all the same stuff as your parents, money, guaranteed job etc)

i wanted to major in philosophy (which is what i did)

i kind of just took a math class here and there but took mostly the classes that i was interested in. it was enough to keep them off my back, and then i just kept doing what i wanted ‘til eventually got my degree in philosophy.

you can pull it off. just do what you want. it willll be worth it! i am guessing there is not much that they can do to stop you. sure maybe you will fight about it or something. but @Facade is right. this is YOUR life, and you’re the one who is going to have to live with it.

the way i see it is most people can only afford to do the “higher education” thing once, you don’t want to waste your one chance on something you will hate forever.

marinelife's avatar

The issue here is whether your parents have made paying for your schooling conditional on you majoring in what they want.

If the answer is no, then stick to your guns. get support from friends. Are there any adult whose opinions they would respect? if so, enlist that person to talk to them on your behalf.

If the answer is yes, then you have tough choices.

You can try going out of state to school and trying what @alive suggests, although I am not sure how easy that will be.

If your grades are good enough, you can try for scholarships so you can do what you want. Perhaps combining it with part-time work.

Good luck. I agree with everyone that your future happiness depends on sticking to your own dreams and not theirs.

SassyPink's avatar

@Likerader i did explain that with my dad and he was telling me stories on how he help our close freinds and relatives with their welfare for years—let alone career and making the right choices.for instance my day help people who are a dentist, physican, professor, cardiologist (sp?)the thing is is that my folks are concerned about my welfare. And they don’t want me to faced financial problems later on….

Quagmire's avatar

I was a Bio major and, trust me, you WON’T make it through unless you love the field. It can be boring.

Likeradar's avatar

@SassyPink If I were in your position, I’d explain to my parents that a career in nursing does not guarantee financial success. If it’s really not what you want to do (after dipping your toe in the bio major through a class or two), they need to understand that you won’t be happy. Who the hell cares if you make a good living if you hate going to work every day and have no passion for what you do? And honestly, someone not interested in nursing would probably make a piss poor nurse. Since they seem to be overly concerned with your potential income imho, I would research fields you could go into with the major of your choosing. Present them with stats about average and potential incomes of people in those fields.

Remember, this is your life and future.

@Quagmire Pretty much any course of study would be boring if you don’t have a passion for it. Personally, I did terribly in college until I started my courses in my major (human development and family studies). I was so intrigued and interested in what I was learning that I took extra classes just for fun, papers and studying didn’t seem like work, and I got almost all A’s. I couldn’t imagine being forced into a major I had no passion for.

SassyPink's avatar

its not like i HATED biology. i did okay in it in high school with a solid B. its just that i’m more interested in majoring in something that lets you used creativity since i took alot of art classes in hs. Even if i like to major in biology and have interest in it, i just failed to see how am i gonna use creativity in bio or anything science.

Quagmire's avatar

@Likeradar, good point. I was a double major, i.e., Bio and Psych. And Bio required a LOT of study to pass. A lot more then Psych. Organic Chemistry alone was an ordeal. To do THAT much work, you REALLY have to want it.

@SassyPink, let your parents know that there is NO guarantee you’ll get into medical school. Then what will you do with that science major?

But let me tell you. Creativity plays a MAJOR role in scientific discoveries. It takes scientists who can think “outside the box” to come out with the most important discoveries.

galileogirl's avatar

How exactly can your parents force you to major in anything? College students choose their own classes and parents don’t get sent your report card. The reality is that in your 1st two years, you will be taking Gen Ed classes in all disciplines (US system) and you will have to take a lab science like bonehead Bio.

As you progress toward graduation you just take the classes you need to take. If you can;t do that at the age of 20 or 21, maybe you aren’t adult enough to make any career decisions.

If you mean they are forcing you by nagging you, you better learn to stand up for yourself. If you can’t deal with this kind of pressure now, you will be capitulating for the rest of your life. If you mean they are forcing you by holding the purse strings, then pay your own way. Maybe it will mean that you won’t have a nice house to live in, a car, vacations, lots of free time-you may actually have to sacrifice for a few years.

If you cannot live without your parents’support then they are right, you better find a career that pays well and provides excellent job security.

Judi's avatar

Most kids change their major several tomes before they settle. Get your gen ed out of the way no need to declare a major your freshman year.

FrogOnFire's avatar

It’s your life, not your parents’. For one thing, if you’re truly passionate about marketing, you’ll have no problem climbing the corporate ladder and finding a great job that pays well. But is that really important? I’d rather die poor and spend my life doing something I absolutely love than be rich and unhappy with my job.

Whether you want to believe it or not, it’s getting harder and harder nowadays for people to maintain/surpass their parents’ standard of living, even with a good education. That’s why you need to focus your life on what makes you happy rather than what makes you wealthy.

Jeruba's avatar

You should major in what you love and what inspires and excites you. That’s where your strength and endurance come from for the long haul, which is not just your schooling but your career.

Did your parents follow their love in their choice of careers? Use that. Were they forced into their parents’ choices? Use that. And use your natural marketing skills to sell your preference.

However, there is a great deal of creativity in science. It’s just not limited to arty types of creativity. Talk to a scientist. There’s also the field of medical illustration to consider.

ubersiren's avatar

Prove them wrong! Do what you want to do, and even if you change your major once, twice, thrice… you can still be successful and shove it in their pushy faces when you come to Thanksgiving in your Lexus!

tiffyandthewall's avatar

here’s the thing: you should mind your parents, but you should not let them live through you.
i’m sure they have good intentions, but it doesn’t mean that what they want is right for you. offspring are not dolls, and your parents have to know that. follow your calling. it isn’t disrespect to do with your life what you feel you need to. a career like that is something you have to really engage yourself in. yourself. not your parents. it’s all up to you. let them know that you respect them, but you have your own life to lead, and you’re going to try out things that you feel belong in your life.

good luck.

tramnineteen's avatar

Do what you want to do. I’m generally a big proponent of listening to your parents advice, but I know a nurse who become one at her parent’s pressure and HATES IT.

I suggest finding a compromise. Does your marketing major include management as well? Balance marketing with something more broadly business to make it vertical and you should be fine. Art / marketing by itself is dangerous though.

deni's avatar

Major in what YOU want. You’re the one thats going to be working 40 hours a week at this job for the next 50 years, why would you do something you don’t want to do?

arien_ellariel's avatar

Ultimately, it’s your life. While advice from parents should be considered, you have to make the final decision. If you really hate the major they suggested, don’t major in it. It’s not worth being miserable about your choice in order to make your parents happy.

arien_ellariel's avatar

Oh, I want to add that my parents wanted me to major in engineering because they both did. I personally hated the idea and chose music. Now, I have changed my mind, but learned a lot while taking classes I loved. My current major is nursing. ;) Do what you love to do.

strange1's avatar

do what you want! unless you have parents that will disown you and cut you out the will lol, if youre confident that youre going to pass in your chosen field just do it:)

75movies's avatar

Tell your parents that they are completely retarded. You will make far more money in marketing. Far more.

Nullo's avatar

If it’s possible, don’t leap right into Marketing, either. Many schools will let you wait a bit before choosing your major; poking around might get you something that you like even more.

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