General Question

hug_of_war's avatar

Should I change my major?

Asked by hug_of_war (10735points) April 30th, 2009

So I’m at the end of my sophomore year and I’ve changed my major a million times, but in 15 days I’m registering for fall classes, and if I want to graduate on time I have to settle down (and taking on more loans is seriously not an option).

Right now I’m in linguistics, and it’s the first time I’ve ever enjoyed my major. When I told everyone I had switched to linguuistics, everyone was like that’s your natural fit.

But I know there is no job I can get with a linguistics major. The major I was previously is an applied non-engineering science with a good job selection and the department at my school has a 100% placement rate and lots of internships…but I hate chemistry and it’s very chemistry heavy. Specifically, I hate labs, I dread them.

Do I stick with what I enjoy, or go back to the major I am capable of doing but will never enjoy? It’s the job issue really. I know everyone says your major doesn’t matter, but in this case I kind of think it does. My parents definitely do not like me doing linguistics. They definitely want me going for the major that leads to a job (I’m being vague about it for a reason).

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14 Answers

basp's avatar

Most entry level positions that require a degree have broad parameters.
I would stick with what suits you best.

Les's avatar

After 7 years of higher education, I would advise you to stick with something you love. The job market, no matter what it is, is crazy. Working for a degree that you love is hard enough. Don’t make it even harder on yourself by doing something you aren’t 100% fond of. I am currently pursuing a Masters degree in my “beloved” field, and most days I just want to cry because it is so hard and trying. I can’t imagine doing what I am doing if I wasn’t completely devoted to this science.

cwilbur's avatar

No major leads to a guaranteed job. Majoring in something you hate won’t make you any happier, and you’ll do much better looking for scarce jobs in a field you love than common jobs in a field you hate.

mammal's avatar

Stick with linguistics…science is soulless

hug_of_war's avatar

@cwilbur I never said garunteed, just to make that clear.

benjaminlevi's avatar

I picked up a new major at the start of this (my 6th) semester. I like my new one a lot (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) but its gonna take me forever to graduate.

Disc2021's avatar

You pose a very challenging question – When exactly do you stop thinking practical and go with your heart? When do you draw the line and apply the most logical knowledge?

I’m a sophomore also in college and I bounced around as well. Took some time off, ended up volunteering in Mississippi for a month. Where I’m at now, is being 21 and still being a late sophomore with most of my general ed requirements complete and forced with the decision on what I should actually go with. Finally, I’m starting to lean towards health – which gives me the ability to help people, good benefits and a good career outlook. However, I’m also not so sure if I could handle all of the science.

I’m not sure if I’m trying to answer your question – or just hoping that my feedback is somehow insightful. All I could really say is go with what you feel is best for you. No matter the career you choose, there will be difficulty and you will face uncertainty. I dont think there’s anyway around that so your best bet is to go with what feels most comfortable, hold your head high and never give up.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@hug_of_war You can get great jobs with linguistics. Why don’t you try for being a speech pathologist? I know several people who do this and love it. And the jobs for this are always out there because Early Intervention is on the rise. And unfortunately many of the disorders that require speech pathology are on the rise…

emilia_eclaire's avatar

Have you thought about academia? I know you’re not anxious to take on more loans, but there should be some linguistics scholarships/fellowships or perhaps teaching assistant positions open which would pay for your graduate education. I would talk to one of your favorite linguistisc professors about your options.

cwilbur's avatar

Graduate degrees are an excellent way to prolong school. If you get into a good graduate program, you will be offered tuition waivers and stipends, which are often enough to live on—not luxuriously, but if you live frugally and like the student lifestyle, you should be all set. Once you get your actual degree, the job market is no worse.

Les's avatar

@cwilbur: Ugh graduate degrees. You have to really like what you are doing to go through that hell.

Ivan's avatar

I also switched out of a major with good job prospects in favor of one in which I actually enjoyed the material. If I’m going to be paying thousands of dollars, I might as well not hate it.

@mammal Indeed, but that’s why one should study science

YARNLADY's avatar

If you rely on what “other people” tell you, you will not be reliably informed. For instance, there are many well paying job in linguistics that going unfilled because of a lack of qualified applicants.

Do your own research with emphasis on acutal job placement agencies and the companies/government jobs that exist.

augustlan's avatar

Your old major may lead you to a job, but who cares if it’s a job you’d hate? Do what you love. I don’t think you will ever regret it.

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