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College 101

Choosing a Major When You Get to College
Article Type: Quick and Dirty

OK, you're 17. You've just graduated high school and are packing your "things" to prep the move-in to your new dorm. Quick: What are you going to do with the rest of your life? What are you gonna be? C'mon. Hurry. You have 10 seconds. 

Or.... not. 

 Do you really think that at 18 years old, you're supposed to have even half a clue as to what you'll be and do the rest of your life? Maybe in 1952, that's how things rolled. You graduated college and went to work for IBM's training program for 2 years, then went into the "field" selling Big Blue and yada yada 35 years later you retired at 65 then died about 3 years later. 

Not so much how things roll today. Nobody works for anybody for 35 years. 

So roll the clock back to the whole "what am I going to major in?" question. Especially with the tumultuous economy, there's a lot of talk about choosing the right major and the cost benefits of why you should choose what major. The million dollar question: should you major in engineering/STEM field or should you major in what you love: Philosophy and English?

Honestly, it doesn't matter what you "major in". OK, it kind of matters...but the most important thing is becoming an expert in what you do major in, and also taking a few classes unrelated to your major. Having the ability to adapt and developing transferrable skills is key. The workplace will inevitably change as you advance in your career, and chances are, if you aren't working in the same job for your entire career or haven't gone to a technical school where you learn exactly what you'll be doing, you'll need to learn to adapt.

If you major in Marketing in college, try picking up some web development skills such as HTML and CSS so you can design your marketing campaigns and publish them on social media. If you major in English, take a few classes in whatever industry you want to apply your English to, unless you plan on being an English professor. What matters is that you get good grades in whatever you take. Shmoop is all about helping you find that special perspective. So if you haven't already, get started, and take a look at some Shmoop guides for suggestions.

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