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Spoons May 1st 2014 12:28 AM

I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
So, I think that when I go to my college's orientation, I am going to tell the academic advisor I would like to double major and see what they say, since they'd be helping me arrange my classes and stuff.

I had it all planned out that I would be double majoring in Public Health and Biology. When I told my admissions counselor my plans of double majoring, she said that I'd probably be able to do this because those majors fit well together, but I'd have to talk to the academic advisor.

But then came Psychology... I know that high school psych class is probably a lot different than what I'll learn in college, but everything I learned there was so interesting that now I'm sort of debating if I want my double major to be with Biology or Psychology. Public Health is a definite.

Again, I know you can't make decisions for me, but I guess maybe if you tell me a bit about the Biology and Psychology majors, maybe it'll help me, or something? I guess what I'd be learning, career options, anything you think would be useful for me in making a decision.

The other thing is I think Biology would probably be a better thing to double major in for the career path I want, but the interest I am starting to get in Psychology is starting to make me question if that career path is even what I want. I don't even know. D:

Also, if I DO decide to take Psychology as my other major, what career options would I have in case I decide I like that major better? I don't want to do like, therapist or something, but I also don't want to get a worthless degree.

Thanks, thanks. :bleh:

Kate* May 1st 2014 01:46 AM

Re: I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
As someone who has a psych degree, I may be biased here (or maybe not). I can tell you that if you don't want to go onto graduate school for a masters or PhD in something, a bachelor's in psych is pretty much useless. You can get a PhD in psych and do something other than "therapist"-type roles, but it would probably leave you with teaching at the university level or doing research.

Having said that, a high school psychology class is actually a really good overview of a college major (at least mine was), but every topic you covered will be it's own class. Depending on what you want to do with your degree in public health, it could be beneficial. Studying and understanding human behavior, psychological processes, and personality might come in handy and there will be a little bit of biology and neuroscience thrown in there too. You will definitely learn stats and how to do research and you'll develop really good writing skills. I'm looking at the public health program at the same school I got my psychology degree from and I can see some overlap especially in terms of understanding health conditions and cultural factors etc. in different populations, but it really depends what you plan to do with the public health degree.

Spoons May 1st 2014 02:04 AM

Re: I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
Say I got a PhD in psych, what type of research would we be looking at? I actually took public health because I wanted to do medical, but something more on the research side.

Kate* May 1st 2014 02:25 AM

Re: I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
Well, a psych degree will definitely prepare you for that :) I did not consider a PhD, but I know that you would be required to do research just to finish the degree. Once you earned your bachelors, you would decide which concentration or field of psychology you wanted to earn your PhD in (clinical, educational, social, etc.) and your research would be related to that.

There is both a journal and division of the American Psychological Association devoted to Health Psychology. It looks like there are both clinical options (those who see clients or patients) and non-clinical (don't treat people, but focus on research). You would need to get an undergrad in psych and then a PhD or PsyD in Health Psychology and it sounds like research tends to be related to how psychological processes interact with medical conditions and that a bachelors in Public health would be a huge help. Try looking here:

http://www.health-psych.org/index.cfm

Eternal May 1st 2014 03:40 AM

Re: I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
Psychology is a pretty great thing to major in because a lot of employers see it as a very valuable skill to have. It can be useful in all kinds of things, which is why we have criminal psychologists, psychologists employed in advertising, etc. So while a bachelors in psych is useless on it's own, it can be useful in a resume if you majored in biology or public health.

ThisWillDestroyYou May 2nd 2014 03:24 PM

Re: I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Merpop. (Post 1115490)
So, I think that when I go to my college's orientation, I am going to tell the academic advisor I would like to double major and see what they say, since they'd be helping me arrange my classes and stuff.

I had it all planned out that I would be double majoring in Public Health and Biology. When I told my admissions counselor my plans of double majoring, she said that I'd probably be able to do this because those majors fit well together, but I'd have to talk to the academic advisor.

But then came Psychology... I know that high school psych class is probably a lot different than what I'll learn in college, but everything I learned there was so interesting that now I'm sort of debating if I want my double major to be with Biology or Psychology. Public Health is a definite.

Again, I know you can't make decisions for me, but I guess maybe if you tell me a bit about the Biology and Psychology majors, maybe it'll help me, or something? I guess what I'd be learning, career options, anything you think would be useful for me in making a decision.

The other thing is I think Biology would probably be a better thing to double major in for the career path I want, but the interest I am starting to get in Psychology is starting to make me question if that career path is even what I want. I don't even know. D:

Also, if I DO decide to take Psychology as my other major, what career options would I have in case I decide I like that major better? I don't want to do like, therapist or something, but I also don't want to get a worthless degree.

Thanks, thanks. :bleh:

Don't major in psychology. At some point nearly every college student has declared psychology as a major. It is one of the least paid, and from studies does not have a very stable employment and requires a PhD. Biology is not much different, but your chances are better. If you're interested in the health field, you don't need to double major. Pick a single major and focus on your GPA. Your undergraduate, if going into the health industry, will be relatively pointless other than getting you from point a to point b. It really won't matter what you major in.

The best suggestion I have for you is pick a major and stick with it. Don't waver back and forth. This is coming from someone with a wide variety of interests. I went from English, to Psychology, to Biology, to Math, to Photography, to Government, to Economics, and finally decided on Accounting. I told myself no matter how interesting other majors may appear, that I am sticking with accounting.

The issue is your interests will always change. You need to just pick something and stick with it, or you'll never graduate. I highly recommend just picking a single major and focusing on GPA and volunteering because double majoring doesn't significantly improve your chances of employment, and your GPA with experience will have more of an impact on getting into a Masters program.

If I were to recommend a degree path for you, it'd be anything that is specific: I.E. Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, etc. but I don't know your career goals. Broad majors are typically undervalued in today's economy. If you plan on attending a masters or PhD program eventually, just pick a major you know you can do well in as even med schools accept English students. But based on your two interests, you may look into social work, if you want a broad major. It will encompass all three subjects. At most get a minor.

Also, I should mention, a lot of biology majors I know (I'm not stating this is true of all) end up working in retail. I know one who owns a Walgreens, one who owns a Home Depot, one who is in teaching, etc. but all had different goals in mind. The problem with biology is it places you in a very competitive market, as well, for the jobs you want. A lot of biology majors are going to shoot for med school or vet, but don't qualify so they end up in other positions (which typically these students are already top students...). However, I'd say if I was to definitely do something in Public Health, I'd do a biology major with public health minor. I would not double major. And yes, I considered it at one time. I only speak from experience. I hate seeing people was money and time in the manner I did.

If you're uncertain at graduation time, I'd recommend just getting a full time job and saving most of your money. That way when you decide you have some sort of savings, and will make for more time to put towards your education, and it puts you in the work force with some sort of job experience so when you graduate you aren't in the same boat as everyone else. While you're working full time you could study biology, psychology, whatever, for free through MIT, the library, etc. without spending needlessly at a college and make up your mind this way. I would, however, DEFINITELY make sure that you set a deadline for yourself. Say, a year, or a year and half. Just say, "In a year in a half I will go to school." And then go back and get your general ed out of the way. Then within another year, choose your major and take those major specific classes and don't look back at the what-ifs or possibilities. Choose one and stick with it. Wavering back and forth between majors gives you less financial aid, and also puts you in more debt. Debt isn't something you want to take lightly in the current economy, or the future economy, regardless of what any adviser tells you -- don't believe the "it's worth the investment" mumbo-jumbo they give you. Make sure every decision you make in regards to your education at least CONSIDERS the financial debt you're going to go into to achieve it.

I think your uncertainty and lack of knowledge of what each advantages your desired majors give you is a sign you need to maybe consider taking some time off and studying for free for awhile. Don't get discouraged. Most kids go to school and change their major multiple times and won't meet their desired graduation date anyways. At least if you take a year off or so you'll be saving money that those kids will be spending. I mean, MIT pretty much offers all their courses for free online. Why not look into those and then test out of classes?

Spoons May 2nd 2014 10:41 PM

Re: I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
Yeah, not going to college this year isn't an option since I've already paid the deposit. xD And I don't think I'd ever go back. I realize I'll be in debt no matter what. :nosweat:

I've also had a lack of trust in online courses.

Not saying your advice is bad, though, not at all. :) The rest of what you said is really something to consider.

ThisWillDestroyYou May 3rd 2014 03:48 AM

Re: I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
The MIT courses are free and are the same classes MIT students pay for. They are recorded and posted online.

Eternal May 3rd 2014 06:55 PM

Re: I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
Considering a low percentage of the population has the opportunity for a college education, having any degree at all can really increase your chances of employment. The job market sucks across the board, so I recommend studying what interests you rather than studying for something that is more likely to get you lots of money. You can go a variety of routes with most majors, and if you are studying something you enjoy then your GPA is more likely to be higher and thus will give you the chance to go to graduate school if you choose. Also, people typically take GURs their first couple years of college, and that allows you to take a variety of classes which can help you figure out what you choose. I do agree that once you figure out what you want to study, stick with it even if you get discouraged. Visiting an academic adviser at your school is very important as well.
My step-sister majored in geography which seems like a dead-end major. However she has a well paying job right now with some organization that has nothing to do with geography (unfortunately I don't know much details about it).
I still think psychology is great to major or minor in because you learn many valuable skills and helpful information that you can apply in your life.

ThisWillDestroyYou May 4th 2014 01:07 PM

Re: I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Intoxication (Post 1116042)
Considering a low percentage of the population has the opportunity for a college education, having any degree at all can really increase your chances of employment. The job market sucks across the board, so I recommend studying what interests you rather than studying for something that is more likely to get you lots of money. You can go a variety of routes with most majors, and if you are studying something you enjoy then your GPA is more likely to be higher and thus will give you the chance to go to graduate school if you choose. Also, people typically take GURs their first couple years of college, and that allows you to take a variety of classes which can help you figure out what you choose. I do agree that once you figure out what you want to study, stick with it even if you get discouraged. Visiting an academic adviser at your school is very important as well.
My step-sister majored in geography which seems like a dead-end major. However she has a well paying job right now with some organization that has nothing to do with geography (unfortunately I don't know much details about it).
I still think psychology is great to major or minor in because you learn many valuable skills and helpful information that you can apply in your life.

This simply isn't as true as it used to be. Employers are finding that job experience is more preferable over education. They're finding most students which have degrees are self-entitled and believe they should be paid more than their worth and graduate with little working knowledge of the real world. College has gotten a bad rep, being declared as a social experiment for young adults. 33% of young adults now have a degree, and 60% of them are unemployed or underemployed, with significant debt and living at home. In fact, our youth, which has more college graduates than any previous generation, has the most unemployment of any generation -- so getting into the workforce is your best bet.

If someone wants to get a high paying job, it's recommended not to get a degree, but to pursue a trade. It's simple economics. If everyone goes to college, you still need clerks, you still need bartenders, you still need people flipping burgers, etc. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in today's society you need to make sure what you pick is worthwhile. Passions change overtime. That's why it's best to just pick something stable and stick with it. You can still have your passions and study them. You don't need to go into debt to do that.

Mahray May 7th 2014 03:15 AM

Re: I'm double majoring, but not sure in WHAT now...
 
A few extra things to think about.

1) Does double majoring increase the number of subjects you need to study?
A lot of the time a double major just restricts your choice of subjects a little bit. You don't study anything more, but the pattern in which you study changes so you have less choice.

2) Will doing a single major add anything to your degree/resume?
In other words - will you get a little star on your certificate that says you only did one major and you did really well at it?

3) The best way to do well is to do stuff that you love doing.
Biggest predictor of academic success is if you enjoy what you're studying. Don't do something because someone else tells you to. Don't do something because you think it will make for a good career. Do what you love and you'll enjoy doing it, it won't feel like work, and you'll do well.

3b) There's no point in studying something that 'pays well' if you don't like it.
Simply, you won't do well. Also, career prospects are changing a lot, it's hard to predict what will work for you. Follow your interests though, do well, and you will find a career.

4) Psychology
As people have said - undergrad psych is pretty useless. Over here, to work as a psychologist you need a four year undergrad, then two years postgrad or internship to be able to practice. It's a long journey.
However. Having an understanding of human behaviour can be really really useful in all sorts of fields. If you can do that as well as your career major, could be useful.

5) Career prospects
Simple fact is people with a higher level of education earn more money over their lifetime. Stacks of research showing that. Yes, a trade will give you more money quickly, but a) most trades you can't do for the rest of your life b) not everyone is good at a trade/wants to do it c) some trades are overpopulated as well.

6) Research
If you want to do research, you will need a postgrad qualification or two (or three). Many people go through Bachelors, Honours year, Masters into PhD (sometimes skipping Masters). If you know what sort of job you want to do, then it can be really useful finding someone in that job and buying them coffee to find out how they got there etc.

Let me know if you want more info - this is an area I am trained in.


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