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3rd Year Major. Switching Programs? - January 19th 2011, 04:57 AM

As the title of the thread states, I'm in my 3rd year of my undergraduate degree in a program that I've been disliking since my first year. I've thought about switching, but never really went through with it because I didn't trust my initial decisions. It's come to a point for me now where I feel as I'm just showing up to class, not learning anything, and doing the required minimum to get into a graduate school program. I find the work so easy, and at the same time, unchallenging and unsatisfying. Also, I don't see many career opportunities for myself with the degree I would graduate with. I'm in the mindset now where I feel if I stay, I will have settled for something I didn't want. In clearer words - I'm not enjoying myself. I'm really considering changing my major right now. The programs in question are switching from Environmental Studies to Economics.

These are my concerns with changing my major:

I've heard a lot of tough things about economics as the program requires a lot of work. It seems like it would be 3 hours a day doing math problems. I've actually been doing some of the math that's required for economics, though I'm not in math classes right now. In the past I haven't worked as hard I should have, and with a more challenging program, that could lead to difficulties. However, I feel I am more mature now and more willing to work at it, especially if I'm more engaged. I definitely find the math that I've been doing over the past 2-3 days more enjoyable than the work in my major. I really do feel that I can get an A if I were to take the Intro to Calc I class from looking over past exams and doing the questions. Another thing to consider is that there is the possibility I won't have the option of going to graduate school because my marks won't be as great. Of course, I may end up not liking graduate school and I can definitely find a career in economics with an undergraduate degree. Finally, I would have to spend an extra year in university (from what I've calculated myself, I will have to confirm with someone), which means more money spent. I don't mind this as long as I'm enjoying what I'm doing, and that I can see good things with what I am pursuing. The big concern is that I find out I don't really like economics, and then I'm in a worser position than I started. I'm not 100% sure with what I do like (I'm choosing economics because it has a wide range of job opportunities, I'm interested in my microeconomics class now, and I had originally thoughts of switching into economics in my first year) and I of course run the risk of not liking economics and wasting money.


I do plan to do the following:

Schedule an appointment with the Department of Economics at my school to make sure what my possibilities are, and to get an idea about what the program offers and how my credits transfer over. Talk to undergraduate students in economics, as well as a friend who has graduated in economics, to get their perspectives. Talk to the career centre at school, as I've made an appointment tomorrow. This is more for me to figure out the career opportunities with Economics compared to what I'm doing now (along with the differences in opportunities with just having an undergrad / graduate degree).


I'm just wondering if what you guys would do if you were in my situation.

Any replies are greatly appreciated (:
   
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Re: 3rd Year Major. Switching Programs? - January 19th 2011, 05:34 AM

The only economics course I've ever taken was in grade 12, so I cant really give you any ideas on how the economics courses are. I have friends who are in it and many say it does get challenging, especially since it's in very high demand, the prerequisites are higher and harder to maintain. You may also need to take second year and higher level math courses as well as statistics. Some people who are good in math despise statistics whereas others like them and some people who are poor in math do good in statistics.

What I'd recommend is before switching to economics, sit in some of the lectures to see how they are. Profs don't really care if you do or not, many won't know you're not a student in that course anyway. Also try looking through the textbooks for the economics courses to see how they are. Do this so you don't switch to economics then find you hate it, that'll be a gigantic kick in the nuts. Many students do this, I've done it a bunch of times and it can be a useful indicator of whether I'll like the course or not.

You could also stick with the environmental studies and do economics, so if later on the economics falls out, you have an immediate back-up plan and it makes you look more versitile for employment.


I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
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Re: 3rd Year Major. Switching Programs? - January 19th 2011, 09:27 AM

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Originally Posted by WOW!USaidSomethingSmart! View Post
The only economics course I've ever taken was in grade 12, so I cant really give you any ideas on how the economics courses are. I have friends who are in it and many say it does get challenging, especially since it's in very high demand, the prerequisites are higher and harder to maintain. You may also need to take second year and higher level math courses as well as statistics. Some people who are good in math despise statistics whereas others like them and some people who are poor in math do good in statistics.

What I'd recommend is before switching to economics, sit in some of the lectures to see how they are. Profs don't really care if you do or not, many won't know you're not a student in that course anyway. Also try looking through the textbooks for the economics courses to see how they are. Do this so you don't switch to economics then find you hate it, that'll be a gigantic kick in the nuts. Many students do this, I've done it a bunch of times and it can be a useful indicator of whether I'll like the course or not.

You could also stick with the environmental studies and do economics, so if later on the economics falls out, you have an immediate back-up plan and it makes you look more versitile for employment.
Yeah, the calculus definitely gets tougher as the course goes on, and there are two stats courses that need to be taken as core courses. Just from looking over the course website, the Stats I looks like high school data management, while Stats II seems to build on that. In terms of Math, I'm most worried about Calc II, and how Calc I builds on with Micro and Macro theories.

I do like the ideas of sitting in on lectures and looking at texts in classes I am concerned about.
   
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Re: 3rd Year Major. Switching Programs? - January 19th 2011, 10:11 AM

Have you taken an economics class, and did you enjoy it?

I went into undergrad thinking I wanted to study economics, but I ended up absolutely hating it and switching.

Make sure you like it before committing to it.



   
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Re: 3rd Year Major. Switching Programs? - January 19th 2011, 03:42 PM

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Originally Posted by Dream View Post
Have you taken an economics class, and did you enjoy it?

I went into undergrad thinking I wanted to study economics, but I ended up absolutely hating it and switching.

Make sure you like it before committing to it.
I took economics when I was in 11th grade in high school, and I enjoyed it. I'm taking an intro to microeconomics right now. I'm liking it, and I find it interesting. In my current major, it seems that the interests within the program have to do with economics.

I'll be meeting with a friend today who's in 4th year economics, and I'll try to get a feel of the program from him / attend some classes with him as well.
   
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Re: 3rd Year Major. Switching Programs? - February 3rd 2011, 03:45 AM

Ask yourself... what can you do with enviromental studies???? or an economics degree???

Look for jobs online.

Im sure it will be hard to find one for each of them. given the current state of the economy. you should be aware of the job market. If you want a job quickly you should start looking for degrees that can get u a job quickly.

IMO bach. enviroment studies is too diluted... it lacks focus. therefore its hard to convince head hunters. Bach of economics is not that useful at the bachelors level... at the masters level it is. to enter into a masters degree program in economics you need high marks... and you need $$$. how are u gunna pay for a masters since your broke from paying off your bachelors degree??? also keep in mind that there is hardly any economist jobs out there. You gotta plan a head.


Gone are the days that require any degree to get a good job. In this competitive job market you gotta be able to market yourself effectively.
   
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