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November 07, 2009


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I can agree with all of those... except why is #7 "needless to say"? I think it needed to be said, because, quite frankly, I didn't know that it was a better resource!

English majors, eh? I'll let you know that this English major made and makes a fine living the last few years in such fields as marketing and technical writing. An English major can also go into teaching and the degree is a solid background for law school.

I enjoy your blog, but pick on another major.

"Real" liberal-arts majors can often do well with advanced degrees, but pretty much any major that ends in "studies" is training for professional activism.

That's fine if that's your thing, but professional activism generally doesn't pay very well unless you have the connections and luck to parlay it into a job as a Congressional staffer, lobbyist, or hotshot NGO type. Even there, you'll do far better with a law degree and high rank.

So, if you choose a "Studies" major and are preparing for a lifetime of Fighting the Man, don't come out of college owing The Man six figures...

Sorry, but the English major knock is not convincing. I was an English major/Music minor, and I am pulling in close to 70k per year. I credit both of these courses of study with a considerable amount of my success.

First, as an English major, I learned to write. Few people in the business world can write well, and those who communicate effectively with the written word stand out. Whenever I go for an interview, I call ahead and ask if they would like to see a writing sample. If they say yes, I provide a 3/4 of one page piece of writing on a key issue in the industry.

What about music- that's a real stretch, right? Not entirely. Solo music performance teaches you to prepare, prepare, prepare, and to deliver results in a one-shot environment with potentially hundreds of people watching. I have performed for crowds as large as 3,000. When you've been through that situation, swallowed the butterflies in your stomach that sometimes feel like badgers who haven't eaten in three days, and knocked the piece out of the park...well, dealing with senior management doesn't faze me much.

Finally, a note on community college for 2 years- that can be a great plan. 4 years for the cost savings? If you can finish up the last two years at a rigorous 4-year college that is strong in your chosen field, I'd say it's worth the money. Why? You'll meet other talented people in your future field. They'll push you to excel, and provide a strong networking base when you get out in the job market.

My college networks have helped me out more than once in the job market, and part of that help has been the level of talent of the peers I found at school. The higher they land in the earnings chain, the more powerful your network is for earnings after you graduate.

The only thing I question is the value of transferring from Community College to a 4 year college. I'm not saying it can't work. But I often see people drift in community college and never make it to a 4 year school. I think you have to be extra focused to pull this off. And a lot of times, it seems community colleges and 4 year colleges conspire to make the transfer process difficult and expensive. Not true in every case, but this is still pretty common. I'm sure it also depends on the state where you live.

Like Anthony I also don't see why it goes without saying that US News & World Report college ranking shouldn't be used as a reference.

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