Is a college degree a piece of paper?

To those who think that you can major in any thing in college so long as you major in something might want to take a look at these articles:

1) http://money.cnn.com/2002/04/03/pf/college/q_hotdiploma/

2) http://www.studentsreview.com/salary_by_major.php3

It is clear that what you major in does effect what your salary will be long term. Majors like economics, accounting, and math pay much higher incomes both in the short term and in the long term than do "communications" and other like majors.

Too many people are going college today with no guidance and no thought as to what their long term plans will be. Granted, if your passion is in something like history or "public policy" than by all means pick that as your major. But do not major in that because you have nothing else to do because when you get out of college you will be sitting around begging for a job.

A few upperclass high school students have been coming to me asking me what to do as a major. Well, taking a look at this chart you can find a major that is amenable to what you want to do and pays a decent to good salary. My advice is to not take stupid courses. For your math core, take Calc 1 or a good statistics class and don't waste the class on some stupid 100 level class. The jobs are gravitating towards those who are good with numbers and/or good at analysis.

All of this means that you can't waste time screwing around in high school. High school is considered "college prep," which means they are (supposed) to be teaching you the skills you need to succeed in college. Too many people are entering their first year of college with insufficient math and writing skills and a disposition not to study. The rude awakening often leaves many people in the dust.

What I will never understand is why high school counselors never show these charts or ask their kids to start thinking about these issues. Granted, kids will probably not be making up their minds immediately, but it is good to get them to start THINKING about it.