Dec 13 2007

A Guide to College Majors

Published by at 11:59 am under Comedy,Reader Favorites: Comedy

Biological Engineering
Popular Courses: Introduction to Biology, Remedial Chemistry, Organic Chemistry for Athletes
Available Jobs: Zoo cage-cleaner, supervillain
Appropriate response to someone admitting his child is a bioengineer: “That’s OK. Med school isn’t for everyone.”
 
Political Science
Popular Courses: The Cold War and Sports, Methods and Norms in Brazilian Basket-Weaving, Lunch
Available Jobs: ???
Appropriate response to someone admitting her child is in poli-sci: “Which law schools is he looking at?”
 
Chemical Engineering
Popular Courses: Crack Processing, Meth Lab Management, Smuggling
Available Jobs: Narcotics manufacturing, McDonald’s de-greaser
Appropriate response to someone admitting his child is a chem-eng: “I’m so sorry.”
 
Economics
Popular Courses: Cooperation and Teamwork, Collaborative Methods, Shirking Responsibility
Job Prospects: Similar to chemical engineers, but without the real-world meth skills.
Appropriate response to someone admitting her child studies economics: “What a coincidence! My company has an opening for a position that does absolutely no work.”
 
Philosophy
Popular Courses: Is Time Travel Possible?, Metaphysics of Kantean Logic, Guided Readings in Other Philosophers No One’s Ever Heard of
Job Prospects: None. There’s no reason to hire a philosophy major over a hard-working high-school graduate. Or a vagrant.
Appropriate response to a job application by a Philo major: “Did I choose to throw out his resume or was it destiny?”
 
Pre-Med
Popular Courses: Methods in Moleculo-chemical Physicality, Biofeedback and Physiologicality, Sneering
Job Prospects: Similar to those of the Biological Engineer, but the Pre-Med can boast that he lasted a year in med school.
Appropriate response to someone admitting her child is a Pre-Med: “Is it too late to switch majors?”

28 responses so far

28 Responses to “A Guide to College Majors”

  1. Dforceon 05 Apr 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Heh. A bit late, perhaps, but a liked this piece. Especially the philosophy one. XD

  2. Ragged Boyon 06 Apr 2009 at 4:59 am

    I was thinking about majoring in Communications.

  3. Holliequon 06 Apr 2009 at 7:06 am

    I’ll probably do history at university, but perhaps jointly with politics if I end up getting accepted to my second choice.

  4. B. Macon 06 Apr 2009 at 7:34 am

    Is Time Travel Possible? and The Metaphysics of Kantean Logic are philosophy courses that Notre Dame has offered, by the way.

  5. Tomon 06 Apr 2009 at 7:36 am

    I don’t know what I’ll do at university, all I know is that it’ll be a science.

  6. Holliequon 06 Apr 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Just don’t do medicine unless you’re pretty much getting top grades across the board. Medicine is really competitive, or so my teachers say.

  7. B. Macon 13 Mar 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Oh, for the record, I’m a political science major. If you know of any jobs open to us, please let me know!

  8. Lighting Manon 13 Mar 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I’m currently majoring in Criminology, essentially meaning that I won’t be able to make or deal drugs, but I’ll be able to tell people the various theories about why they do that.

    Really, I chose my college degree so that it could assist my fiction writing career, talk about counting your chickens before the hen that will give birth to the eggs is hatched.

  9. B. Macon 13 Mar 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Haha. Criminal behavior is something I sort of struggle with. For example, when you’re trying to stash the drugs, what do you do when calling a chemical engineer isn’t an option? Also, I tend to have more trouble writing police (especially federal agents).

  10. Wingson 13 Mar 2010 at 11:08 pm

    My parents have begun interrogating me on college choices (I’m a freshman. We don’t think so much as “wait and see what happens”). The one thing running through my head at these moments is: “Guys, if you think I’m getting into an Ivy League school, you’ve got another thing coming.”

    And yes, I get enough snarky comments about flipping burgers for the rest of my life without voicing these little gems, thank you very much. 😉

    …I mean, how do you even flip burgers? I’m not all that great at food-making, if you can call cooking fast food that. I light cereal on fire, fear my own cooking (I’m not a Lethal Chef yet, but I’m getting there) and, according to my classmates, can mess up frozen cookie dough (They’re lying. I was not responsible for the loss of that poor boy’s soul). Fast food quality is bad enough without me “helping”. XD

    – Wings

  11. B. Macon 13 Mar 2010 at 11:32 pm

    It was very competitive in my family. My three older siblings averaged ~1570 on the SAT back when it only went up to 1600. I didn’t go to an Ivy League school, and I think that turned out well. One of my former suitemates took on $100,000+ in loans to get a liberal arts degree from Penn State and it will take him more than a decade to pay that back. My guess is that he has to come up with $4000-5000 every year just to cover the interest. Ick.



    I’ve never flipped burgers, but I did spend a summer making sandwiches at a bakery and another cashiering at a major video chain. It was the summer that Hotel Rwanda came out on DVD. I know that because every few weeks some SOB secretly put the Hotel Rwanda DVDs in Winnie the Pooh cases. Probably one of my coworkers.


    If I could offer some wholly unsolicited college advice, perhaps I could recommend private schools over public schools. In my limited experience, private schools have been more generous when it comes to creative grants and financial aid. During my two semesters at the University of Illinois (Champaign), I think I averaged $500 a semester in financial aid. Transferring to Notre Dame was actually substantially cheaper than staying. (Also, wherever you go, be proactive about seeking financial aid).

  12. Holliequon 14 Mar 2010 at 5:06 am

    “I know that because every few weeks some SOB secretly put the Hotel Rwanda DVDs in Winnie the Pooh cases.” That… that’s cruel. Did they watch Hotel Rwanda before they did this? Think of the poor kids!

    A bit more on subject, I’m glad I live in the UK, is all I’m saying. $100,000 dollars on loans?! That’s insane! Over here, you could get a degree at least twice over for that much. Oxford University, for example, estimates costs of £8,000 per year — but that’s not taking into account the opportunities for bursaries, grants, etc.

  13. Ragged Boyon 14 Mar 2010 at 10:20 am

    Thank God for special grants! Here in Jacksonville we have the Jacksonville Commitment. A program that gives you a full-ride scholarship to any university in J-Ville. Lucky break, eh? I plan to spend two years here collecting as much money and as many scholarships as I can for NYU. I’m not giving up on my dream, just postponing it.

  14. Ragged Boyon 14 Mar 2010 at 10:24 am

    Also, there’s an error in one of the article’s sections. In the Poli. Sci. section it says “Which law schools is he looking at?” Isn’t it “Which law school is he looking at?”

  15. B. Macon 14 Mar 2010 at 10:55 am

    Most law schools are pretty competitive, so I figure a student considering law school would look at/consider/apply to more than one. The student would only probably only attend one (though I think some law students do transfer).

  16. Ragged Boyon 14 Mar 2010 at 11:04 am

    Darnit! I thought I had one. 😉

  17. Beccaon 14 Mar 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I go to a really small university/college and live at home, driving an hour to get there every day. I’m finding it a little tiring, driving a killer highway and through the city, but I’m saving tons of money. Plus my tuition was only $1500 😉 This is really the way to go. So far my university experience is pretty stellar.

  18. Beccaon 14 Mar 2010 at 7:25 pm

    PS I work in fast food, and a little known-fact: burgers don’t get flipped. They get pressed on a clamshell grill and only take 32 seconds to cook. Bet you didn’t know that!

  19. B. Macon 14 Mar 2010 at 10:23 pm

    $1500 is hard to beat. Good job!

  20. Professoron 15 Mar 2010 at 3:42 pm

    1500 hard to beat? Nah, I go to a college here in Burnaby, BC and my tuition is 1100 for full time studies 🙂 But I did come from a college that the tuition was 40,000. So it’s a fairly large difference lol.

  21. B. Macon 15 Mar 2010 at 4:58 pm

    $1100, wow. Now THAT is a college degree that’s likely to pay for itself. 😉 Is there a major difference in academic quality between your current school and the one where you paid $40,000?

  22. Beccaon 15 Mar 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Hey, Professor, I live in Squamish and go to school in North Van 😛 Hey, neighbour!

  23. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 15 Jun 2010 at 8:00 pm

    My ambition is pretty closely tied to my desire to be an author: I want to be a librarian. I already work Fridays in my local library as part of my school’s work experience program, but the subjects I do won’t get me directly into university, so I have to do a bridging course at TAFE (sort of like extra education for people who want jobs in physical things like mining, and they offer stuff like university preparation) before I go.

  24. B. Macon 16 Jun 2010 at 6:23 am

    Being a librarian is a really useful credential for getting published. They tend to know a lot about what people want to read and also have a substantial advantage promoting books to fellow librarians (who tend to buy a lot of books).

  25. Herojockon 16 Jun 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Hey I’m studying Political Science at University and I take offence to the ?? after jobs 😛 What about a political science tutor who STEALS his co-workers research to do forbidden social experiments on the population! scary? maybe not. I’m staring to wonder If I’m the only Brit around here, but anyway until then I’ll be happy to fly the British flag. Here in Britain lots of Political scientist graduates try to get a job at our public owned News channel (BBC) or work for the British Civil Service (so tough they check your teacher comments from age 11!!!). Obviously it depends on the prestige of your University and your grades.

  26. B. Macon 17 Jun 2010 at 9:35 am

    I’m a political science major, myself. As long as you graduate with valuable job skills* and preferably high-grade experience, I don’t think that it will be freakishly hard to get a job.

    *For example, some combination of professional-grade writing/proofreading, expertise in a language that matters to companies and/or governments (sorry, Latin majors), computer/technical skills (for nontechnical people such as myself, perhaps Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Quark XPress, analytics, advanced Excel skills**, etc). Your professional background is probably different than mine, but I usually rely on web-writing skills, search engine optimization, marketing, wildly niche knowledge sets like piracy in the Strait of Malacca, etc. When I applied for publishing jobs, I mainly relied on proofreading, writing, knowing the market, and having a reasonably good sense of visual design and publishing software.

    **Don’t laugh! As the Excel skills of a political science major approach mastery, the likelihood of him being employed approaches 100%. 😉

  27. Castilleon 06 Feb 2011 at 11:52 am

    What about International Relations Majors? Is that as hopeless of a Bioengineering major?

    *For the record my major is Business with an emphasis on International Relations*

  28. B. Macon 06 Feb 2011 at 3:51 pm

    A major in Business with a concentration in International Relations is excellent preparation for passing the buck to other countries. Have you thought about working for the UN?

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