Changing my major... need advice

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by hateater, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    I am currently enrolled in a Jr. College, and I am majoring in Architechture (ugh... i can't even spell it). Lately I have come to realize that Arch isn't really something that I would enjoy doing... but on the other hand, I am pretty much gauranteed a comfortable living.

    I have a friend who is majoring in animation, and that seems like something that is more up my alley. I am not the best artist, but I think that I definatley have some talent. The only thing is, I am not sure if it is wise to switch from something that promises me financial security to something that is sort of iffy... any thoughts on this?
  2. A couple of thoughts.

    I majored in Psychology and minored in Music.

    You can Major in Arch and minor in Animation, your credits in general ed will go towards both, but not all.

    Talk it over with a guidance counselor from youtr JR college and they can help direct you in your studies.

    Best regards to you.

  3. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000


    It really depends on YOU. To be honest, I don't think anyone's career decision should be based on income, but the fact of the matter is that you must provide for yourself (and probably a family) in one way or another.

    I don't know what year you are, but assuming you are not a junior or senior, you really DO NOT have to pick a major right now. Picking a major does *not* mean you pick a career at the same time. For example, you could major in Animation and still go to medical school as long as you fulfilled all the requirements. Explore *all* majors and see where they can lead. Don't just "settle" for something because it sounds good.

    This was a required reading for one of my classes earlier in the semester. I suggest you read it, study it, and analyze exactly what it is saying. It was *very* helpful to me. It IS long, but please do yourself a favor and read it.

    "Major Decisions" by James Burtchaell
  4. Slot


    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    If i was you(which im not), i would try and tough it out with architecture.

    Just because you're finding the course a bit of a drag, it doesnt necessarily reflect on what architecture would be like as an occupation. Designing houses and buildings for people would very rewarding imo.......And you would also be able to afford a large number of custom basses :D

    I've got many friends who are extremely gifted drawers who chose the animation path. Their course seemed extremely fun and hands on, but the reality is, there ISNT much job opportunity in that line of work. Of all the people i know that went down the animation path, only one of them has found employment, and it was in a crappy sports t-shirt factory. Regular jobs may be few and far between, much like the life of a musician. But if you love it, do it. Ive just about finished my music degree, and sometimes i wish i chose a field that guaranteed a steady income, but i love playing music way too much at this stage to let the possible financial burdens clutter my dreams.

    Its your choice dude......but make sure you weigh up all the pro's and cons before jumping into anything,
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    this isn't normaly the advice i'd give, but you struck a chord with the architecture thing. in highschool i took a lot of drafting classes, and became interested in architecture. i was advised to go to school for it, but i rebelled for no other reason than i wasn't going to do anything anyone told me i should do. i'm not sure if i'd say i regret my decision because i enjoy my life now, but i sometimes think, what if i had followed thorough....


    in hindsight i know that the few years i would have "suffered" through studying would have probably set me up for life. you can make lots and lots of money doing architecture, and if you hate it... well, if you're careful about finances you can quit and do anything you want after that. if it's not complete torture for you, i'd stick it out. if it's giving you ulcers and you know you despise it, then you're never going ot be happy doing it.

    i'd suggest writing about it, listing the pros and cons, reading the book Ty suggested, listening to your gut.... and realizing that the time spent in school will FLY by. you'll be finished before you know, sometimes it's really worth sticking something out.
  6. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    You might find it liberating to stop thinking of college purely as a vocational school. Some degree paths are vocational, sure, but that doesn't mean that's the only way you can approach a college education.

    I recently started playing as a sideman for an original act. The two members of the act and their manager all went to college together, and all three finished with business/marketing degrees. Each either lost their job or became disillusioned with his career prospects, and now all three are unemployed and trying to make it in the music world. In contrast, I graduated college with a degree in sociology, and I have a pretty good job in marketing communications - the very career area that those three guys gave up on! I've also made it clear that I won't sacrifice my career even if the band gets a big break, because I like my career and job and see a better future with it, keeping music as a sideline, not a career.

    Also, since you mention an interest in a career in animation, I'll mention that I also did a stint as a graphic designer. Never had an art class, either. No, I'm not fantastically talented as an artist or designer, but I mastered the practical and technical aspects and was able to succeed where more gifted folks struggled.

    Finally, there's an oft-cited statistic that the average person changes careers X number of times in their lifetime. Something to keep in mind, for sure.

    The points here: 1. Graduating with a degree with a given vocational application does not mean that you will have to, or want to, or even be able to stay in that field. 2. In fields not requiring a professional degree or certification (i.e., most career paths), you don't necessarily have to have the "accepted" degree to your name to be successful.

    I got through college without making a career decision. I have friends who knew their career path before they even finished high school, and some of them are making obscene amounts of money. If they have no regrets deep inside, more power to them. I took practically the opposite approach, and I consider myself to be happy and reasonably successful. There is more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak!

    I'm not trying to come off as knowing all of the answers, but I *do* just want to reassure you that it's perfectly okay if you don't know what career you expect to find yourself in ten years down the road.

    Good luck, in any event...

  7. jazzcatb17


    Dec 27, 2002
    Louisville, Ky
    Do what you love....let the details fall into place;)
  8. My advice - Learn how to play golf at a decent level.

    That boring-ass game will get you more business hook-ups than any degree. IMO, golf should be part of an MBA.
  9. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Just do like me and Double Major.. its pretty easy to Do...
  10. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000

    .....or do like me and don't major in anything (seriously):D
  11. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    Thanks for all of the great replies! I am a freshman (so I figure I still have time to change). Animation seems good to me, and so does computer sience. Unfortunatley, it would be hard for me to get a job with either of those.

    Architecture just really isn't my thing. I like the drafting aspect, but there is so much more to it. I realize that it would give me a good job, with good pay, but I don't know if i could ever forgive myself for studying and working with something I didn't enjoy...
  12. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    HaHa too funny. Never played a day of golf in my life - now my life makes sense.

    Seriously, remember there is no right or wrong choice, just a bunch of good and bad ones. To add to what others have said, I think doing what you are good at is key. Architecture may give you some financial security, but if you aren't any good at it or motivated to do it, no-one will want to hire you anyway. On the other hand if you are a great animator, then possibilities exist. Sure that is a competitive field, but if you are good enough and have some networking skills, there's no reason not to follow that endeavor. Imagine if Jaco decided to be a nurse instead of a bassist, because music is a competitive field and nurses are in demand.

    Remember that you are still young. You have time to mess up and recover. As a wise old man told me, "A guy who doesn't screw up, never did anything with their life"
  13. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Does it cost significantly more to dual-major?
  14. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    I was a freshman majoring in psych. I didn't like it, so I switched to statistics. I had too much trouble with the supporting calculus courses to I got canned from stat. I'm now majoring in geography, which was my option with statistics. It's slow going, and I don't even think I'm going to take a job in a geography related field when I'm out, but at least I'll have a degree. A degree counts for a lot more in interviews even if it isn't related to the job you're looking for...
  15. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

  16. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Hey Thor! The light at the end of your tunnel is showing!

    :D ;)
  17. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Not far off the mark there actually, Thor. Especially the part about the well-stocked bar! Oh, and that part about "ripping the tail up from the rear" part should have been stuck on to the end of the preceding paragraph...

    :D ;)
  18. hateater

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    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    OK, I have made up my mind. I am going to stick with Arch. Arch itself may not be my thing, but hopefully I will be able to get an interesting career with my degree. Thanks for the advice everyone!

  19. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000

    Talk to me in a year:D:D
  20. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    No. After you are enrolled in 12 hours or more, tuition is the same whether you take 12 hours or 21.. there are Lab fees and some other costs for some classes but tuition does not go up for being a dual Major... You are just a little bit busier than some people.. but its honestly very easily doable
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