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What Should I Major In?

Sim

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Ok, so... posting in forums as a new member always gives me fits of anxiety and self doubt, but I'm going to give it a shot anyways, as I need to make a decision regarding my education before I end up in my 30's directionless and living with my parents. I assume fellow INTP's will give me the most beneficial feedback on the topic, so here I am. Hi.​


I'm currently a freshman student at my university, but I'm quickly running out of time to settle on a major because I came into the school with 30 hours under my belt from AP coursework in High School. I'm studying abroad this spring semester, and I'll be taking classes in English, Philosophy, and Spanish, and I only have one Gen Ed class left to take (and it's in Chemistry, which is gross), so I have to decide what I want to do by the time I register for classes in March. I suffer from the problem of being interested in many different areas, but not being super interested in any of them. I also suffer from the problem of everything that appeals to me yielding absolutely no job opportunities.​


Foremost, I'm really interested in Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, etc, but I'm also aware that these degrees are looked down upon for the most part as useless. I guess I'm mostly interested in these subjects because the human mind really fascinates me. I want to delve into why we do the things we do and why we feel the things we feel. I've also considered Neuroscience as an option, but I'm pretty averse to science and mathematics in general, not because it's too challenging for me, but because I can be lazy and unmotivated regarding schoolwork. I'm much more naturally drawn to the humanities as opposed to the sciences for this reason. Also, I hate lab classes with a fiery passion.​


I'm also interested in learning languages, and I'm almost sure I'm going to at least minor in Spanish. English & Linguistics also interests me, but I know English is regarded as the most useless major out there. I feel like my sentence structure in this post rules English out as an option anyways. Spanish is another major I'm considering, but I can't see myself as either a teacher or a translator.​


Basically, what I want from a job is the ability to do something I'm interested in that still pays relatively well. Having enough money and free-time to travel extensively is my number one priority because I love to travel and see new cultures, so a job centered around that would also be appealing to me (I've also considered Geology due to the massive amount of travelling involved). I'm not much of a people-person, so jobs such as being a psychologist or a teacher don't really interest me.​


Do I absolutely have to major in the sciences and mathematics to get a good job that will allow me the freedoms I want in my career, or is there some sort of profession that meshes well both with my interests in the humanities and my desires in a career that I'm overlooking? Or should I get a business degree and just commit suicide?​


That was long-winded. I feel like I just went on a million different tangents without explaining any of them relatively well. OH WELL. ANXIETY. :storks::elephant::king-twitter::beatyou::rip::cat::o:angel:
 

Base groove

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I have an INTP friend who took a Bachelor's in "International Business Supply Chain Management" when we were in school, years back.

Now he has all of those perks that you say you want. Especially the money and travel. He works for Nexen. (know who they are?)
 

Sim

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I've looked into economics as an option simply because it's more theoretical compared to most business degrees, and also because Economics majors receive one of the highest paying starting salaries straight out of college. Do you think an INTP can be happy working in business? I feel conflicted because I want to major in something useful that can help me live the kind of lifestyle I described, but I also don't want to end up unhappy, regret my decision, and be stuck with a degree that doesn't appeal to me. :confused:
 

Amagi82

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Have you considered studying computer programming? It's very INTP-friendly as far as jobs go, and has a ton of job opportunities. It can involve a lot of creativity, and you can connect it to your other interests a lot easier than most other professions. For example- design and build an app that helps people reference and understand their own personality traits and how they relate best to others.

My advice on school: if it's not taking you somewhere, don't do it. There are far more efficient ways to learn, so going to college is simply pissing money away if it's not taking you somewhere you want to go.
 

Kuu

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If you are insisting on "making money" Geology sounds like the winning choice of all that you've talked in here. You can study psychology, sociology and philosophy on the side, but few people make such things a life-sustaining job (unless you get some sort of notoriety by writing).

Ultimately, lots of people get jobs that have nothing to do with their university career choice. Hell, the whole "career" mentality is repellent to me. The most important things you learn in school are not the facts, but methodologies, research strategies, work discipline, dealing with other people, and building a social network that will be useful once you're out in the world. The facts can be learned anytime, anywhere, and a smart person that has developed intellectual tools will be able to be useful on a large variety of fields. In other words, choosing a major is not sealing your destiny, even though society makes it seem that way.
 

Sim

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Have you considered studying computer programming? It's very INTP-friendly as far as jobs go, and has a ton of job opportunities. It can involve a lot of creativity, and you can connect it to your other interests a lot easier than most other professions. For example- design and build an app that helps people reference and understand their own personality traits and how they relate best to others.

My advice on school: if it's not taking you somewhere, don't do it. There are far more efficient ways to learn, so going to college is simply pissing money away if it's not taking you somewhere you want to go.
I'm fortunate enough to be in a position where my school is completely paid for. I'm kind of planning on just using college as a means to study abroad while hopefully learning more about myself, the world, and what I want from it.

I knew somebody would suggest Computer Science, but I feel like most people who decide to study it already have a lot of experience with computers before studying it at a university level. I like computers; I basically live on the internet, but I'm worried I would be behind if I started now. My indecision is worrisome.
 

Amagi82

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[IDROITE][/IDROITE]
I knew somebody would suggest Computer Science, but I feel like most people who decide to study it already have a lot of experience with computers before studying it at a university level. I like computers; I basically live on the internet, but I'm worried I would be behind if I started now. My indecision is worrisome.
I had virtually no programming experience whatsoever until one year ago, when I started lazily learning programming in my spare time, with really shitty focus. I'm 31. Fast forward to today and I've got my own Android apps up and running that do actual, useful stuff now. I look through the app store and I can build probably 30-50% of the apps I see. You can learn. Anyone can learn to program. Furthermore, everyone should learn to program. We're all behind at something in life, and all you can to to change that is pick it up and run with it. I'd recommend hopping on www.codeacademy.com or one of the plethora of other free coding sites. Don't be intimidated- just pick up a little bit here or there and gradually put it all together. Python is a good language to start with- every developer I talk to who works with it loves it, but do some research and learn something that does what you want to do.
 

Sim

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[IDROITE][/IDROITE]
I had virtually no programming experience whatsoever until one year ago, when I started lazily learning programming in my spare time, with really shitty focus. I'm 31. Fast forward to today and I've got my own Android apps up and running that do actual, useful stuff now. I look through the app store and I can build probably 30-50% of the apps I see. You can learn. Anyone can learn to program. Furthermore, everyone should learn to program. We're all behind at something in life, and all you can to to change that is pick it up and run with it. I'd recommend hopping on www.codeacademy.com or one of the plethora of other free coding sites. Don't be intimidated- just pick up a little bit here or there and gradually put it all together. Python is a good language to start with- every developer I talk to who works with it loves it, but do some research and learn something that does what you want to do.
Thanks for the advice. I'll check out the website you suggested.
 

Valentas

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I study CS. I like it, there's always a lot to learn but I just cannot understand people who complain about choosing something. Hell, study everything while at junior years in uni. I have maths, programming modules and study biochemistry and astronomy on my spare time. Uni is a good place to explore options because you can just write an email to professor in any school and ask how to approach his subject in self-study manner. I recently wrote to bioinformatics professor and he's promised to arrange a meeting to talk about what interests I possess towards this field for I have no clue how much biochem/bio I must know to understand what's going on and actually create useful stuff and help scientists. A week ago, I brought a map of constellations with me and went to observatory of university where I was taught basics because I simply showed up and shown interest in astronomers work. They love to help when you approach them and genuinely want to learn from them. One of them even went as far as showing ins and outs of telescope he uses. Cool stuff.

So, if you have spare time, then study something useful and what gets you a job in the end and then spend rest of the time learning about other stuff. Don't be afraid to approach professors. They like to help for those who are interested in their field.
 

WALKYRIA

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1° Become a nototorius researcher in whatever you want. We're natural researcher.
2° Do programming if you want the safe, comfortable but not so fullfilling( in Maslow's terms !) job...
3° Neuroscience domain( researcher if you can; otherwise Psychiatry(prctice or research !) is in terms of pay, interest, respect, money/ workload,..Etc the best I think so )
4° Basicallly search for a job that:
- You love ( perhaps I've always been atracted since little about how our brain works exactly and about-- where are we coming from? where are we going? --questions... so philosophy/ Biology/ astrophysics were my love... I chose Psychiatry coz it involves almost all of it !)

-you are excellent in it( not just good or brillant but something you excell in/ you are gifted for = basically look for something that put you in the top 95-99% in terms of raw abilities(Languages, creative work, analysis, some passion about certain topic, empathy, problem solving, music ...Etc) and work in it and shine brutally.. )

- Something that brings enough time for self time( thus an easy job in terms of physical demands) : self-reflection, culture, hobbies, intellectuality.
-money( Research have shown that happiness rises proportionally with money untill 70000 dollars/ year... beyond that is there no real happiness changes ! Thus no, money is not the most importnat factor)
- A job that's pretty intellectual and in which you learn constantly...




PS1: Does anyone know what I need to study or get interest in if I want to work/ do some robotics as a passion in my free time? I'm basically attracted by robots-- they are my friends -- and have a kind of irrealistic dream... would like to create some robots( they would be my minions !) . :)

PS2: For the strongest/ most resilient INTPs; Med schools is always a safe but hard bet... is contrary to our personality.
 

C.Hecker88

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OP, I am basicaly in the same boat as you. I have heard that economics is a very profitable major.

Also, what is the AP class : credit hour ratio, if you don't mind me asking?

Good luck.
 

Ariel

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My story - I majored in geography, which was very interesting, and then went to law school because I didn't know of any other degree that would provide a real career. I don't recommend becoming a lawyer though, I'm sorry I did! Finally after 30 years I'm reasonably happy in a job writing sophisticated information-technology services agreements, but I'm at a junior level because I hate the management and politics required to "advance" to the General Counsel level.

With a do-over, I wish I'd chosen economics, architecture, or computer software design. Being able to couple knowledge about business systems and/or about specific industries would also be great for a job developing new programs and processes. Some of the specific learning may seem uninteresting because of its granularity, but it's necessary in order to design well.

I also highly recommend continuing a lifelong exposure to gaining knowledge across many fields of knowledge and life.

It's also been useful to me to have learned some zen Buddhist principles, including the value of whole-mindedness, and being gentle with oneself and others.
 

sasha

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I think it is best to go with your gut. It doesn't matter if you won't be making a large amount of money at first. For some, they may be a writer while others may want to be an artist. Of course, you want to set yourself up to be able to use your skills to further you into your career. Be smart about it. Maybe even have a minor to gain knowledge to assist you on your way. I just read a post about a girl who wanted to become an electrical engineer because there was money in it; however, she wasn't happy. I think this happens all too often. Go with your gut. The money will come.
 

A_Scanner_Darkly

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every now and then i have regrets about my major, which was English. this choice came about as a result of a combination of emotional crises i was going through at the time: that i had already been at community college for over 3 years; that i had had my heart broken by someone who was infinitely more career-oriented, "smart," and successful than me; that many of my friends were transferring/graduating/moving and i didn't want to get left behind...

it's not about the money. i am happy with the amount i make, and i know it'll go up over time. besides, overall wealth is more about how much you're able to save than how much you actually make, since it's easy to blow money no matter how much you have.

though i love language and though this major has allowed me to achieve a mastery over English which most people do not have (note: i write this way on purpose, LOL), i still sort of regret not having chosen something more useful, something more "real" i guess.

for instance, i was in psychology, and partly i dropped out of that because counselors told me it was overly competitive; also i screwed up calculus because of emotional issues at the time; it would also have taken too long and i didn't want to be at CC anymore... but anyway, i used to really enjoy fiction -- which for the most part is what we read in my program -- and i initially wanted to write fiction, but now i find it sort of irrelevant and useless...

i might still go back to that if i can figure out some justifiable use for devoting myself to it, e.g. if i can use to teach people how to think, or to write an encyclopedic novel that simultaneously informs, engages, and entertains...

*shrugs* trying to figure out my path, how i can make some impact, how i can be useful to the world... having the NP ADD and scattered interests certainly does not help...
 
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