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The 10 Most Popular College Majors, And Why You Should Probably Study Something Else.

Most of us understand the concept of wanting to stand out or set ourselves apart from the crowd. The taking of a different path can often lead to greater success than the well-trampled trail. One area where you can exercise and experiment with this idea is when choosing a college major. First off, study what you enjoy. If you are going to commit years of your life and income to an endeavor, there should be some enjoyment and an expected return on investment. That being said, there does not always have to be an obvious connection between your collegiate course of study and what your future career plans are.

As a means of demonstrating this principle, let's take a look at some of the most popular undergraduate degree programs in the United States. And let's see if we can do better. But before we get started, remember the first rule. Study what you like. And if you don't like it, you can change your mind. So, if you have your heart set on any of these programs listed. Do it. You will be happier and because of that, likely do better. But never feel like your options are limited when it comes to choosing majors. With that out of the way, let's begin:

The 10 Most Popular College Majors, And Why You Should Probably Study Something Else.
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    1. Business and Management

    Even Alex P. Keaton was bored with these classes. If the board room and the C-Suite are your ambition, go for it. But you will skip ahead of others by bringing something different to the table. What are you passionate about that is not represented in the board room today? What unique point of view can you add to the next management meeting? Most of the West is still trying to make major inroads into Africa. What if you took your B.A in Anthropologic Societies, combined with some business electives and created the on ramp that the rest of the multicorps are looking for? (See #10.)

    2. Nursing

    This may be the exception that proves the rule. Nursing students are as much enrolled in a vocational program as they are in an academic course of study. And being a nurse with your B.S.N will definitely give you a wide variety of opportunities. But there are lots of ways to be involved in health care and patient care. Research carefully.

    3. Psychology

    I actually think that this is a pretty good choice for students who are undecided going into college. The course of study can be applied in many different career paths. However, it does absolutely nothing towards your goal of setting yourself apart from the crowd. What else you got?

    4. Biology

    If you are thinking about pursuing advanced education in the life sciences, this can be a decent choice. BUT when you are applying to graduate school, wouldn't it look better if you had already given some thought into what field you wanted to study? Or maybe you're looking to match your undergrad work in Robotics with a graduate Bio program. See the difference.

    5. Engineering

    Another degree field that at first glance seems like a must-do. But can you be an Engineer without studying Engineering? Why, yes you can. It can be more limiting and is harder in some fields of engineering than others, BUT that is what makes you stand out. Invert the last example. Take your B.S. in Biology and combine it with a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. There are many other areas of intersection in today's society.

    6. Education

    We will always need more good teachers. But is it better to learn about teaching or to master the Subject's you wish to teach? While all states require a bachelor's degree in order to become a licensed (or certified) teacher, that is where the similarity ends. Look into where you might like to work and what you might like to teach for more specifics. Just know, that you have plenty of options.

    7. Communications

    Like all animals, humans communicate in numerous ways and in ever expanding forms. Do you need 4 years to understand that? Take a course in Public Speaking while majoring in your passion.

    8. Finance and Accounting

    No, you do not need an accounting degree to become an accountant. You also don't need a degree in Finance to understand the fiduciary responsibilities. Study what you love. Learn what you need to.

    9. Criminal Justice

    More law enforcement and criminal justice agencies are requiring undergraduate degrees in order to qualify for the position. But I've never seen one that requires a CJ degree. But what percentage of applicants have exactly that? The overwhelming majority. If you are really looking to set yourself apart from the crowd, become an applicant with a degree in Accounting, Public Administration, Chemistry, or a language. All of these provide knowledge and skills that are directly relatable and transferrable to the world of criminal justice.

    10. Anthropology & Sociology

    While these got lumped together in the consumer source material, I have never seen a college or university list their program using both titles. Maybe they tied in the survey. This is another pair of majors that I think end up being generic or default for too many students. A classic liberal arts education in the Great Masters of Art, Literature, and Education would likely be both more interesting and create more well-rounded graduates. However, as seen way back in #1 if this is your passion, don't be afraid to find new and creative ways to make it work in your favor.

    11. P.S. Anyone know what Magiions are?

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