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Alvin Tanasta

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The 'right' university degree, is that exist?

Hello, this is my very first post in this site and I should let you know that english is not my first language.
I'm from Indonesia and planning to study in usa this fall.

I have difficulties in finding what degree should I take. Bussines or Science? Firstly, I wanted to study biology-related major(life sciences, not medical). However, since I have been hearing all the time that this field has a high number of unemployment both in my home country and usa(correct me if I'm wrong). In addition, it's not easy to study these science-related major since you have to study math, phys, bio, and chem.

Secondly, my parents run a shop here. So If I have a major in bussines-related major, hopefully I'll be able to apply the knowledge to my bussines. If I have graduated with science degree such as biotechnology or agriculture, What I feared the most is that I wont be able to get a job in usa and will be forced to go back to my home country where these science degrees are worth almost nothing. Also I have seen in yahoo edu and some other resources ranked agriculture in the top of most useless degree. Thats pretty strange thing since we have more people to feed and scacer land.

I would be very grateful if you guys give me references. Thank you.


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    Jun 20 2013: There is no right degree, and it is difficult to advise someone whose talents, interests, and situation one doesn't know.

    There is no degree that guarantees you will be able to find a job in the United States. The most popular degree to pursue in the US is Business, because of the perception of job opportunities. At many schools, you cannot simply choose business, because more people want to do that than they are set up to accept.

    Another question is how much education you anticipate pursuing. An undergraduate degree in biology for someone not interested in health careers would probably be a hard degree with which to find work, as research-type work will likely require a higher degree (Masters or PhD) . I think you are right that there are probably fewer jobs in agriculture in the US that require a degree than there are people with adequate background and experience to do those jobs.

    For the United States, the US Department of Labor every now and then assembles a report of trends in occupations projected forward ten years or so. That is their best information based on information they collect from hiring managers and so on what the growth areas will be in the occupations. I will look for a link for you. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/

    Of course no one can predict with accuracy, and you can expect there will always be plenty of people studying those fields in order to be competitive for such jobs.

    There is a good argument for exploring what interests you and taking courses in the first year that help you determine what you are good at and that allow you a choice of direction. Normally you do not need to choose your major until the end of the first year at the earliest.
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      Jun 21 2013: Pardon me, I'm not very familiar with university and college level education but If I take a course just to determine what I like and at the end of the course I don't like it or the course I have studied doesn't related to what I want, wouldn't it be a waste of money?
      Yes, I also think it would be hard to get a job outside health in biology fields. In addition, it also requires higher degree and very competitive with less rewards.
      Thank you for your long and complete answer.
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        Jun 21 2013: I am glad you asked this, as you are right that the word "course" means something different in the US than it does, for example, in England.

        I believe in the UK "course" refers to what in the US is called "major."

        In the US a course means a class. At the university where you study, you will take somewhere between three and five courses each term. You will be required to take at least eight courses, typically, outside of your main course of study. This is actually required, because the goal is for you to have some breadth in your education rather than to know only one narrow thing.

        So, for example, my younger daughter majored in math and physics, but she took several courses in Latin literature, biology and chemistry, English, Theories of Justice, and I cannot remember what else. Ancient and modern history as well as American history are required at many schools, regardless of your major.

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