TED Conversations

Alvin Tanasta

This conversation is closed.

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.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jun 22 2013: If you're thinking of employment you may need to consider the cost of getting a degree. In the USA there are many people with degrees that are either out of work or underemployed. Yet, many of them spent a ton of money earning those degrees. It's not uncommon for a four-year degree to cost $80,000. Would you be better off using that money as capital to start your own business? Just giving you something to think about.
    • thumb
      Jun 22 2013: That would be a good idea. However, I'm thinking to work first and then apply the experiences and knowledge that I have learnt from working to my business. So I can run my business more efficiently. In order to work at someone's company I need a degree.
      I like your idea though, since college education has an very unreasonable price and not everyone can afford it.
      • thumb
        Jun 22 2013: My experience is that you won't learn what you need to learn at college. I'm not saying it's always a bad thing, but don't expect that once you earn a degree doors will open up. There are many people with degrees (some Master's and Ph.D.'s) who are out of work or working jobs with poor pay. And, you don't need a degree at every company.

        What many schools will do is sign you up and give you loans to pay for your schooling. At the end of your degree program that loan will be a giant hindrance to seeking out your dreams. So, I would recommend seeing if you can find a way to work as you're gaining your schooling and pay as you go. It will take longer, but you won't have a big financial burden when you graduate.

        Before you start, I would recommend finding a few people in the fields you are thinking of pursuing. Talk to those people. Find out what the job is really like. Find out how you get into the field. Find out all that information first before you pay a penny towards education. Many people find after they graduate that the job they prepared for is far different than they imagined.

        You will also find that success after school often means unlearning many of the things you were taught in college. I'm an excellent writer. I've written several books. In order for me to become a vibrant writer, I had to learn that many of the things I was taught in school were wrong. College is detached from the real world. So much of what you do and learn only applies to academia. It has little application outside those walls.
      • thumb
        Jun 22 2013: Your choice is a wise one, I think. Higher education and experience working with those who can mentor you are invaluable if you have those opportunities. In my experience, many people who have gone to college do not fully realize what they gained from it, noticing only that it didn't give them everything they might have expected. Those who did not go cannot know with great authority what they might have gained from it.

        I am glad you will have the opportunity to include higher education in your learning plans.

        To which college are you headed, if I may ask?
        • thumb
          Jun 23 2013: My application is still processed by Langara college, it's the biggest government funded college in Canada. I also sent my application to Diablo Valley college in California, since some people say getting student visa in Canada is taking much time. However, both choices are good. I should definetly be studying in one of these colleges in the future. I applied for university transfer program so I plan to transfer at university in my two or third year.
      • thumb
        Jun 23 2013: Oh, so you are starting in the community college system. That is a great way of lowering the total cost.

        I think it is much easier to transfer after two years than after one. I think many students transfer after two years from Diablo Valley CC to UCDavis or even Berkeley.
        • thumb
          Jun 23 2013: Yes, Community college is much cheaper than university.
          Exactly, many students transfer after two years and transfer students to berkeley have an average gpa of 3.8. So it's quite impossible to transfer to UC system. They're looking for students with high academic grades

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.