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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: I think people should follow what they like because then they'll work harder at it and be more successful. Do you like biology more than any other field? Why? If you studied biology, what would be your plan for work life? Why would it be that a biology degree in Indonesia isn't worth much?

    What would you do with an agriculture degree? Do you actually want to go into agriculture? Maybe you should just get a job on a farm?
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      Jun 21 2013: Thank you.Yeah I'll try to guess the answers. I'm actually looking for a degree which is very employable because some degrees are not worth the cost and doesn't guarantee a job. My passion is my second consideration.
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        Jun 21 2013: Alvin, I'm not sure what you mean when you say you'll try to guess the answers? For example, I asked if you like biology more than any other field? Is that an answer you have to guess, why would that be, you don't know what you like? I also asked why you like biology, is that an answer you have to guess? And so on with my other questions. I would think that the clearer you are on your motivations, the better choices you will make and the more people can help you.
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          Jun 22 2013: You can say that I don't know what I like. I'm just an average student at my school, my grades aren't special. They're nearly similar. I sometimes struggle in physics and higher level math. So it's hard to decide what fields I really interested.
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          Jun 22 2013: I would add to what Alvin said that they way subjects are taught in high school often gives little sense of what it would be like to study and work in a field. and kids typically do not take Business Admin or Biotech in high school.
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        Jun 22 2013: Alvin,
        There is some good information on this thread, and I particularly agree with what Greg says for starters. Studying and work related endeavors seem to be more successful when we have passion, and like what we are doing, so I would make that my first consideration.

        Try to be clear about what you love doing and follow your heart, while listening to the logical, rational mind. There seems to be pressure on young people to decide at a very young age what they want to do for the rest of their lives. I have had several different careers throughout my life adventure and I know it is possible to change directions at any time. There is no degree that will guarantee a job. We see lots of people with all kinds of degrees who are not working.

        Welcome to TED Alvin:>)
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        Jun 22 2013: Well, I think there are sources where you can find out which careers would have the most job openings, at least here in the U.S. the government compiles statistics on this, do they do that in Indonesia? Or do you have high school counselors like we do here in the U.S., if you went to your counselor they could probably tell you what jobs are most likely to provide employment, and they could also help you figure out what you like. If those sources are failing, you could just ask a lot of people what they think is the most employable job, and see if they agree. At first, Alvin, you said you wanted to stay in the U.S. and work. Why is that, wouldn't you miss your family and friends in Indonesia? I would say that you should look into the laws that govern whether someone gets to stay in the U.S., not everyone is allowed to do that and you have to see if you would qualify. Maybe your nearest American consulate could help you on that.

        I would still say not to forget your passion. I guess when you choose a career you have to consider several factors, what is employable, what do you care about. Also, how creative and hard-working are you, if you are creative and hard-working you have a better chance to get a job in a field where there isn't much work available.
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          Jun 23 2013: I don't think indonesian government do that. Yes I'll be missing them very much. My reason studying abroad are to learn more experiences and be more independent. My plan are to graduate and work there for at least 2-3 years so I can get the same or hopefully more amount of money than the money I've spent for college education. After that, I think I'll go back to indonesia and hopefully I'll be able to get a better job or start a business and most importantly, meet my family.
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        Jun 23 2013: Regarding "I don't think indonesian government do that." Well, first question, Alvin, if you don't know what you want to do, what's wrong with doing what your parents want?
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          Jun 23 2013: Well, greg, my parents just want me to be successful. They support every decision I take. They want my studies in us not to be wasted since it cost a lot (everything is cheaper here). So, I plan to gain both work and study experiences there.
          Yes, the US government don't easily allow foreign people to stay. Many indonesian people whom I know go back here after studying in us.
          Maybe I just need time to figure what my passion is.
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        Jun 23 2013: Ah. Well, Al, when you say you need time to figure out what your passion is, does that mean you're just going to wait and see if the answer comes to you? Is there anything you could actively do to figure out what your passion is?

        What do you actually enjoy in life? Do you enjoy going to the movies? Do you enjoy great food? Do you enjoy discussing ideas?

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