John Y’s Musings from the Middle: The Best and Worst Advice Columns for Students

The column below is an irresistible one—even for me (at age 49) and not looking for either a college major or a job.

They are interesting reading and worth glancing at for information. Bu…t not, in my opinion, for life guidance.

The only thing worse you can do than pursue a degree you are interested in that pays a low starting salary is get a degree you aren’t interested in because it pays a high salary. If you do the former, at a minimum you will almost surely do much better while in college or graduate school (higher GPA), which translates into more professional options, better educated, and more self-confidence. Not a bad outcome.

jyb_musingsIf you do the latter, you will likely do poorly, have a negative experience with school, have a lackluster record, get a second or third tier job in the field of study and not enjoy or excel at it. Pretty lousy outcome.

I’m not saying don’t balance the practical aspects of the connection between college degree and future jobs. You should and must. But make it only a part of your analysis. And at the end of your analysis, go with your gut and your passion.

No one has yet been able to quantify either. But being engaged something you are interested in and passionate about seems the common denominator of almost every person I know who excels in their field.

Even if they majored in English. (And many did!)

From Forbes:

The Best And Worst Master’s Degrees For Jobs

Thousands of new college grads will enter the workforce this year, but with unemployment at 8.2% and underemployment near 18%, many will put off the taxing job search process and opt out of the weak job market to pursue graduate degrees.

With this in mind, Forbes set out to determine which master’s degrees would provide the best long-term opportunities, based on salary and employment outlook. To find the mid-career median pay for 35 popular degrees, we turned to, which lets users compare their salaries with those of other people in similar jobs by culling real-time salary data from its 35 million profiles. We then looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projection data to see how fast employment was expected to increase between 2010 and 2020 in popular jobs held by people with each degree. Finally we averaged each degree’s pay rank and estimated growth rank to find the best and worst master’s degrees for jobs.

As it turns out, although there are too few doctors in the U.S. and too few seats in medical schools, those shortages are good for one segment of the population: people who get degrees as physician assistants.

Click here to read the full article.


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