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Changing major(need advice)

EugeneT

Member
Hi, i am a student at Brooklyn College(2nd year) and until recently i was confident that i would graduate with a double major in psych/philosophy and go on to phd in psychology.

Even though i still love both fields, i became discouraged in terms of financial compensation and years of study required to get a stable job. I am not motivated to spend all the years for a phd and end up making a mediocre salary.

I decided that i need a career that would allow me to make decent money with a masters degree and have no limit in terms of potential salary. For a long time i thought money didn't matter that much but i had a rude awakening that in fact it matters quite a bit.

So here i am about to make a jump from psychology into business. I found myself in an unknown territory, clueless about what to do next.

My plan is to transfer to a much better college(preferably Columbia univ.) and start taking business/math courses. My uncle(who is a computer programmer) told me that Financial Engineering is a great field with virtually no roof for salary.

I am looking for any advice i can find.

Thanks.
 

MLBrandow

Member
EugeneT,

If you can transfer from Brooklyn to Columbia or NYU, I would heavily consider it. However, it is worth noting that Mathematics is just about the same everywhere you go (that is, good public and above).

Financial Mathematics isn't something you can just up and decide to do one day--it takes a lot of work, and being a complete change from Psychology/Philosophy, it may well not be a venture you are willing to take.

Should you decide to do this, I would certainly say you have a real shot at making it work. I actually made a decision very similar to this about two years ago and a few months, from Political Science to Physics and Mathematics. While I barely came out alive in the beginning, I am flourishing now and actually just got accepted today into FSU's PhD program for Financial Mathematics.


All that said, going from fields with no math to the actual field of mathematics (and also business) will be a tough switch to make. If you are really, really ready and willing to put in the work, I promise that even though you may be switching right now for the money, it will grow into a love affair as well. I genuinely feel like I am a smarter person for having pursued the track I have, and that is a reward in itself.

I would weigh your perceived education difference at NYU or Columbia with the cost of transferring from Brooklyn. If they are similar, then I would say definitely go for it. If you happen to be on a scholarship or something such that the cost is great, I would heavily consider whether or not it is in your best interest to transfer.

Whatever you decide, I am sure you will do well if you are a smart person and you put enough time and effort in. Best of luck.
 

EugeneT

Member
Thanks for the reply!

I feel like i would be much more motivated to study in an ivy league as opposed to a regular college. The problem is that it is too late for me to transfer so i am thinking to either stay here for another semester or just skip one semester and work for a bit whilst trying to get into a good univ.

On the other hand my father gets paid more then i would like and that means i am getting no financial aid. He will not pay for my college so the only option i have is to find some kind of grant, scholarship or just take loans. The reason i want to skip a semester is that i am sick of living with my grumpy grandpa and i MUST live on my own if i want to get anywhere in life and that means earning my own living. I will have no time for jobs while in college.:wall
 

MLBrandow

Member
EugeneT,

I know of two states (and I am sure there are several others) that have very cheap in-state tuition. You will get reamed your first year, but you can apply for in-state tuition after and get a big discount. These two states are North Carolina and Florida, and again, I am sure there are several others.

If such is the case that you are pinched and cannot afford an ivy league school (and that may not even be your best choice), you might consider looking for work in one of these states, waiting a year, and then going to school with what hopefully will be a newfound resolve. It is a slightly longer journey, but that one year of work experience and extra $80k+ you will save may end up making the difference in the near future.

I completely agree that you need to be out and on your own if you are to grow as an individual.
 

EugeneT

Member
What if i get into Rutgers or Baruch? I mean it would be awesome if i could stay in NY(friends) or nearby. I have quite a few friends who go to Rutgers but i don't know if it is considered to be better then say Baruch.

I am planning to get security guard license to work. Think it is a good idea?
 

Bridgett

Well-Known Member
What if i get into Rutgers or Baruch? I mean it would be awesome if i could stay in NY(friends) or nearby. I have quite a few friends who go to Rutgers but i don't know if it is considered to be better then say Baruch.

I am planning to get security guard license to work. Think it is a good idea?

Any idea can be a great idea if you can get it to work well with other important factors in your life. But uncertainty always exists... we sometimes find ourselves having to go forward before knowing clearly what is exactly in front of us. Get it started and adjust the directions as you go. I'm sure that you will make it well!!! Best of luck!! :)
 
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