Don’t Worry About College Majors

I’ve heard a lot recently about ‘picking the right college major’. It’s normal to worry about such things. I remember.

But I think obsessing over picking the ‘right’ college degree is a waste of time. If you have particular interests, follow them in college, but waste no more time worrying if you’ve made the ‘right’ choice.

I’m in my 50s. I’ve heard hundreds of stories of the twists and turns of lives and the role of college in them–including my own. I was dead set on being an electrical engineer, and the first year and a half of college was in that subject. I was certain I was destined to invent the next power source and change the world with it.

I ended up with an undergrad in history, and (years later) a graduate degree in urban planning. I’ve been in the ‘tech’ business for 30-odd years as a technical writer, then usability engineer, then software developer, then analyst/product owner/whatever.

The best software engineer I know has an undergrad in fine arts. They own three software patents; they also make pottery.

My ‘old guy’ advice to those staring down college decisions:

The road doesn’t matter very much. Taking steps matters. Just keep taking action and learning and adjusting and, for god’s sake, enjoy your life. It’s a dance, not a long march towards eventual happiness.