#1 Posted by NoobSauceG7 (1327 posts) -

Hi guys,

So if you remember, I asked for some advice regarding school and what I should do. I am currently a Junior at college. I am currently a computer and video game design major, after switching from a math major (only one year). But, I really don't like programming or making games or websites. I just find it boring and kinda frustrating since you can just bang your head against it for a while and the solution could just be a small, stupid mistake. It is tough too since the classes are really open and I like a more guided path.

I also really like music. I took a music education class this semester and have really been enjoying it. I also really enjoying playing in the band. I have also tutored a few kids for the past few years in my instrument and have enjoyed that a lot and find a lot of satisfaction from it. During high school, the majority of my time was spent with music, and I wanted to be a music major, up until my Senior year when I thought maybe I should do something more practical (math at the time). I talked to some of the music advisors and they gave my a schedule of what my remaining time at school would be if I switch to music ed. I would have to stay for another full year.

So, I talked to my current advisor and asked about jobs in games that doesn't involve creation or coding or designing or things along those lines. One of the options he said I thought would be a good idea. He suggested that I go to business school after and be on the business side of games or the tech industry. My parents also said this when I asked them for advice, and they said they will support whatever I decide, whether it be finish my current major or switch into music ed.

Some of the negatives of music ed is basically only being a music teacher, though I don't really like things being too open so that isn't bad for me. Another negative would be not knowing what type of school I would go into, whether it is a good suburban or a not so well off urban school, I know this may sound a little snobby, but that is a big concern for teachers, music especially since they are the first to be cut a bit. The negatives of continuing is that I don't really like what I am doing now, but I do love games and the industry and talking/writing about games, and every game company needs business people. The negatives of business is that I don't know what type of business I like, but I think I would know at business school (I don't know). Even if I don't do business for games or technology, I can still do business for other industries.

I feel kinda better typing this out since it gets all my thoughts out there. It's a tough decision since do I do something that I love and have some experience in, but not as much options. Or do i stick it out for a year and a half and then go try something new with business school and have more options. I know that money is a factor too, but right now I just want to choose what is best for me. Thanks for reading and please give me some feedback.

#2 Edited by Tireyo (6712 posts) -

I don't know what to tell you. For anything you want to pursue, there are going to be pros and cons. The only thing I can tell you is that since you've already made your comparisons of pros and cons, the next thing is that you decide is which pro is more rewarding and what con do you think you can deal with more easily.

Good luck.

#3 Edited by MB (14066 posts) -

Is a music education degree even financially viable? You didn't mention money but that is a real concern - what can you do with that type of degree and will you be able to make a comfortable salary with it?

#4 Posted by Choffy (477 posts) -

You need to find whatever it is you want to do and then do it. I can relate to having second thoughts about what I should get my degree in (I graduate in six weeks from Arizona State and thought about switching many times), but honestly the more important part about the degree is the fact that you actually got it, and not what it's in.

There are examples in every office of every position in the world where a person's degree is useless to their current position. Two examples I know of immediately come to mind:

  • Rev3 Games' Tara Long is a math major
  • Phoenix Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough is a journalism major

Both are successful. Both seem to enjoy their job. Both's degrees don't relate much (if at all) to their field.

You're 20 years old. You're allowed to change your mind. But make what choice you want to for yourself, and don't let strangers on the internet influence important life choices that you'll have to live with the rest of your life. After all, you're the one who will have to live with the repercussions long after the choice has been made, not them.

#5 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

Touch her shoulder.

#6 Posted by maverick1 (95 posts) -

make music for video games.

#7 Edited by zFUBARz (675 posts) -

Choffy's is the best advice so far. Look man, every profession has crap you won't like in it. People put up with that because they love the other parts (if they're lucky enough to not just be working to pay the rent)

School isn't about the education really, except for doctors, lawyers, etc. if you can actually do the work, most places don't care what you went to school for. It's about finishing something, dedication and expanding your horizons. If you're really miserable, you should change, but if you get the feeling you'll be equally bored or frustrated in another program, don't bother right now, you can always focus on transferable and Gen Ed credits right now that way you will have a bit of a break if something does pop out at you in the future.

I spent a lot of time getting 3/4 of the way towards a degree in architecture, but some lost/stolen work and what seems like the same attitude as yours made me quit. I left that bout of school with a couple new friends, and some regrets and that's all. That's not where you want to be, and believe me, people will give you a bit of pity for something like losing hundreds of hours worth of draft work, but they'd give you a lot more respect, and admiration for overcoming something like that and having a great story to tell about it, that includes potential job interviews.

Although have you thought about getting into scoring and composing for video games? I mean it's pretty niche, but it sounds like you love music and games a lot, and having a a background in math/programing would probably come in handy.

#8 Posted by Whamola (134 posts) -

It's kind of funny how you keep going into worse and worse fields. All that you need to do is make one final switch to a communications major to complete your downward spiral.

All joking aside, just do what you actually enjoy. If you hate math, don't do it. If you hate programming, don't do it.

There's one real problem you have though. You seem to think that you graduate college and get placed immediately into a job relating to what you went to school for. It doesn't really work like that. My brother was a history major and now he works at an investment company. Sure, your major can help you get a job, but it really comes down to who you are and how you present yourself.

#9 Posted by konig_kei (755 posts) -

Go music and usher in a new era of music in pornography, completely change the scene then get rich and write a biography.

#10 Posted by Whitestripes09 (508 posts) -

If you're that worried about the future you should just do engineering at this point... Just kidding, do something that you feel is going to be worth it to you in the end. Keep in mind that after you graduate you probably won't be hired for a while, especially as a music teacher and will probably have to do some sort of internship to gain proof that you have experience in your field. Also another to keep in mind is that the gaming industry is turning more and more into like the movie industry, they're not just looking for programmers or even business people.

#11 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3295 posts) -

Time to do what everyone else does when they don't know what major to choose. Business. At least you'll make decent money while you hate what you do.

#12 Posted by Korolev (1786 posts) -

If you really don't like programming, then don't do it. My brother went down that path - he was quite good with computers, he liked messing around with them, so he went into IT. As it turns out, he freaking hates programming. He could do it, sure, he was even pretty good at it - but he hated it. He eventually decided on a joint IT/Business degree, but he took a long time to finish it since he kept failing the IT courses (he finished his business degree component before finishing the IT degree component despite taking the business part later) because he just didn't like IT. He graduated with a low GPA and no real world experience with a degree for a field he didn't even like! He's smart - he's smarter than me, but he never figured out what he wanted to do. He never found anything to be passionate about. I did - I freely admit that I'm actually not as smart as my brother, but I liked science and medicine, so that's what I went into - Med school.

You need to find something you're passionate about, but something that can also provide a good life. Don't neglect the practical side of a degree - if I had followed my absolute greatest passion, I would have done a degree in history. Do you know how many jobs are available for graduates in History? Barely any. So I didn't do it. You need to think about what you like and what is also practical from a living view point. Music.... you can get jobs, but it's not going to be easy. If you are going to pursue a music career, you have to be really good to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack.

Should you do business? I suppose if you really like the games industry, you could switch to business. I don't know much about business school, but I will advise you to do what my Brother didn't - get some real life experience while studying. Work on some serious ideas while studying. Network with people while studying. My brother is smart, but he had no passion for what he was doing and he did the bare minimum required to pass. As a result, when he ended his degree he was without any extra-merit, he didn't know anyone in any field of business, he had no ideas to shop around and he didn't know where to go. The important thing about any degree is to know where you want to go after you graduate, and to PLAN FOR THAT BEFORE YOU GRADUATE. I CAN'T STRESS THAT ENOUGH. DON'T GRADUATE WITHOUT SOME PLAN AS TO WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO WITH YOUR DEGREE. That's a huge mistake so many people make. Also, don't do a degree without an idea of where you want it to get you later in life. I want to be an oncologist and a clinical researcher, so I need a degree in Medicine and Molecular Biology. I know what my degrees are for, and I have something lined up after I graduate.

You have to have a plan. That plan can be whatever you want it to be, but you've got to sit down and fashion one out. What do you want to get from your degree, what job needs your degree, what can you do while studying that will help you get a job after you graduate.