Ouya International Education

Does college school or major matter?

Does college school or major matter? How to choose wisely. Read on to find out!

Students in North American secondary schools—and their parents—hold different views
on whether a graduating high school student should decide to accept the offer of
admission for the “first choice” institution (college or university) or decide upon basis of
the first choice of major. Let’s examine these two perspectives.

Choosing on the basis of the first choice of specialty

Since the resumption of the American university entrance examinations in the late 1970s,
the popular point of view has been to consider the test of the job market and prospects for
employment after graduation. North American society has always taken the point of view
that serving as a volunteer in secondary school is not important, and that extracurriculars
are not all that important: the key to success is to choose a good specialty, a specialty that
is likely to result in outstanding future employment.

Chief among those who hold this view are secondary school teachers. Their main reason
is that a student’s development and future success mainly rely on entering the
professional world, rather than on relying on success in school. As an undergraduate, a
student will spend only four years in university, whereas the time that he or she will be
practicing a profession will his or her entire life.

The influence of specialization on students usually lasts a lifetime. If you as a university
student make the proper choice of profession, you will be able to give full play to your
hobbies, interests, and personal strengths. You will have the money and the education
necessary for a challenging, rewarding life. Making as their first choice their favorite
profession, students will acquire strong career interests that they will be able to pursue
long after the four years of undergraduate study. They will be free to roam in their chosen
fields, will be more active in business and the community, and will continue to acquire
professional knowledge. The life of the professional is full of challenges and fun. The
professional will accomplish greater achievements than the non-professional, and have
infinite possibilities their future development.

But let’s look at the situation from a more realistic perspective. Currently, colleges and
universities pay considerable attention to the inculcation of professional knowledge.
These post-secondary institutions, staffed by excellent teachers, annually increase their
capital investment in instructional design and learning technologies and strengthen the
professional capabilities of their academic researchers so that the quality of teaching and
learning of the professional scholar has vastly improved over the past fifty years in
Canadian and American universities, which are both teaching and research institutions.

The focus of North American universities over those past five decades has been the
construction of the professional. Not only famous universities have their own academic
specialties; some of the lesser-known local colleges and universities also have
outstanding programs for preparing students for the professions.

At present, for example, many student candidates and their parents believe that graduates
of a top university’s chief majors will certainly find good jobs more easily than graduates
of third-rate universities. Consequently, some students in order to gain admission to the
ideal university choose a program at the expense of choosing very challenging and
potentially lucrative majors, and often have trouble finding suitable employment.

Such students have ignored a basic fact: that is, if a secondary school graduate can get
into one of a top university’s best majors, generally that graduate can also get into a
community college, and other post-secondary institutions, take popular majors, and
subsequently enjoy an employment advantage upon graduation.

If student-candidates cannot enter a profession that will enable them to meet their
developmental potential, they should also choose similar or related majors, so that they
can lay a solid foundation for future employment. More importantly, to enjoy a long and
sustained personal development in society, it is more important to choose a suitable
specialty rather than a top institution

Thinking of only the “first choice” of school

The main reason is that post-secondary education has changed so much over the past fifty
years is developments within society, including scientific and technological progress, the
rapid changes in industrial structure, and society’s demand for talented graduates in
certain fields. The focus has changed from developing a graduate who is an expert in just
one field to educating people with composite talents, with a sound knowledge of many
basic theories and strong comprehension across a range of disciplines. Employers in the
selection of graduates are no longer interested in students with just one area of expertise;
in today’s planned economy only students with comprehensive knowledge will succeed.

In order to adapt to this change, colleges and universities in the last decade of the
twentieth century made large adjustments to their programs. They have tended to focus
on the “strengthening of the foundation, ” diluting the limited knowledge of the single-
field professional, according to the radical developments in post-secondary teaching, such
as “streaming training” and other new teaching methods. Therefore, candidates and
parents in filling out forms for volunteering, should consider that the first choice of
school is paramount, and that the selection of an academic specialty is purely secondary.

Only in post-secondary institutions with a full range of disciplines, with a strong,
research-oriented faculty, and with a real sense of what constitutes a qualified
professional, students can learn optimally. If the student has only a narrow understanding
of the importance of the chosen profession, the student will make the choice of a
profession all important, and will afterwards experience a lifetime of regret.

For expert consultation on choosing your education path, contact us today.

Please share this article if you think it could be useful to someone else. Thank you.


Ready to Start Your Adventure with Ouya?