Tuesday, January 10, 2006

So . . . What's YOUR Major?

Sometime way back in the last century, I attended BYU. Back in those olden days, I remember three questions that always seemed to come up when meeting someone new:
  • What's your name?
  • Where Are You From?
  • What is your Major?
For some reason, my most prominent memory of having this conversation seems to have occurred on the dance floor, more than anywhere else. -- What else do you have to talk about at a BYU dance anyway? I'm sure I asked these same questions in other settings as well. However, when I set the time on the Wayback Machine to go back to my BYU days, I can see myself conversing with a dance partner in the Wilkinson Center Ballroom, swaying to the music, and asking these very questions.

I recently visited Mark Hansen's blog, Mo Boy, the other day, and found this quiz. It's supposed to help you decide what would be perfect college major for you. After taking the quiz, these were the results I received:


You are an aspiring journalist, and you should major in journalism!
You are passionate about writing and expressing yourself, and you
want the world to understand your beliefs through writing.

Journalism


92%

Philosophy


83%

English


75%

Mathematics


67%

Sociology


58%

Linguistics


58%

Theater


50%

Engineering


50%

Dance


42%

Psychology


33%

Chemistry


33%

Anthropology


33%

Biology


25%

Art


17%

What is your Perfect Major?
created with QuizFarm.com

For me, the results of this quiz are quite accurate. In fact, when I first started college, I was really was a journalism major for my first year! After I came home from my mission, I switched to Business, which is what I eventually graduated in. Of course, now, I work in neither business nor journalism -- I'm a computer programmer of all things!

How the heck did that happen? (I suppose that that's where the "mathematics" and logic part of me comes out.)

I've always loved the written word. I see writing as a true craft -- even an art form. I love to find just the right words to communicate the point I am trying to get across. I also find writing as a way to express the feelings of my heart. So that explains why journalism and English are at the top of my list of "perfect" majors. Because I am a religious person, in nearly any of these kinds of tests, I usually get a high score in philosophy or I am advised to seek a career in the clergy. Well, since I am LDS, becoming a professional clergyman is just not an option. The closest thing to a professional clergyman would be a religion professor at BYU, or to be a chaplain in the military -- neither of which appeals to me very much. As for philosophy, there is just not much of a market for it. They don't have a Mars Hill anymore, where you can sit atop the hill and philosophize and pontificate all day long, and have people put tips in the hat, as they sit enraptured at your feet. Once again, academia seems to be the only place you can get away with something like that!

I've always thought that my favorite career would be that of a high school English teacher. However, being able to read (my English skills) and understand salary scales (my math skills) I could see that supporting a family in Utah solely on a teacher's salary would be a tall order, indeed. Most likely, my wife would have to work too, in order to make ends meet. So, I chose other opportunities as they came to me, which would better help me achieve my family goals.

I found that I had a talent with computers, and programming. When I saw that a programmer was about to retire from his position, I took classes and prepared myself for that position as best I could. When the time came, the way was opened up for me to make the transition from working in public safety to computer programming. I thank the Lord for opening these doors for me, and showing me the way to move forward. Sometimes it took a leap of faith to make the jump. More faith may yet be required of me before I enter retirement. (I still have young children, and am probably looking at working another 20 years before I can retire.) Thankfully, over time, we have been blessed with the means that allows my wife is able to stay home with our children. We're not rich, but we have sufficient for our needs. Currently she is homeschooling our oldest son. None of this would be possible without these great blessings that the Lord has given us.

I have been working in the full time work-force for a little over 22 years now. During that time, I have had 5 different jobs, and 3 different careers. I understand that this is not unusual. Most people nowadays will have up to 6 different "careers" in their lifetime. More likely than not, I will probably have to learn, grow and adapt more in the future.

One thing I found was that music was missing in the quiz above. Although my musical talents are pretty ordinary (not professional level) music is still very important to me. Even though "Art" is shown at the bottom of the scale, if you included music and writing as "arts", then it would be at near the top of the scale.

So . . . How does a writer, who normally writes computer code "gobbeldy-gook" and helps people with computer problems all day long have the chance to express himself in writing? --- Why he gets a BLOG, of course! For me, blogging has been a way to keep up on my writing skills, as well as to provide a form of self expression.

Now, back to the original question of this post -- What's YOUR major? Take the quiz above, and see if it matches your personality. Leave a comment, and tell me what the quiz suggested as your perfect major, and how close it came what you actually studied or what you have ended up doing in real life.

And I promise, you won't even have to come onto the dance floor to tell me either!

9 comments:

Maren said...

I think that writing is wonderful. I love reading what people write who have the talent to articulate their positions so clearly. Orson Scott Card is one of my favorites for that (his various essays on the web).

I majored in theatre. Being dramatic has always been my first love and passion.

My husband got his degree in Electrical Engineering and has spent his career in IT--computer networks and such. He has been with the same company for 10 years. They recently were bought out, so there could be a career change here for us. Time will tell.

Life is nothing if not full of changes.

s'mee said...

According to the study I would/should have been an art major, which is what I would have done.

I also noticed a strong lack of anything musical. #5 wished to expand her oboe talents into a career, but then figured in the "mom" factor and decided against all the travel and other requirements. Big brother, brother in law, best friend,and pretty much every music teacher, conductor, and tutor would have been excluded. What would the world be with out music majors and those other gifted folks who seem to ooze music from every pore?

You also mention not being able to rear a family in Utah on a teacher's salary alone. That is a shame. There is a lot more in that statement than just those few words.

Marti said...

Thanks for the linkk, I will try to get over there later.

I love and appreciate being able to string words together too. You are doing a great job of it LOL

Woody said...

Heh. I took the silly thing and it said I should be an English major. I laugh because a) my brother keeps vacillating between that and staying gainfully employed, and b) I work with too many former English majors who still can't put a coherent sentence together.

Had I stuck with the college gig, I would have been a music major, or performing arts. Meh. Talk about zero growth opportunities...

David B. said...

Thanks for sharing your majors with me.

Maybe in the next world, we'll get to do what we really would like to do, without having to worry about monetary constraints.

- Maren can star in her own theatrical productions.

- s'mee can make great works of art.

- Marti could be a commedian.

- Woody could star in broadway musicals.

As for me, I would be a photojournalist, traveling the world over for National Geographic, specializing in landscapes.

Tigersue said...

I scored as a Philosophy major, not sure I go for that but, right now since I'm having some trouble it might be a bit skewed for me. Next was psychology. Like everyone else here, where is the MUSIC? They have dance and art, theater, but NO MUSIC! AHHHH where would I be with out the clarinet that put me through school on scholarship.... Nowhere according to this quiz. :)

Lisa M. said...

I tied, it said.

Then it said, I Bully and Flirt with everyone.

Then...You should be a Sociology major!

Yipes.

*chuckle*

Interesting Mr. David B.

Jeannette said...

Hey Dave, I took the quiz and here is how I scored. So do you think accounting is right for me?

Love, Net
You scored as Mathematics.

You should be a Math major! Like Pythagoras, you are analytical, rational, and when are always ready to tackle the problem head-on!

Mathematics

75%
Engineering

58%
Theater

50%
Art

50%
Dance

50%
Chemistry

50%
English

42%
Philosophy

42%
Journalism

42%
Psychology

42%
Biology

33%
Sociology

25%
Anthropology

25%
Linguistics

25%

David B. said...

TigherSue: -Thanks for stopping by. I really wish music would have been there, it would have changed things for a lot of us. As for Psychology, you've got a lot on your mind right now -- maybe that's why it popped up to the top of the list.

Lisa M: -My wife took this survey too. Like you, she tied between two categories, and had to answer a tie-breaker question. She ended up being classified with Math and Engineering! -- No where close to reality! I don't think the survey does too well if you don't have a clear tendency in a single direction.

I don't know about that flirtatious bullying -- I didn't think you had time for that sort of stuff!

Jeannette: Nice to hear from you Sis! It looks like it pegged you just about right! Don't be shy about leaving comments. It's nice to hear from you!