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Planning for the future: university majors

4 Min Read
November 07, 2022

blog major title (1) Have you ever seen or heard of Nokia mobile phones? If you ask your parents or your teachers, they might have owned one of the Nokia phones at least at some point in their lives. Nokia was booming in 1990s and 2000s; it was one of the featured phones giants. By 2003, Nokia has sold more than 250 million mobile phones. However, Nokia's market shares plummeted year by year since smartphone makers penetrated the market. Their CEO said that they did not do anything wrong. What happened then? The fall of the featured phone giant Nokia was precisely caused by their 'not doing anything wrong'. Nokia did not innovate fast enough; they were too slow to respond to changes. They were too ignorant to see shifts in consumer demands. Smartphone makers like Blackberry and Apple saw it coming, prepared carefully, and launched their products timely. Boom! Once a leader that drives the market, Nokia has since become a follower that react to the market. How about Gojek and Uber? Ten years ago, no one would have thought that we can order a taxi through few clicks on a mobile phone application – quick and easy. Now you can track your ride, estimate the fares, report any issues, all just with the apps. Who would have thought that mobile phones and internet connectivity will be such an integral part of our daily lives? These companies analyze current consumer trends and behaviors, project future needs, and devise products that address market demands. Just like the smartphone makers, they were ahead in their game, seizing opportunities in timely manner. The common theme here is that you must think forward, plan well, and act fast to succeed. The same logic applies in your education journey. While it is good to do yourself a great favour by choosing a college major that interests you at the present, you should also care about your future by thinking critically about what skill sets will be required in the workforce five to ten years down the road, i.e. when you graduate. Stay ahead of your game. The purpose of education is to gain knowledge and skills to equip us well to seize opportunities and face challenges in the future, to stay competitive especially in the era of globalization and automation, and to contribute to the society through innovations. So, remember – broaden your horizon as you choose your college major. To get you started, the following are some of the top majors (from Princeton Review) based on popularity and study on alumni job and salaries. These majors may not guarantee jobs in the future, but for sure will challenge you intellectually.

  1. Computer Science
  2. Communication
  3. Government
  4. Business
  5. Economics

Computer Science is in the top position. It does not only teach about computer-hardware and software, but also about the various APPLICATIONS of such knowledge, including how technology fits into the business scenario in the present and in the future. Android developer, for example, is a role that did not exist in the past, but now it is advertised everywhere because there is a shortage of mobile application developers globally. The rapidly evolving technology and market requirements propel the needs of more and more software developers. Computer Science graduates are now in huge demands. With technology advancements, it is not surprising that communication comes second on the list. Today, communication skills are important not only in journalism but every other industry. The proliferation of digital and social media have created the demand for communication major graduates.

Era of Globalization and Entrepreneurship

There are also constant demands for graduates with government, business, and economics degrees. With our society comprise of small, medium, and big enterprises, there is no doubt that people with proven leadership and management qualities are highly sought after. The era of globalization creates more competitions and challenges but also offer more opportunities. The demand for progress in various fields put pressure on the present. All these are happening fast. Innovation has become a necessity in our daily lives.

Era of Automation

As technologies advance, humans are gradually getting challenged by robots; even now you may have noticed that what used to be done by manual labor is now automated by systems or machines. It is essential to gain skills that will be indispensable in the future and irreplaceable by automation; such as research and innovations, troubleshooting, and process improvements.

Which major?

Whether one major will be more important or less relevant than the other in five to ten years is for you to decide. It is important to plan your higher education well and carefully, as it may affect your career in the future. The key is to think broad and forward. Are you ready?