Which major is the best one to pursue in college?

Q: Which major is the best one to pursue in college?

A: It depends on what you want to do. Do you want to make a lot of money? Do you want to do something you love? Do you want to be a business owner? Do you want to always be employed? Do you want to be a medical doctor or dentist? Do you want to be a senior scientist or senior engineer? Do you want to be a professor? It all depends, but I can give you a few rules of thumb. If you want to be a medical doctor, the major that has the highest chance of admission into medical school is physics. Physics is also a great major if you love science and want to go to grad school. Physics majors can take their degrees and use them to enter into any technical graduate program or professional school. Everyone thinks physics is hard, so majors get a lot of respect. If you love science and want to be a PhD researcher, but you’re not sure in which field, physics is a great place to start. The same is also true for chemistry majors. In my experience, biology is usually chosen by students wanting to go to med school, but if you look at the statistics, physics majors have the best shot. What if you want to get a job easily right out of undergrad? If you want to get a job right out of college, consider science or engineering. Only 5% of all bachelors degrees are in the engineering versus 22% in business. That amounts to 60,000 new engineers each year versus 290,000 new business graduates. Corporations have been complaining that there are not enough engineers being educated in the United States, so which population do you think is in higher demand? New engineers with decent GPAs can demand high starting salaries. So, if you love science and engineering, spending four years sweating through it can really payoff when you are looking for a job. The top five highest paying college majors are all engineering degrees paying starting salaries over $50,000 a year according to a July 12, 2007 article in Money magazine.

I know I think like an engineer, but I really love sports medicine. Is there any way to really combine the two of them?

Q: I’m a senior in high school and I am on the fence about pursuing engineering or sports medicine. I know I think like an engineer, but I really love sports medicine. Is there any way to really combine the two of them?

A: First of all, the answer is yes. You can do both engineering and sports medicine. Before we get into the how, I’d like to ask you a few questions. Do you love engineering as much as you love sports medicine? If not, why try to combine them? Thinking like an engineer is a gift that you can apply to any major you choose to pursue. Thinking like an engineer will make it easier for you to be an engineer, but it doesn’t mean you have to be one. On the other hand, if you love engineering as much as you love sports medicine, there are some incredible opportunities for you. Many engineers enjoy applying their gifts to the field of medicine. Some do it as doctors or trainers who research and use the latest technology to create advanced training routines for athletes. Others create ways to speed the healing process, putting athletes back on the field faster than ever before. Some engineers work on the technology side, making revolutionary prosthetics that can allow amputees to run again. Many engineers work on devices that enhance player’s performance from arm braces that prevent hyperextension to precise mass distribution and shape in golf club design. You can also work on engineering tissue. Some scientists have been able to grow human ears on the backs of lab mice. To find out more, try researching the following topics: biomedical engineering, prosthetics, tissue engineering, and sports medicine technology. If you want to get into the engineering side of sports medicine, I would recommend that you go through a good physics or engineering program. An engineer can get into sports medicine easier than a sports medicine major can get into engineering. You might consider a double major or minor in sports medicine, but don’t feel that it is a requirement.

How does MAES support students pursuing graduate studies?

Q: How does MAES support students pursuing graduate studies?

A: MAES supports students in graduate school through several means. The GRE Waiver Program supports students financially by covering the fee to take the Graduate Record Exam. At the annual MAES symposium and career fair, graduate and undergraduate students are able to present research and compete for $10,000 in scholarships that are distributed to the students with the best papers and posters. During the symposium, a graduate school fair helps potential graduate students meet with recruiters from top science and engineering graduate schools across the nation. Also during the symposium, a graduate school panel discussion invites students to pose questions for immediate feedback. The panel discussion is a live version of the Ask Dr. MAES forum. Students who are unable to attend the panel discussion at the symposium are welcome to send questions to Ask Dr. MAES. MAES also maintains a list of potential coaches and mentors for undergraduate and graduate students. Students may request a connection at any time by writing to a member of the MAES Outreach Committee.