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useless degrees if you back out of premed?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by NP545, Sep 22, 2014.

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  1. I'm deciding between a psych major and bio major and am taking the premed reqs intending to apply for med school.

    However. If by any event, I change my mind in the future, I know both of these undergrad degrees are useless without grad school.

    That's why I was planning to do an econ or business admin minor (not sure which is better), but wanted to know if this minor would have an impact on me finding a job if I back out of premed (I don't want to go to regular grad school anyways). Or am I pretty much screwed with either of those two degrees if I change paths?
     
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  3. Mr Roboto

    Mr Roboto 2+ Year Member

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    Bio - could teach high school science.

    Edit:

    I don't think that a minor in econ or business will make much of a difference in your employment prospects. Maybe a double major would help should you change your mind.
     
  4. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Bio and econ/business is more useful inmo than psych. I know a ton of friends who studied psych. Unless you have plans to go into advertisement, graduate level psych, or the police force (so psych coupled with military experience), psych is not useful.

    On the other hand there are always lab tech jobs around. And if you get a bio related sales job those actually can pay decent. There may not be a ton of money in science, but there are at least some jobs laying around.

    But this is just what I have seen at least.
     
    Mr Roboto likes this.
  5. Afford

    Afford 2+ Year Member

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    You can do consulting with any major.
     
  6. Elizabethx89

    Elizabethx89 Banned Banned

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    :/
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
    Evisju7 likes this.
  7. type12

    type12 2+ Year Member

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    Wow, someone planning ahead and for setbacks. Why aren't you like the rest of us, saying, "I have a 1.0 GPA and a 16 MCAT (I'm a good guesser!). Can I get into med school? I haz 1337 spelling skillz, but nothing else."
     
  8. raiderette

    raiderette 2+ Year Member

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    Not many undergrad degrees come close to guaranteeing a job. Actuary (applied mathematics), computer science and engineering all come to mind. Plenty of undergraduate business degrees lead to managing rental car counters or call center teams. If you are pursuing medicine, you probably aren't going to be making the connections and doing the internships that help you get a good job out of college. Some people get entry level jobs in health administration or pharmaceutical sales with just about any degree.
     
    Elizabethx89 likes this.
  9. theseeker4

    theseeker4 PGY 1 5+ Year Member

    I can think of a handful of things I could do other than medicine that would not require a higher degree, at least not to start. There is a difference between wanting a doctorate in something just because you want to be at the highest level in what you are doing, and needing a doctorate to get the job you want. I fall in the latter, so my backup plan certainly would include the possibility of starting work immediately after completing a bachelors degree. In fact, I was working as a chemist full time while taking classes toward a chemistry BS when I applied to med school.

    If you fall into the former category, wanting to get the highest degree you can whatever you end up pursuing, your question makes sense, but my example above is one example of why someone might not plan to immediately pursue an advanced degree beyond undergrad.
     
  10. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    A minor has little to no effect on whether you're hired or not. If you decide you want to go into something other than medicine, you'll still be looking at grad school or a second degree.
     
  11. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Your avatar is the most bad ass piece of art deco medical art I've ever seen Type12.
     
  12. type12

    type12 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks! Yeah, I thought it was a beautiful concept. I took it from a friend's instagram. I should ask him which hospital this was.
     
  13. Elizabethx89

    Elizabethx89 Banned Banned

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    :/
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  14. psypiral

    psypiral

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    I took a gap year doing consulting without any experience and a chemistry major. If you go to a top-tier school or can network well, you can land a consulting/banking gig without any experience (given you have a good GPA and can interview well). You can take a short course on financial modeling for banking or study cases for consulting.

    You probably won't get an offer from an elite firm, but pay is pretty standardized at the entry-level. After a few years, you can go and get an MBA and work in strats/operations/finance/business/etc. if you want.

    Many of my friends backed out of pre-med very last minute and now work in strategy, equity research, or consulting. Without an advanced degree, science doesn't offer a great career path.
     
  15. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Most people don't go to top tier schools, and most that were going down the med school path haven't done the right sort of networking to get them a job in consulting and the like. For the average guy who went to State U or a non-elite private school, you're looking at a graduate degree or a few years of grunt work before you get a real job in today's market.
     
    Osteoth likes this.
  16. SkipJunior

    SkipJunior I'm Your Butler Account on Hold

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    ditto
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
  17. Evisju7

    Evisju7

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    Don't major in psychology. Unless you really love psychology and want to be a counselor or get your PhD

    Biology really requires more school. Most stem majors do.

    I would major in engineering if you can get a good GPA. That's a solid back-up
     
  18. type12

    type12 2+ Year Member

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    Or... this could be reverse psychology...

    You're not foolin' me! I know psychology!
     
    Mad Jack likes this.
  19. tymont12

    tymont12 But it can't be two illnesses! 5+ Year Member

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    Although I agree that you should not major in a field you cannot see yourself heading into, I have a Bio degree and am currently an Operations Manager for a medical scribe company and I was never a scribe. I never thought I would be in business.

    I remember freaking out from time to time during undergrad thinking, "If I don't go to med school, I'm screwed!" Although I liked Biology, I found out I am not the research / PhD type of person. It all depends what you make of it and how you sell yourself. Most people (as in, not pre-professional) end up in jobs and fields completely irrelevant to their education.
     
  20. Evisju7

    Evisju7

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    I stand corrected.

    But I feel that the general rule should be that people have passion in their fields of study.
    I'm glad things worked out well for you :)
     
  21. tymont12

    tymont12 But it can't be two illnesses! 5+ Year Member

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    I agree, make sure you are majoring in your passion, not something that 'checks the boxes.' I was somewhat lucky, I know tons of people with Bio degrees who are twiddling their thumbs. however, they are also the sorts of people I perceived as just drinking and partying in college.
     
  22. jqueb29

    jqueb29 5+ Year Member

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    I graduated with a degree in biology and a degree in economics. During my gap year, it was much easier to find job opportunities that had the potential to lead to a career in economics than it was with biology. I got offered like 5 or 6 higher-paying economic jobs before my first biology-related job offer.
     
  23. jaguar33

    jaguar33 2+ Year Member

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    Another thing to think about is doing a biology degree with a medical lab science track. That way you can work in the hospital lab if you decide to not go to med school. You would also have the prerequisites if you decide on med school. Personally, I had a really hard time finding a job with a general biology degree after college, but saw plenty of lab jobs making >20 an hr. I pursued medical school a year after graduating partly because I was not willing to leave a science field and find a random job.
     
  24. fatimany

    fatimany 2+ Year Member

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    A minor won't help you land a job in the business field. You could double major in bio and business/economics if you want a back-up option. You could go into health administration etc.
     
  25. Ideally, I would have liked to majored in Economics, but I need to take 12 prereq courses for that major within my final 2 years, whereas for psych, I'd only have to take 8. The remaining would be used for a minor in anything.

    I have no plans for grad school (other than med school or for MBA), but wanted to have something in case I backed out (unlikely, but you never know).

    If I majored in psych and minored in econ or BA, could I still get an MBA upon graduation directly, or would I have to take some prereqs for the MBA before entering the grad school.
     
  26. Flashfan

    Flashfan 5+ Year Member

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    Most people don't get MBA immediately upon graduation. Most will require a few years of work experience. I also think most want a class in accounting and a few other nominal prereqs. It really does matter which MBA program that you choose. Like law the name recognition really matters.
     
  27. pjfmullini

    pjfmullini

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    I know a ton of friends who studied psych. Unless you have plans to go into advertisement[​IMG]
     
  28. gibson777

    gibson777 2+ Year Member

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    I'd take a few accounting classes and if all else fails go get your Masters in Accounting at a reputable school that has good recruitment. The Econ minor is going to be worthless unless you had relevant internships. They only way you can get into Banking/Consulting with a humanities/science degree is if you are at an Ivy or some other target school (Stanford, Northwestern, UChicago etc).

    Of course you could do CS or some type of engineering, but these are GPA killers and still require internships and a strong resume to get hired anywhere worthwhile.
     
  29. masaraksh

    masaraksh 5+ Year Member

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    Because more school doesn't mean sh*t with a lot of 'grad' degrees and programs and isn't needed for jobs.
     
  30. psypiral

    psypiral

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    To OP: If you are majorly concerned about switching away from medicine, I would major/double major in Econ/Business (or Computer Science/Engineering if you enjoy that).

    The majority of people I know did this. Do research/volunteering during the school year and an internship at a company over the summer(s). Many companies extend full-time offers to 50-90+% of their summer interns, so if you can rock your internship, you'll be in a good spot. Even if you don't get a full-time offer, you'll be in an infinitely better position if you have some relevant experience.

    On a side note, it's funny that a couple of our residents are going off to work at McKinsey next year instead of academia/private practice...I think that's becoming an increasingly common trend these days.
     
  31. The thing I have against double majoring is that up until now, I've only taken premed classes and gen ed reqiurements. If I start a second major now, I wont be able to finish it unless I take an extra year.
    So without having to major in anything else, should I just take various introductory business classes in different fields, (marketing finance accounting), or just take several upper level classes in one area like economics.

    Most likely, I will continue with med, but just wanted a secure backup route.
     
  32. psypiral

    psypiral

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    In that case, you could minor in business and get an internship this summer. If you are currently a junior (or sophomore), you could do a summer internship in consulting, finance, strats/ops/etc, since they are pretty open to any degree. If you can land a full-time offer, which isn't unreasonable, that'd be a good backup. Cold-call a ton of alumni, use your campus center, etc. and you can probably get something.
     
  33. makingthejump

    makingthejump

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    There is a very short list of undergrad degrees that provide a specific set of skills where there is job demand to being hired in today's economy. Here they are...

    1) Nursing
    2) Accounting
    3) Engineering
    4) Secondary Education in STEM
    5) Actuary Science in Math Dept
    6) Computer Science
    7) Computer Security

    Feel free to add to this list if possible.
     
    jaguar33 likes this.
  34. Strudel19

    Strudel19 5+ Year Member

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    I would say most degrees!
     
  35. To people who have taken business classes and premed classes...

    Are the business classes (like micro, macro, finance, management) significantly easier than the premed prereqs (chem, bio, physics)? Or are they about the same in terms of workload and effort needed?
     
  36. And which would seem more useful :

    1) Psychology major with Business minor

    2) Public Health major, no minor

    Does the answer change between premed and non-premed?
     
  37. makingthejump

    makingthejump

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    Hi,

    Yes, b-school classes are significantly easier than pre-reqs. Pre-reqs require higher order thinking whereas b-school is more just know it and don't do much critical thinking. I wouldn't do psych or public health as undergrad degree. Do you have any other options? See my above post and pursue one of those, and if you have a genuine interest in business, grab a minor in it while also taking your med prereqs.
     
  38. Gregor Wiesmann

    Gregor Wiesmann

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    If I don't get accepted into Medical School(Allopathic or Osteopathic), I will work a year as an EMT and then apply for PA school. I don't think there is a very lucrative job market out for most Bachelor's Degrees, so I've kind of just accepted the fact that I will have to do some sort of post-grad school. An exception to this would be Engineering, but I'm not interested in that at all.
     
  39. Gregor Wiesmann

    Gregor Wiesmann

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    Wait a second, are you implying that money does not equal happiness? ;)
     
  40. WillburCobb

    WillburCobb I am the pull out king Banned Account on Hold 5+ Year Member

    No. No you can't. None the less I appreciate your point, however our society has no appreciation for liberal arts education anymore.
     
  41. WillburCobb

    WillburCobb I am the pull out king Banned Account on Hold 5+ Year Member

    Agree 100%. We've reached a point where college has essentially become glorified vocational school.

    ...humanities is a core part of a liberal arts education...
     
  42. WillburCobb

    WillburCobb I am the pull out king Banned Account on Hold 5+ Year Member

    OP was distinguishing between two science degrees, and which of the two would be more practical. And "liberal arts"...[​IMG]
     
  43. Gregor Wiesmann

    Gregor Wiesmann

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    I was trying to be sarcastic.....hence the winky face.
     
  44. Osteoth

    Osteoth Fake it till ya' make it 5+ Year Member

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    If you're just looking at minors, best bang for your buck would be accounting (while pursuing the CPA), or computer science (as long as you can learn how to properly code and don't just fake it)
     
  45. type12

    type12 2+ Year Member

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    Can confirm, too many people faked it and now there are 3+ hour long tests at some places for CS jobs.
     
  46. FutureDocInDaHouse93

    FutureDocInDaHouse93

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