What can zombies teach you about? Plenty. If you think about the behavior, physical characteristics and overall appeal of a zombie, it's pretty clear that a majority of the population (save for some hardcore fans) would NOT want to become one.
Zombies are soulless, brainless, drones who wander about, ever searching for food. They are physically unattractive and very unhealthy. They have no other interests or pursuits. Sound familiar? Does it sound like someone in your life, or someone you know? The question is, do you want to maintain an exhausted, shuffling existence; your mind infected by one thought or goal – to earn money at all costs.
Don't be the person who got sucked into the college because of the way Hollywood made it glamorous and fun. There are Reasons To Go To College and there are ways to go to waste your time and money.
If it is – cool. Maybe you will love your job so much, you will find yourself energized or satisfied after each shift, instead of exhausted and worn down. Some people, like nurses, LOVE their jobs. They have to work double shifts, weekends, holidays or even being *gasp* on call. Nurses are dedicated people whom we love because they are awesome.
However, if you are going into nursing just for the money, pick something else [Tweet This] The long hours and extra stress will not be worth any monetary value to you in the long run. Don't want to be a zombie? When picking a career, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT.
They are dead, inside and out.
What does that have to do what to study in college? While most articles about what to study in college talk about payroll, degrees and schooling needed to obtain them and ease of getting the job after graduation, there is one very important element that is missing.
Quality of life.
Do you want to make money, but work insane hours that leave you wandering around in pursuit of only work and your next meal, leaving you dead inside?
Or do you want to make money, but be balanced with work and life, eat and live healthy and be alive in every way?
Hopefully you chose the second one.
If you chose the first one, you may already be a zombie. Look! There's your boss! Go eat his brains….
The rest of you, keep reading.
I have come up with a “zombie effect” score. This score is based on data given for each career field. If no data is given on the amount of stress present in each job field, then I will compare similar occupations and assign it a score.
Of course, the zombie effect score is a guide. Due your own research; talk to professionals in the field, do job searches, get on their email lists, read magazine articles, whatever you can do to determine what to study in college.
College is one of the biggest investments of your life in both time and money [tweet this]. When you are trying to figure out what to study in college, you need to really do your research.
If you don't have a clue go ahead and take this “Color Test” to figure out what kind of person you are and find a degree path that matches your personality. (Take Test Here)
What To Study In College By Major
This list of top careers to get into was compiled from an article by Dan Berman in Think Advisor.
I've written this post around it to help you get a better idea of what to study in college.
Starting Salary: $49,400
Mid-Career Salary: $88,800
Business Insider has compiled a “10 Best Jobs For People Who Love Math.” This list includes a “stress score” put together by CareerCast.
- Tax collector
- Insurance Underwriter
- Financial planner
The economist can make more than the stockbroker, but their job is far less stressful. On the other hand, the job growth is expected for stockbrokers, but a decrease of jobs is expected for economists.
As a stockbroker compares to the other jobs, he or she can make more, but not much more. There are much less stressful jobs out there.
Zombie effect: Mixed. The diversity of jobs in mathematics presents all kinds of challenges.
Starting Salary: $49,900
Mid-Career Salary: $84,100
According to the U.S. News Money section, these are their best technology jobs. They also factor in both stress levels and quality of life.
- Software developer
- Computer systems analyst
- Web developer
- Information security analyst
- Database administrator
- Civil Engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- IT Manager
- Computer programmer
- Computer systems administrator
Zombie effect: Mixed. Depending on what you are working with and what people you deal with, you can go from relaxed to crazy.
Starting Salary: $50,100
Mid-Career Salary: $96,700 (15th)
According to Forbes, this is one of the top ten fields to go after when pursuing a Master’s degree. Earlier, I noted that growth is expected to drop in this field – according to Forbes, there is “projected employment increase for common jobs associated with this degree.”
Zombie effect: Low. Not very stressful.
Occupational Health and Safety
Starting Salary: $50,500
Mid-Career Salary: $80,300 (40th)
According to Explore Health Careers, the job outlook is very good for this profession.
However, they also say, “Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians work with many different people in a variety of environments. Their jobs often involve considerable fieldwork, and some travel frequently. Many occupational health and safety specialists and technicians work long and often irregular hours.”
Zombie effect: High. Prepare to take extra vitamins and visit the doctor/masseuse often.
Starting Salary: $52,500
Mid-Career Salary: $98,900 (13th)
Great pay, low stress good projected job growth. According to the American Statistical Association, health, business and government are the top employing industries. If you want to know what to study in college, statistics is a good bet.
Zombie effect: Low.
Starting Salary: $53,100
Mid-Career Salary: $101,100
Physics is one of those careers that is very versatile. You can become more than a teacher. Physicists are needed for pretty much everything, from design to deployment. Some examples of careers in physics include:
- Sound engineer
- Special effects technician
- Particle physicist
- Science jounalist
- Coastal scientist
- Civil engineer
Zombie effect: Though I haven't seen much data on stress levels, I will say mixed to low. Compared to other, similar careers, the stress level is pretty low.
Starting Salary: $54,300
Mid-Career Salary: $91,100
According to U.S. News Money, civil engineering is one of the best technology jobs. According to their article:
There are many career paths within this field. Specialties include architectural, structural, transportation, traffic, water resources and geotechnical engineering. Civil engineers may work for state or local governments or in the private sector at consulting or construction firms. Some civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions, while others pursue careers in design, construction or teaching.
Could not have said it better myself.
Zombie effect: Moderate
Starting Salary: $55,400
Mid-Career Salary: $71,100
If you have ever been to the doctor, had a baby, or been hospitalized for a period of time, you know how indispensable nurses can be. Good news; nurses will never be out of a job, especially with an aging population and an epidemic of cancer and obesity.
Some of the nursing jobs include:
- Women's health
- Physical therapy
- Pain management
- School nurse
Zombie effect: Long hours, hard physical labor and lots of stress? I would give it a high zombie effect. The question is, how high? An emergency room nurse has a lot more stress than a urology nurse. Research each specific field and weigh your options.
Starting Salary: $59,800
Mid-Career Salary: $102,000
Computer science is so hot, that Forbes classifies cities with the most computer science jobs. This article was written last year, but despite the terrible job outlook, computer science was still going strong.
Popular computer science jobs include:
- IT architect
- Network architect
- Data scientist
- Storage engineer
- Client services director
- Software quality engineer
- Project engineer
- User experience designer
- Mobile app developer
- Systems administrator
Zombie effect: Moderate
The Connection Between Quality of Life and What to Study in College
Quality of life is used by the government to measure how the population in general is doing. Quality of life varies widely from city to city, even within each city.
Quality of life is affected by the quality of the physical, mental, and social domains of life. It is also used to measure life expectancy.
It makes sense: the better your quality of life, and overall health, the longer you will live. Not only will you live longer, but you'll get more mileage out of your years.
For many, they seem to forget about quality of life. They think about pay and what they are good at, but not how fast your job can kill you.
Pretty big thing to consider.
Quality of life can be affected by money. Most people assume that money will take care of any and all quality of life issues. But not all money is earned equally. Earning $100,000 a year as an economist is a lot less stressful than earning that same six-figure income as a stockbroker.
It also all depends as how you can handle stress, and what you perceive to be stressful.
For example, some people stress out when having to call people on the phone, even if they are giving them good news. For others, they love being on the phone – it takes away face-to-face confrontation.
Whatever you decide to do when figuring out what to study in college, you should really consider what you can handle, and what the job will dish out at you.
The first element that effects quality of life is money. Money pretty much effects every aspect of quality of life [tweet this], from where you will live, to what kind of food you eat, to the quality of healthcare you receive to the kind of education your children (or future children) will receive.
According to the World Health Organization:
The poorest of the poor, around the world, have the worst health. Within countries, the evidence shows that in general the lower an individual’s socioeconomic position the worse their health. There is a social gradient in health that runs from top to bottom of the socioeconomic spectrum. This is a global phenomenon, seen in low, middle and high income countries. The social gradient in health means that health inequities affect everyone.
When considering what to study in college, think about what kind of health care you get. Insurance, disability, 401K, etc. In the quest to find a job, this is one perks that people will overlook. Everyone knows they need health insurance, but it can get overlooked.
We live in the 21st century, and enjoy advanced technology in communications and science. But in some fields, the mentality towards gender equality can be stubbornly stuck in the 19th century. Don't fall into the trap of thinking all are that way – do your research and find out about the company culture.
You don't just want to find something that pays the bills and then some. You want something that will breathe life into you, making you as little like a zombie as possible. Passion and purpose will make you love getting up for work in the morning, and that nice paycheck will be the cherry on top.
There is a rising trend of the “Educated Minimum Wage Worker“… don't be that person
Getting advice from well-meaning friends and relatives is fantastic! It means that they care about your future. But you have the ultimate say in what you want to do. At the same time, pick something that pays well, has benefits and where you can find work relatively easily. If you want to try something more arcane, consider starting off as a freelancer in that area instead.
Take your decision of what to study in college seriously. It will determine a good chunk of your life and career, the people you meet, your future friends, maybe even your future spouse. It will determine where you live and how you spend 40 hours a week (if you don't work long hours).
Research, ask questions, hem and haw and then lock down on something. If the task seems too daunting, then try working on a little bit everyday.
What to study in college is an important decision. Ultimately, it will be your ability to network, market yourself and work with others that will make you valuable to a company. Here is another article I wrote about the College Degrees with the Best Return on Investment. What you pick is up to you… the stats are there and your personality is there.
You could end up in a great career (an article I wrote – Easy Careers To Get Into And Odd Places You Will Find Them) that has nothing to do with your major. Your hard-work, persistence, passion and dedication shine through and that is what employers are looking for – a great big plus sign to add to their companies.
Will you be what they are looking for?
Mixing in current systems and careers that solve the main problem
1) doing what you love (do more of it) – time freedom (not job restraints)
2) generating income (to make enough to live your lifestyle)
This is what I would recommend learning before college, during college, and after college: