Choosing a Major Choosing a Major
Click to Start TimerClick "I read this story!" to stop the timer.By Daniel Pink (Author of A Whole New Mind) BeeOasis Step 3 Students... Choosing a Major

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By Daniel Pink (Author of A Whole New Mind)
BeeOasis Step 3

NewMindStudents choosing a college major should follow their interests. That’s easy. You should choose something you’re interested in, simple as that. If you try to choose your major based on getting a job when you graduate or what kind of job you think you’re going to get five or ten years after you graduate, you’re making a huge mistake.

When I was in college, I saw lots of my peers get engineering degrees even though they didn’t particularly like engineering. Why? Because they thought the cold war meant that they will always get a job at the defense contractor and because engineering jobs couldn’t be shipped overseas like factory jobs. Well, they’re wrong. Even worse, they were miserable.

What matters much, much more than specialized knowledge is curiosity, passion, and persistence. And students are much more likely to develop these more fundamental qualities studying something that ignites passion and interest whether that’s art history, or physics, or anthropology, or whatever. Take it from me, back in college I majored in linguistics.

Beyond a passion and interest, here are two skills in particular that any college student today needs to spend time developing. One is “high concept.” The other is “high touch.” High concept involves the ability to create artistic and emotional beauty. It means you can detect patterns and opportunities. You know how to craft a good story or put two things together that have never been paired before.

High touch is a bit different. It’s about the ability to empathize, understand the subtleties of human interaction. You see joy in your own experience, and you can draw it out on others. You’re not just after what works. You want to provide people meaning for their lives. These sound like lofty goals, but start thinking of them as skills just like any other. You can learn them. You can get better at them. And you should because they are the basis of the new economy.

This short talk was presented by Daniel Pink on Youtube. He is the author of A Whole New Mind. Tracking functions on this site are a separate service of

I read this story! Honestly!

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