What I Would Study in College Now

Food for Thought

What would I choose to study in college if I were a high school senior now? I would still choose fine arts, but I can think of other possibilities, like the Culinary Institute of America. My interest in food developed later in life. In my college years, eating was a practical matter for me.

If I were in high school now, I would be interested in majoring in something I cannot learn on my own. Although I like computers, I wouldn’t major in computer science because there is nothing in that field I could not study on my own. In fact, the majority of fields are similar. If the content is what is important to you and you are passionate about it, there is no need to go to college for those fields. It will be like the gym with a personal trainer; you go because you’d rather not study and you need someone to discipline you.

Also, more practical fields evolve so fast that what you learn in college will be obsolete within the first ten years after graduation. You’d feel you didn’t retain anything for the money you paid, even if you were still paying off your student loan.

Since artificial intelligence is about to disrupt many knowledge workers, I would avoid purely knowledge-based careers, like lawyers and programmers. Top talents in any field would do well despite the AI revolution (because they’d be hired to figure out how to get rid of average ones), but when AI replaces the majority, the whole industry will suffer.

I would choose a career that requires a combination of physical training and knowledge, like chefs, actors, doctors, firefighters, gardeners, social workers, carpenters, etc. Some are not lucrative careers now, but lawyers and programmers may not be making much in the near future. I believe we’ll have renewed appreciation for craftsmanship as the physical world becomes a mystery to “digital natives.”

The world is becoming more autistic. Even if you are not autistic, you are increasingly forced to live in your head. Living in your head is a fantasy to transcend mortality, but as with any fantasy, nature has a way of waking us up from it. Personally, I’m trying to move in the other direction.