Sometimes I think about what would have happened if I majored in something else besides business in college. I mean, that business degree comes in handy-ish. An actual requirement to do my job? Not so much. I was in a training last week where we were calculating the net present value of a project. And I had the distinct advantage of having studied this in school and then forgetting most of it. Today, I totally CAN NPV my way out of a paper bag. And I need to all the time. Dang paper bag.
If I had selected my major way back in the olden days (and let’s not pretend that I got to do too much selecting on account of not having a penny to my name and my scholarships only covering about 2/3 of my tuition), I likely would have chosen English. Now I look back and wished I had studied psychology. How would I have known what topic would capture my interest with such intensity? Not an hour ago I told a co-worker: “technically, it’s not paranoia, it’s OCD”. And after one too many people telling me they were “depressed” after a bad day, I started recommending that they go to the doctor for a diagnosis, because that ain’t depression, honey. Yeah, so go the doctor or zip it. One or the other. I’m that well-informed, easily annoyed person. Nice to meet you.
Anyway, I can tell you for certain that I would not have selected a STEM major. Yeah, I am 100% sure. Even if someone told me that a lack of graduates would lead to cash-money and people fighting over you. Fun! I hear people talking about exposing kids to technology early in life; other things too. And I believe that it’s part of the answer to how we close the STEM graduation gaps. But definitely not enough. Our linear western culture has an expectation of someone getting from one place to another by way of a very direct path. I think we have it wrong. Under what circumstances is it beneficial for a company to hire a smart individual who doesn’t come with the cookie-cutter, obvious-fit resume? Where maybe speed to hire > (training costs +uncertainty of hiring someone not “proven” in a specific role/field)? Hard to believe I don’t have a math degree, huh?
Who wants to net present value that out? It’s OK, I have had more than my fair share of NPVing lately. It wouldn’t be a challenge. You go ahead.