Disclaimer: Satirical Asian comments ahead!
If you happen to be living in Asia, at least once, you will have heard of this statement from your parents: “You should be an engineer/doctor/rich businessman when you are older!” Despite the growing memes about Asian culture spreading all over the world, these stereotypes would not last if it were all false; THEY ARE TRUE! Interestingly true to the point that the most popular majors that students pursue in Asia are business, engineering, and health sciences.
In terms of pure economic theory, most students pursue the business major because there is some type of incentive for them to do so. According to the World Bank, the global GDP have been increasing exponentially along these decades. One could even say that this correlation is too accurate to be a coincidence. (Add the Asian stereotype to generate as much income as possible while the time is right!)
On the other hand, Engineering boasts that up to 26% of students in Asia choose the major (data from Statista Research Department). On a survey of the ‘happiest’ majors, Engineering was the top choice, stating that 91% of the alumni recommends the major. As with the other two popular majors in Asia, Engineering ranks number two on annual wages (Business ranks number one).
Health related degrees are usually growing in a slower pace, yet these decades have encouraged more students to pursue a major in the field by the incidents of this decade: Ebola, SARS, COVID-19 etc. Also, the employment rates for the alumni of this field are the highest among all the majors.
Despite the many advantages and disadvantages of college majors scattered over the internet, one major fear still holds true (No pun intended!); students often feel pressured to pick the “useful” majors. Students tend to stray away from their true interests (especially with arts and humanities degrees) and forcefully pick majors that they believe to have better financial returns (business, engineering, etc). Theoretically, they will potentially be making more money by choosing those majors, yet whether the students will be happy or not still remains a mystery.
All in all, who would’ve expected that students do choose the majors that parents typically mention? Yet everyone is unique in their own ways; if you were to choose a major, please do give the majors some thought.
Honorable mention: Computer and Information Sciences is also a rising major in the current world of ever-changing technology.