Uber CEO: This is the subject young people should study in college, no matter their career goals

Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies speaks on a webcast during the company's initial public offering on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, May 10, 2019.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has a recommendation for graduating high school seniors on what to study in college.

"Go study CIS [computer information systems] and engineering," Khosrowshahi, 50, said at the Economic Club in New York City on Wednesday.

Khosrowshahi himself studied engineering at Brown University, and he recommends it to all students regardless of whether they plan to pursue engineering as a career. That's because it can teach you how to solve problems.

"Even though I went from engineering to finance, engineering taught me how to break down problems and how to build them back up again," he said. "I think that it can help, not only if that becomes your specialty, but with anything you do in life."

It's helped him at Uber and other companies, including Expedia, where he was CEO, he said.

"For me, to take these complex business problems, societal problems, and take the complexity and break them down into their component parts and then rebuild them, it's part of the engineering mindset. It's part of the computer science mindset," he said.

(Khosrowshahi has had many problems to help solve in recent years: He took over at a troubled Uber after Travis Kalanick was ousted, and recently Uber has faced criticism over rider sexual assaults revealed in its U.S. Safety Report, which also outlined new safety measures.)

Engineering and computer science ranked as the highest paying college majors in 2019, according to the PayScale college salary report. And some of the world's most successful billionaires started out as software engineers, including Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.

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