Choosing a Major

Need Help Choosing a Major?

Even before college, there are some students who are certain of their passion and what they want to major in. However, there are many freshmen coming into college as undecided majors. If you are having difficulty choosing a major, you are definitely not alone, especially since the majority of students are uncertain. In fact, on average, college students change their major 2 or 3 times over the course of their college years. Some colleges don’t even allow students to officially declare their major until their third year. With thousands of occupations available, many students feel bombarded with options, making the idea of choosing a major daunting.

What is a major? How important is it to select the “right” major?
A major is a field of study. In order to get a college degree in any major, you need to take specific courses and attain a certain number of course credits.

Selecting a major is important because it helps you to understand more of the path that you may be planning to take. However, many of us feel that once we decide our major, we have chosen our career and the rest of our lives are planned out for us. Although what you study in college can have a huge impact on your future, aside from certain careers that require a license or certificate, choosing a major doesn’t lead directly to a specific career. For example, there are science majors working in banks and business majors working in research positions. Rather, certain majors provide better preparation for a related profession than other majors.

5 Easy Tips to Choosing a Major:

1.       Consider Your Interests and Passion – Many students initially consider careers that pay very well. However deciding your career isn’t all about the money. Ask yourself, “If money isn’t an issue, what kind of work would I enjoy doing? What type of job do I see myself having?” Think about your hobbies, what you find interesting, and activities you enjoy doing. Also, identifying your goals and values in life can help you figure out what you want to do for a career.

2.       Consider Your Skills and Personality – Often times, we enjoy doing things that we are good at. Some people pick a major that builds on knowledge that they already have. For example, some people who are good with computers may pick a major in computer programming or information technology.

3.       Visit Your School Career Center – Go to your college career counseling office and schedule an appointment to talk to the advisors. These centers have many resources that can help you make your decision. For example, many of them often offer career assessment tests to help you identify careers that are suited for your personality.

4.       Ask Upperclassmen – Talk to juniors and seniors about what the major entails and the difficultly level of the courses. Ask them what their career goals are and how they feel the courses are helping them achieve those goals. Make sure you try to get the good and the bad!

5.       Research – Take advantage of your resources. Go to your local library and borrow books related to your major. Read them and see if they are of any interest to you. Using online search engines can also provide detailed descriptions of college majors and possible careers. Doing your own research is very important because in the end, it is you that should be making the final decision in selecting your major.

Students who choose a major that they really love are more likely to graduate and get better grades. Some colleges allow you to double major or minor in one or more subjects. Just remember that no decision is final. Research show, that within 10 years of graduation, many people work in careers that aren’t directly connected to their undergraduate majors. Just remember that choosing a major doesn’t mean that you’re choosing a career!