Which Major is Right for Me?
Whether you’re an online or traditional student, choosing the major that suits you best can be a daunting task. Some students know what they want to do immediately, and picking a major to help them achieve their goals is simple. However, most students don’t have a concrete idea of what they want their exact career to be after graduation, therefore choosing a major is more difficult. If you fall into this majority category of students, this article is for you.
Don’t Fret Early On
An important thing for all students starting a fresh degree is that many base courses are the same across a wide variety of majors. For example, almost all majors will require basic English, math and science courses. This ensures you’re getting a well-rounded education. Fortunately, it also means that if you later decide to change your major, you likely won’t have much backtracking to do to catch up.
How you choose a major will differ based on your interest, background and opportunities. Here are some tips of advice as to things you can do to help determine the best route for your studies.
Take your time and be open-minded
There is no rush to choose an exact major and career path for you right away when beginning college. Your interests in high school may completely change in college, as your entire environment and peers change too. Take in each class at a time and give yourself time to consider your options and what interests you. Look into the courses required for the majors you’re interested in. You may have had no idea what your passions truly are until you’re exposed to various types of study in college. With that said, be open-minded to changes and don’t be too hard on yourself if what you end up choosing is completely different than what you thought it would be! Remember, many classes can be substituted out to satisfy requirements for different majors.
Picture your future
The age-old “what do you want to do with your life?” question is one many students struggle with. However, try to consider the options and how you see your day-to-day life once you have a career. Do you see yourself as a business professional? Accountant? Teacher? Nurse? Doctor? Scientist? Try to visualize yourself in various careers. Consider your interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Do research into any graduate school or certification that may be required for various degrees. Lastly, try shadowing members of your community to get a feel for what life would be like in different careers. This is truly the best way to get a taste of different jobs and may help your goals become more clear.
Assess the job market
Once you begin developing ideas about what you want your major to be, you should look into career options that will be available to you, as well as average salary and job growth of various industries. While we are by no means dissuading you from following your passions and dreams, we are also trying to stay realistic. College degrees are expensive, so you want to be sure you’re setting yourself up for a career that will support you in the lifestyle you want while paying back any loans you may have. According to Salary.com, some of the college degrees that have good return on investment include math, information technology, human resources, economics, biology, engineering, marketing, and English.
Take advantage of career counselors
All colleges provide some sort of career counseling. Find out who your advisor is and meet with them. Discuss what you’ve learned about yourself thus far and where you see yourself in the future. Advisors have helped many students before you and will help many after you. They know what you’re in for and can offer great advice as to classes to take, potential career paths, and sometimes can suggest internships or shadowing opportunities.
The take-home point of this article is that choosing a major is very important and that there are many factors to consider. By combining your interests and passions, course requirements, and potential job opportunities, you will be able to find the right fit for you. If you need to change your major or it takes some time for you to decide, that is ok. Earning your degree is a great first step in getting the career of your dreams.
By: Maxwell Clarence Boyd, Degree Jungle contributor.