Choosing a Major

Charting a path towards your ideal career

Choosing a major might be the most important decision you’ll make during your time in college. Unfortunately, many students make this decision without first taking into consideration important factors like their values, strengths and career prospects. Some students spend more time researching which mp3 player to buy than they do researching prospective majors. The information here can help you make an informed decision when it comes time to choose a major.

Choosing a Major in Five Easy Steps

  • Decide what you love to do. Closely examine your interests. What are your hobbies? What do you dream about doing? What subject areas are the most interesting and exciting for you? After college, you’ll spend the next 30 or 40 years working. Wouldn’t you like to get up every day and be eager to go to work? Even if your friends, family and professors are all pushing you towards a particular area of study, if it doesn’t interest you, then it’s best to consider other options.
  • Determine what your strengths are. In some ways, this is as important as deciding what you love to do. You may dream of being a professional football player, but if you don’t have the athletic ability, then you should consider other careers. Try to match your skills with a career that interests you. Think about what courses you have performed best in.
  • Think about what you value in a job. Would you rather have a job you love but receive little pay or have a job you hate but be rich? Do you want a job that allows you to help society, work with others, make important decisions or perform any other specific duty? How much do you care about finding a job with stability or status?
  • Find out the careers prospects in your area of interest. Get realistic. Consider the requirements for the career you want. Will you need to go to graduate school or complete additional training after graduation? Will there be jobs available in the industry when you graduate? What about 10 or 20 years down the road? Will the average salary be enough to support the lifestyle you want? Go to your school’s career center to get the answers to these questions.
  • Declare your major. Compile the information that you collected in the steps above, and make the decision that’s best for you. Check if your school offers double-major or minor programs that will allow you to study more than one subject of interest. Remember that your decision doesn’t have to be permanent. If things don’t work out for you, you can always change your major.
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