What Should My Major Be?
This is probably the most common question among high school students and those entering college. Given the number of degrees offered these days, choosing a major can be tough.
Approach your decision with a sense of excitement. This is a time to explore your passions and try several studies on for size. Soon enough, you’ll discover what you most enjoy learning about.
You don’t have to know for certain what you want to do with the rest of your life. Your major might even be unrelated to the career that you eventually settle on. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most people change fields two to three times in their career.
However, keeping your end goal in mind will prevent you from wasting time, brainpower and tuition dollars on irrelevant classes. Follow this guide to stay on track as you ask yourself, “What should I major in?”
Your Time Frame for Deciding
The deadline for declaring a major varies depending on the school and the program. Here are some things to bear in mind:
• All majors have requisite coursework.
• The more strictly regimented a major is, the more classes you’ll have to take.
• For intensive studies, such as engineering, business management or life sciences, you may have to take introductory courses.
• Classes may be offered only in the fall or only in the spring.
• Declaring a difficult major late in the game will probably require you to stay in college longer.
Simply put, if you intend to earn your degree in four or five years, it’s better to choose a major sooner rather than later. Fixing on something by the start of your sophomore year in college is ideal.
What Interests You?
Make a list of subjects and activities that spark your interest. For example, you’re the guy who gravitates to the chemistry lab or the girl who loves reading the classics. You’re passionate about the environment. You’re into theater.
Start with What You Love
When you ask, “What should my major be?” start with what you love. Whatever degree plan you decide on, you’ll be spending a great deal of time studying that subject. You’re more likely to succeed in college if you’re excited about going to class and fully engaged in your studies. Here are some tips to help you pare down your list of interests:
• Take introductory classes that count toward your general education requirements. Use your elective credits to explore different subjects.
• Attend lectures.
• Talk to students who major in studies that you’re considering.
• Get a part-time job or apply for a summer internship in a field that you’re interested in.
• Scroll through an online list of college majors.
Where Do You Shine?
Take some time to bask in your own glory. Were you the captain of the debate team that won the national tournament? Were you the teacher’s pet in your journalism class? Do you pick up extra cash writing computer code?
If you don’t feel that you excel at anything in particular, ask your campus adviser, “What should I major in?” You’ll be steered toward self-assessment resources that will help you discover your strengths.
Can You Make a Career of It?
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, start thinking about money. College is a big investment that should pay off in the future. Weigh the cost of your education against your earning potential in each major that you’re considering.
Find labor statistics for median incomes in your favorite fields. Look for job market trends and occupations that are in high demand. Meet with career counselors.
Remember, though, that a high-paying job you loathe is hardly worth the money. Take your passions and dreams into account before you decide. When you ask, “What should my major be?” also ask, “Do related careers pay well? Would I be happy doing this every day for years to come?”
Get Help Choosing the Right Area of Study!
Let’s face it, these last few years have proven to be shaky economic times and as a result, college students need to choose their major wisely. You need to choose a career path that pays off immediately, one that gets you hired right after graduation.
About the Author
Johnny Rogers and His wife Helena are the owners of College Tidbits – The Online College Planning Guide. If you found this article useful, they would greatly appreciate it, if you would consider Liking their Facebook Fan Page or Following them on Twitter.
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