How to pick a major that matches your academic, financial, and life goals.
Choosing a major in college can be challenging. For some, it’s literally considering what you want to do for the rest of your life! While you can always change career fields in the future, it is important to select a major that you connect with on academic and career level. Here are some tips for selecting a major that will truly make an impact in your life:
1. Take a variety of courses in different subjects
Most colleges and universities require students to take General Education Courses (Gen. Ed.) as a graduation requirement. These courses cover a variety of disciplines and can usually be completed by sophomore year. If you are undecided, taking Gen. Ed. courses could help you discover your interests. When registering for classes, be sure to read the descriptions to see if it is something you may like, and also, see if it satisfies requirements for a specific major. If things go well, take the next required class in that major before officially deciding. In this way, you are able to satisfy requirements for both Gen. Ed. and a major. You do NOT have to declare a major as soon as you arrive to college
2. Do your research
Find what’s in demand! Although you want to do something you love, make it lucrative! Find average earnings on various majors. Sites such as Glassdoor, Forbes, and Business Insider offer statistical information on the top paid college majors. See what schools offer these programs, and be sure to verify accreditation. With that being said, don’t focus too much on the money. While researching, you can always find ways to cultivate your talent and create a money maker. You define your future and make your dreams a reality. But if money is a major factor for you, be sure to see what is in demand. The decision is yours.
3. Discover your strengths
Everyone is good at something. This can be an advantage when deciding a major. College is an opportunity to build upon your talent. If you are a great photographer, you can major in a Fine Arts program that is concentrated in photography. You can even double major or select a minor to compliment the field such as business administration or digital media marketing. It’s all about finding your strengths and studying to perfect them. The great thing about college is there is no limit to the amount of degrees you can obtain. Once you receive your bachelor’s degree you can go back for your master’s and study something completely different. Give yourself a competitive edge and show how you have built upon your talent and have become a versatile force.
4. Decide what is best for you
Many students are pressured by others to choose a specific major and work in a certain career field. There will be many external factors that influence your major, but be sure to prioritize the main factor: YOUR NEEDS. This is your future and only you can decide what is best. There may be pressure from parents, counselors, friends, or other family members. There are even instances where parents will only fund specific schools and fields of study. At the end of the day, you have to do the work and pass the class! Consider all factors before making a final decision to ensure you will be satisfied on graduation day!
5. Intern, Intern, INTERN
Overall, there is no better way to determine if a major is right for you than gaining experience in that field. Many people think they want to be nurses, until they see blood. Or lawyers, until they learn all the work that is done outside of the courtroom. As you navigate through high school and college don’t just settle for standard retail jobs (unless you aspire to have a successful career in retail). Take advantage of opportunities to work in your career of choice! If you struggle to find intern or job opportunities, don't be afraid to email the company directly and see if they are open to letting you help around the office. Trust, most places will take advantage of the opportunity to receive free help and mold a future employee from the ground up.
Do you have more questions about choosing your major? Are you nervous about what your future looks like after you graduate? Feel free to “Ask IMPACT” directly at the link below.