Choosing a Major

Deciding on a major is one of the most important choices that a college student makes. The main reason for attending college is to find out what you want to do with your life and how to do it.

The first thing that you need to realize is that this decision is not final. Many high school students dread having to pick a major and put too much stress on it. They ask themselves, ‘How am I supposed to choose right now what I am going to do for the rest of my life?’ The short answer is that you don’t have to. The average college student changes majors at least three times. Plus, most colleges will allow you to wait until your sophomore year to select a major. However, having an idea of what you want to do will give you a starting point and make the process much easier.

First, start out with a general idea about what type of school you might want to attend. This could be a technical school, a broad liberal arts school, or a mathematics/science-heavy school. For example, if you enjoy working with your hands and want specific training, a mechanical/technical school could be good for you. If instead you would rather study a wide range of topics and have a broad background, a liberal arts school would be a good choice. Doing this will make selecting a major easier.

Next, consider your interests. If you know a specific career that you would like to go into, find out what majors would help you pursue that career. If you do not have a career in mind, you can approach it from the opposite direction. Browse potential majors and see if any area interests you. Then, look into possible careers associated with that major. Your high school guidance counselor or college career center should be able to help you with this.

Another thing to consider is that even after you get your degree, the average person makes at least three career changes during their lifetime. However, your skills from previous jobs will ‘carry over.’ You will not be ‘starting over.’ For example, you want to go into journalism, so you get a degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism. After being a journalist for three years, you decide you want to go into public relations. Your degree still helps you as your communications background and skills learned from your previous job enable you to pursue the new career. These tips should help you in deciding on a major. It is also important to remember that if you can’t decide right away, it is not the end of the world.

 

Last Updated: May 31, 2019