5 Tips for Choosing a Major

On this blog we have had regular opportunities to interview people in a variety of fields regarding their choice of major and career.  Through these interviews it has become quickly apparent that there a pros and cons to every path.  There are so many things that can be done, and so many interests that can be satisfied by a variety of careers.  But how do you choose?  This week we will be discussing several tips for those who are trying to choose a college major.  Even if you aren’t sure you want to attend college, some of these tips may help you in deciding how to further your education after high school, whether that be in a university, community college, or training school.

1. Don’t Overstress

You don’t need to choose your major right away.  Most schools require a number of general credits which can be used to explore your options.  Around 50% of students begin college undeclared, meaning they haven’t chosen their major yet.  Even if you do choose a major, you are able to change it if you desire to.  Your choice in major is not set in stone, feel free to continue to explore.  College is the ideal time to do so.

2. Utilize Generals

As mentioned in the previous tip, generals are a perfect opportunity to explore majors.  Most colleges require at least one class in a variety of subjects, from math and science to fine arts to English.  Utilize that opportunity to take classes in subjects you have an interest in.  These are usually considered introductory classes, so it will give you a nice overview of what to expect should you decide to major in that area.

3. Self-Evaluate

Consider what you like to do.  If you’re not completely sure what you enjoy most, there are many self-inventory quizzes online that can help you visualize what kinds of activities and subjects you most enjoy and excel in.  Enjoying what you do is critical to success.  There will always be things about your academic experience and future career that you don’t love but find something that will be worth it to you overall.

4. Ask for Help

Many schools offer resources to help students decide what to do.  Utilize those resources.  You should also take the opportunity, even in high school, to talk to people in fields that you are interested in.  Ask them what they enjoy about their career, as well as what they struggle with.  Take opportunities as well for internships and jobs that are similar to what you hope to do in the future.

5. Consider Your Values and Desires

Some majors take longer to complete and are more intensive than others.  Consider what sort of academic commitment your willing to make.  Some people struggle with a classroom environment and may feel ready to start a career sooner rather than later.  Others may enjoy school and are willing to challenge themselves, no matter how long it takes.  It’s also important to recognize what you want out of your future career.  Is money a huge motivator for you?  Do you enjoy helping people?  Or are you more into creativity and innovation?  Whatever it is, decide what your core values are and find a path that fits those values.

Choosing a path after high school doesn’t have to be intimidating.  It can be exciting when approached in the right way.  The years right after high school are all about discovering who you want to be and what your values are.  Take advantage of that opportunity.