Choosing a college major is a very crucial decision to make. The college major you’ll pursue can significantly affect your interest in college and the ability to land a stable job in the future. You won’t be able to graduate with flying colors if you’re forced to take up a degree that you dislike.
The variety of college majors offered by different universities is one of the reasons why choosing one can be tough. College freshmen will often see themselves overwhelmed with too many options that they end up picking the wrong major because they don’t know what to consider in the first place. Fortunately, this article can prevent you from making that same mistake.
Here’s a simple guide in choosing your college major:
1. Assess The Things That You Like
Aside from dictating the subjects you’ll have when in college, the college major you’ll pick can also influence the kind of job you’ll have as an adult. The college major you’ll choose can predict the activities you’ll do today and in the future. This is why you should pick a college major that requires you to do activities that you’re passionate about.
You’ll likely find yourself demotivated in the first year of college if you choose a major that doesn’t suit your interests or passion. This can result in poor academic performance that can adversely affect your chances of landing a stable job.
If you’re still clueless about the things that you actually like, these tips can come in handy:
- List down 10 things that you love doing. Listing down the things you love doing, both in and out of the classroom, is a great way to determine the possible majors you can take. After making a list, check online resources, such as College Rank, to determine appropriate college majors for you. If you love traveling and engage in different kinds of business, consider majoring in international studies. If you enjoy drawing and the arts, and have a knack for anything techie, a major in graphic design might be best for you.
- Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses: Knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are can also help you narrow down college majors. Depending on your preferences, you can use your weaknesses to determine which college majors to avoid, or look for college majors that can help you improve these weak areas.
2. Figure Out Your Goals
People pursue college for many different reasons. While some take up college because they want to land a stable job in the future, others are taking this direction to build their businesses after a few years. When choosing a college major, always consider what kind of goals you want to achieve in the future.
If you want to simply land a job in the future without having any specific career in mind (yet), then picking a college major that suits your interest will work well for you. However, if you have plans to start your own business or climb up the professional ladder fast, you might want to consider a college major that suits a specific industry. For people who want to make it big in the IT industry, for example, choosing a college major that is IT-related might work best.
If you want to further your studies by taking master’s or doctorate degrees after college, you should also make sure that the college major you’ll pick is vertically aligned to your postgraduate studies. If you want to earn a postgraduate degree in business, a college major in business, marketing, or finance is a great option. You’ll be able to supplement all of your academic learning if your college major and postgraduate programs are connected with each other.
3. Talk To Advisers And Professionals
The college major you’ll pick should suit your interests, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for help from other people. On the contrary, you should spend some time to talk to your advisers and other professionals as they can give you a clearer picture on how college majors differ from each other.
Most universities have school counselors who can help you come up with a sound decision when choosing a college major. They can even offer college majors that you never thought existed in the past.
When meeting with advisers and other professionals from the university, make sure to ask these questions:
- Are there any upcoming college planning sessions?
- Based on my interests, what elective courses can you recommend?
- What are the pros and cons of a specific college major?
Aside from counselors, you can also reach out to older students or professionals who are taking or took your preferred college major. Their experiences will give you an unfiltered view of what the college major is like, and if this is something that can meet your expectations. Just like when you’re meeting with counselors, don’t hesitate to ask questions to older students and other professionalsas well.
4. Take Different Classes During Your First Year
As a college freshman, you’re not expected to have everything figured out before the school year starts. As a college freshman, you can choose to experience a lot of things first before choosing a college major.
During your first year in college, take a wide variety of classes. This is a great way of learning different fields and deciding which college major truly interests you. When you take different classes during your first semesters in college, you’ll be able to assess which subjects or professors are interesting to you. This information is usually enough for you to decide on a college major for the next semesters.
Choosing a college major can affect the quality of your life in the future, which is why you should be careful when deciding. Regardless of how tempting it is, you should never choose a college major because of peer pressure. The college major you choose should suit your personal interest, not somebody else’s.
For you to make a sound decision, use this article as your guide. It’ll be effortless for you to narrow down your options and pick the perfect college course if you know what to consider when choosing.