When it’s time to choose your major in college, conflicting advice and pithy truisms seem to come from all sides. Whose advice will you be able to trust though? Instead of platitudes, we’re here to help you choose your field of study based on the things that are important to you.
Your interests will, of course, be a huge part of choosing your major. For example, if you’re interested in science and helping people, you might go for a health science major. On the other hand, if you’re really not a fan of whatever you’re studying, you’ll be miserable. Also, you won’t really be overly motivated to finish your coursework. This means that it’s critical for you to be interested in whatever it is that you’re studying. Part of that should also be that you can see yourself using a few of the skills you’re learning later on in the workforce.
When choosing a major, another thing to think about is what you’re good at. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your major needs to be whatever you did best at when you were in high school. For one thing, you’ll likely discover new talents and abilities when you’re in college and taking courses that you didn’t have access to before. Also, whatever it is that you like the best won’t always align with your goals and priorities. The main thing is that you’ll not want to major in anything you’re particularly weak in. For example, if you’re weak in business skills, you likely won’t want to go for a Master’s in business administration. You should choose something that you know you’ll be able to manage and do well with most of the coursework.
When considering what your major should be, it makes sense to think about what your job prospects will be like after obtaining your degree. In other words, what’s your employability going to be like? Will you have trouble finding a job? How difficult will it be? Will you need to move to another area to find a job or are there some right where you are?
Another aspect of choosing a major has to do with your future income potential. This is by no means an exact science, but it is a viable exercise. If one of your goals is to have a high income, you’ll need to be realistic as you consider your interests. Professions such as social work or teaching generally don’t pay too much so they might not be your best option. On the other hand, majors such as engineering, computer science and health science tend to have a sunny outlook in terms of salary.
You may also have a specific goal in mind, such as becoming an attorney, doctor, or physicist. Some extremely specific goals will require specific majors, at the very least, they’ll require specific activities and courses. As an example, if your goal is to become an engineer, you’ll need to get a degree in engineering.
If your desire is to be a doctor, you must fulfill prerequisites for med school or graduate from a pre-med program. However, if your wish is to become a journalist, there are quite a few majors that can help you reach that goal. If you do happen to have a specific goal and that goal requires a specific academic path, that should be your top priority when it comes to choosing a major.
Keep in mind that all of this doesn’t need to be done before applying and being accepted to college. You can be undeclared and get your basics out of the way, which gives you a bit more time to decide.