Choosing a major can be overwhelming. But it’s important to think of the bigger picture; your major doesn’t necessarily tie you into one specific career. There are always multiple avenues to pursue, so rather just make sure that the major you choose is something you will enjoy spending time learning about for the next few years. Your college major is essentially your specialized field of study. Above and beyond your standard college requirements, your major can be anything from agriculture to architecture, economics to ecology, biology to business, and everything in between. But before you’re too overwhelmed by the options, we’ve put together some helpful tips to help guide you in making the best decision for you.
1. Focus On Your Strengths
Do you have a natural flair for numbers and math? Do you excel in creative subjects? Are you great at getting your thoughts down on paper? When choosing your major it’s important to first have a clear understanding of where your strengths lie (as well as your weaknesses). Take a look back at your academic records and it should be easy enough to figure out where your natural abilities are at their best. It doesn’t make much sense to start a degree in accounting if you’re struggling to pass your math exams, does it? But all too often, students get fixated on embarking on a career that they view as a ‘good option’ and choose a major that simply isn’t right for them. Of course, you can develop skills, but if you truly want to excel in your studies and your career, it definitely makes sense to capitalize off your strong points and develop these, instead of embarking on an uphill battle. All too often students are pressurized by their parents or other external influences that say that they must become a lawyer, doctor or accountant, to be successful. This often leads to them choosing a major or degree to fit these expectations, and then feel like a failure when down the line they are struggling to keep their grades up. You’re far more likely to experience success (and happiness) if you choose a major that suits your individual skillset.
2. Know Your Personality
Your personality traits may have more of an impact on your future career than you think. Do you like living the high life and is a certain level of the luxury top on your list of priorities? Or is your happiness far more important to you than a high salary? Are you an introvert who prefers working alone to being in a crowded workspace, or an extrovert who loves working with people? Are you compassionate with a strong yearning to help others? Do you love to travel and explore new cultures? Knowing yourself and understanding you who you are as a person is an important first step in deciding on your major. Make sure you take the time to truly reflect on your own personality and use these insights to help guide your decision.
3. Think Outside The Box
If you love philosophy or history, don’t be too hasty to write these off as a major due to the lack of career opportunities in these fields. Although there may not be many job openings for ‘philosophers’, the cognitive and reasoning skills you’ll learn are often highly respected by employers and could open up exciting opportunities down the line. If you choose to study English, you could find yourself with a career in anything from advertising, journalism, publishing or even teaching English in a foreign country. If you’re good at math, you don’t have to simply major in it. You can choose from an array of math-focused options to suit you, such as architecture, biology, computer science, engineering or economics. So, when it comes to choosing your major, remember to keep an open mind!
4. Passion Makes Perfect
When choosing your major, one of the key things to consider is what you’re truly passionate about. If you’re going to major in something, you might as well make sure that you’re interested in the subject. This will not only mean that you’re more likely to stay focused, but you’ll also be happier in the long term. Rather than focusing on your future career or earning potential, it’s best to first ask yourself, what are my passions, interests, and values? These important questions are all too often overlooked by students. It is important to remember that in reality, the major you choose doesn’t necessarily determine your future career. So, the best way to ensure happiness and success is to do something that you truly care about, starting with choosing your major.
5. Prepare For Change
When considering your options, remember to bear in mind that your interests are likely to change over the years. On top of this, the world is constantly changing too. This means that by the time you actually graduate, some of the jobs you had in mind may already be obsolete, and new opportunities you had never even imagined may be available to you. This is why focusing on a passion, instead of a job, is always a good idea.
6. Keep your career in mind
When choosing your major, it’s important to consider the future job opportunities that will be available to you. But that being said, there’s no need to obsess over it. Choosing a major is less about prepping for your first job and more about choosing your life path. If, however, you’re in the lucky position that your passion and career plans are aligned, then make sure that you choose the major that means the fastest path to your dream job
SchoolApply advisors are always ready to help you decide which major will go hand in hand with your passion.