Thinking about a major in college is not something that should be taken lightly. You are making a decision that will not only impact your wallet but your life after college. Many students find this intimidating, to say the least. It can also be a very fun and exciting time. You can pick a major that you love learning about. A major that can open many doors to fulfilling work opportunities once you graduate. Below are a few questions you should ask yourself before choosing your major.
What do I find interesting?
This is a starting place for many students that have no idea what they should major in. Make a list of your hobbies and things you enjoy learning about or doing.
- Is there a trend or similarity among the things that interest you?
- Do any of your interests align with some courses at your school?
- Do any of these things look like a major or career?
For example, maybe you like to play video games and would love to one day create one of your own. This could lead you to major in computer science. Or if you love tutoring others in math; you could become a math teacher and study Education and Mathematics. Doing what you love is essential. Classes gradually get harder every semester, so picking a major that you want to study is crucial. You wouldn’t want to go to classes that you hate or be stuck in a job that you don’t like.
How long do I have to declare a major?
Many colleges and universities know that students can be unsure of what they want to do with the rest of their lives. That’s what college is about; learning about yourself and who you are. Thus, some schools allow students to be ‘undecided’ until their sophomore year. During the first two years, you will be able to take various courses to see which one you may want to major in. A majority of these courses will probably be general education courses, but you will be able to pick some electives. These electives can be in any subject that you want. Feel free to explore the many courses offered at your school. These will help you understand what courses you like and what you don’t like.
How do I declare a major?
Declaring a major is an important process that you may need help with. Start by going to your school’s academic advisement center. The advisors will give you all the tools needed to make a wise decision about your major as well as help you get the paperwork finalized. The academic advisors can also:
- Map and review out all the courses within your chosen major that you need to graduate.
- Tell you all the school policies and requirements surrounding each major. For example, some schools have specific GPA requirements that need to be met before you can declare a major.
- Alert you to any potential additional activities you might need to complete in order to obtain your degree. For example, some schools and some majors might require an internship or practical experience to complete the program. An education degree, for example, often requires you to intern or teach in a school before graduating.
Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor and be sure to ask as many questions as you can.
How can I make my degree work for me?
Completing a degree is great but using it in your future career is a whole other story. Many people graduate from college and don’t know what they will be doing with their degree. They may not know how to use their degree to get a great job that they love. So, before you commit to a lifelong career that you hate, do some research.
- Research the types of jobs that the major you want can get you.
- Take a look at what internships are available for your degree and skill set.
- Try going to a career fair or academic advisor and hear what future opportunities are available with different degrees.
Usually, every major has a plethora of job opportunities. If you can find at least 2-3 jobs or careers that you would be interested in doing, that major is one you should consider.
Overall, choosing a major is a big life decision. Do not let anyone chose it for you. Do your research and start mapping out your plan for the next couple of years in college and right after college. It doesn’t have to be a concrete list that you must follow. Just one that gives you a general sense of what you in life. Click here for a complete list of majors. Beware, not all schools offer all of these majors. Some schools may allow you to create your own major by combining multiple courses already offered by the school into one that you will love.