Choosing a college major can be a daunting task. When you first begin your college experience, you may have many different interests, or perhaps you simply do not know yet what kinds of classes you like. Perhaps you entered college with an initial idea of what you thought you would study, but after taking some classes, that idea has changed. The great news is, choosing a major doesn’t have to slow you down. The following guide will help you in the process.
You may be wondering why you must even choose a major to begin with. The reason behind choosing a major is because those classes will help you develop skills and abilities for a wide variety of careers after you graduate including:
- Critical thinking
- Project development
That said, there are some myths about choosing a major. Your major does not equal your career. In other words, what you choose to study in college, does not necessarily determine what you will do for the rest of your life. Here are some other myths you may have heard – do not let these myths discourage you!
- I can’t change my major once I declare it – FALSE
- Liberal arts students are only qualified for careers in their specific area of study – FALSE
- The best way to explore majors is to only take the introductory course – FALSE
- Employers always prefer a student with two majors over students with one major – FALSE
So now that we’ve cleared that up. Here is a very simple action plan that will help guide you in choosing a major. Complete these steps and you will have a much better idea of what you’d like to study in college.
Step 1: Get Out Your Pen & Paper!
- Jot down things you like
- Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses
- Write down what you care about
- Make a list of your long-term goals
Step 2: Get Help!
- Use online resources from College Board, U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, U.S. News & World Report
- Talk to your advisor or career counselor on campus
Step 3: Don’t Rush, Take Your Time
- Know what the major entails
- Explore possible career options
- Stray from the norm … don’t be afraid to go bold
Still cannot come to a decision? That’s okay! Many schools do not require their students to declare their major until their second year. Take some General Education (GE) courses that interest you and take the time to explore different subjects. Get involved on campus or with extracurricular activities, it might light a spark. Even if your school requires you to declare a major, you’re not stuck! In fact, studies show that about 50%-70% of students change their majors at least once throughout their undergraduate career. Do not be afraid to make changes – this is your future!
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