Many students have a hard time deciding what they should major in. There are tons of students that are close to being sophomores or juniors in college who are still unsure of what career path they want to head on, and there are also students that have decided on a major based off of a career they thought they would enjoy, but are now considering switching their major this very second. Even if there are a few subjects they know they are interested in, it may be difficult for them to envision themselves working in one of those fields for the remainder of their careers. Below are five helpful steps that NSCS has provided for any college student to help with making this extremely important decision.

Consider Your Interests

Although it doesn’t necessarily lock you in, there’s a good chance that the field you choose to major in at college will end up being the one you work in for most of your professional life. That being said, your major should be something you truly enjoy. If you love technology, consider going for computer science or a related field. If you’re a science enthusiast, perhaps chemistry or material science would be a good fit for you. Whatever you do, avoid going into a field you don’t much care for simply because you’ve heard it will lead to a better job. Many students have tried this approach and lived to regret it, often changing majors or returning to school later in life to pursue a different career path.

Look Up Possible Careers In Fields You Enjoy

Even though your major should be something you enjoy, it should also present you with good career opportunities. Do an online search for careers that you could break into with the majors you are considering. Although money shouldn’t be the only factor in making this choice, do make sure you can secure a job with decent pay from any major you consider. After all, you will be spending a great deal of money on your education.

See If You Can Job Shadow People In Fields You’re Considering

Reading about a career is one thing, but seeing it in action is quite another. Once you’ve identified a few majors you might be interested in and discovered some career options connected to those majors, see if you can find professionals working in those careers to shadow for a day. Most working professionals won’t mind letting you do this, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Talk To Your Academic Counselor

Always remember that your counselor is a valuable resource. Talk to them about the options that are in front of you and actively listen to the feedback you get about the potential majors you have selected. Your counselor may also be able to present you with other options you haven’t yet considered, but may enjoy.

If All Else Fails, Choose To Be An Undeclared Major

Many students are under the impression that they need to choose their majors as soon as they start school, or at least before the end of their freshman year. If you genuinely don’t know what you want to major in, there’s nothing wrong with delaying the choice for a year or two.

Yes, putting the choice off will likely put additional years onto your time spent in college, but this is still preferable to choosing a major you don’t like just for the sake of having one and then having to correct that mistake later. While it may take you a little longer to complete college if you select your major late, you would spend the same amount of time in school by selecting a major and then changing it later. Worse yet, you could graduate with a degree in a major you don’t care for, spend several years doing work you don’t enjoy and then have to return to college later in life. Getting your college major right is important, so don’t be afraid to take a year or two to decide while exploring classes you enjoy.

Ultimately, the choice of your college major is entirely yours. By following these steps, however, you can make that choice easier and ensure that you choose the right one in the end. Above all, remember to choose something you will enjoy, as there’s no sense in studying and working in a field you dislike simply to make more money.