Hello lovelies! I hope you are having a wonderful week thus far! Today I am excited to share with you some advice on how to choose the right college major for you! One of the biggest decisions you will make when you come to college is what field of study you will be working in and how you will accomplish your goals and succeed in the future! Some of you may already know exactly what you want to study before coming to college – if that’s you, congrats! You are on a wonderful path and I wish you the best of luck. However, I think most students enter college their freshman year with only vague, general ideas about what subjects interest them and not much else. Terms like majors, minors, certificates, and degrees can be confusing if you aren’t already familiar with how college works or have taken the time to do some research beforehand. Today I hope to clarify some of your confusion and leave you with some tips about how to move forward and pick the right college major for you!
What is a major, anyway?
Your college major is the specific field of study that you will be pursuing during your university years. It will be the subject you come to “specialize” in and will likely be what job you pursue after graduation (I say ‘likely’ because college majors don’t always equal future career paths!). Your university probably offers a ton of options for what to study – biology, computer science, economics, chemistry, English, etc.
What about minors and certificates?
During the process of choosing what you will study in college, you can also consider adding on additional options of certificates or minors. Minors are “mini” majors – instead of jumping right into the swimming pool like a major, you’ll just be dipping your feet in, so to speak. Minors can be amazing if you have interests across different subjects, want to expand your skills, or want to work across multiple fields that complement each other. Certificates are like minors, except they often are reduced coursework compared to minors and can be considered quick little crash courses on a subject. For example, I am a Journalism and Strategic Communication major who has a Digital Studies Certificate, which helped me explore graphic design and digital technology skills that can be applicable to my major and future career in social media and communications.
How do I choose my major?
There are many ways to decide what college major is right for you! Here are some things to consider as you make your decision:
- Start with what you love: ask yourself what subjects you loved in high school, what your hobbies are, and what interests you the most. Take advantage of your natural talents – now you just need a plan on how to turn them into a career!
- Explore your interests: if you honestly have no idea what is best for you, use your freshman year of college as an opportunity to complete your general graduation requirements and dabble into many different subjects! Take a Shakespeare class, learn how to code, study economics! Some of the best classes I took in college were ones that I weren’t so sure about before enrolling, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your options and see what is out there before making your choice!
- Think about the future: when you close your eyes, where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years? What job would you love to have? Ask yourself these questions and write your answers down on a sheet of paper. (See the next step!)
- Do some research: now that you have a few ideas of things that interest you and possible jobs you would want to have, Google these jobs and find out what majors people in the field typically received in college! Although your major doesn’t necessarily equal your career path (some people end up in a career field far different than their major!), this can be a key step in figuring out what to study in college.
- Take advantage of your college resources: seek out advice from professors, friends, guidance counselors, and your college’s career center. Ask your friends and family what field of study they could see you in – sometimes we have skills that aren’t obvious to us but are very obvious to others!
- Make sure it’s what you really want: please don’t choose a major just because it’s popular, or the field pays extremely well, or you think it’s expected of you. At the end of the day, this is YOUR future – and you need to make the best possible decision you can for you. While students can and do change their major during their time in college, this can add more years to your degree, prevent you from graduating on time, and lead to a ton of stress. Don’t wait too long to choose your major, but don’t rush into a decision you know you’ll regret, either.
The right college major for you is one that will make you happy. When I first came to college, I was lucky enough to have a sense of direction of what I would want to do. After exploring the options and joining a student organization, I made my choice – and I’ve never once regretted it. I wish you best of luck in your journey and hope this advice helped!
Thank you for reading! Please share any comments or questions with me below or on Twitter @CaseyDonart