Choosing the right major is often overwhelming because every other major decision, like what school to go to or what career path to take, stems from picking the best major suited for you.
Some have known the path they want to take since they were 5, and some can’t decide that easily when it comes to picking a major. But it doesn’t have to be that hard.
Here are six tips that will guide you through how to choose a major in college.
1. Assess your skills, values, and interested
First and foremost, you need to know what you like and dislike, what interests you, your values, and how you can use your abilities to succeed in a certain major or career path.
To figure out your personal interests and core values, you can get help from professionals by taking the Strong Interest Inventory Test. This test is an assessment that helps people match their interests with potential educational, career and leisure activities based on what they’re interested in/good at.
2. Consider your future
When weighing potential options for your college major, taking your future into account is the most important component.
No one wants to have difficulties finding a job, struggling financially, or ending up detesting their work after they graduate.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the major you’re choosing employable?
- Will it still be around down the line?
- How is the pay?
- Will you still enjoy it years from now?
3. Think about potential colleges and universities
There are more selective schools that offer only select majors and courses for a limited amount of people, and there are also schools with a more inclusive list of majors and programs.
Take a look at the schools you can potentially attend and carefully research their majors or programs. There are great online tools that can help you filter your options based on location, interest, and field.
4. Research each field and school thoroughly and take your time
Choosing your major is a major decision! You don’t want to rush into picking something you’re not that passionate about; it isn’t going to make sense in the future.
Take your time, and compare schools and majors using spreadsheets with factors your want to consider.
Do you want to stay close to home or move to a different region or state? Are scholarships available? These are important questions you need to answer before everything else.
Don’t forget to talk to your family or loved ones. Listen to what they have to say and incorporate their insight when you’re doing your research.
5. Look out for any disadvantages when choosing a major
Be on the lookout for any drawbacks you come across during your research and be transparent. If you don’t like something about a school or a certain major, make sure to note it.
No single major is perfect, and you are sure to face these disadvantages down the road when you’re deciding on what to do. Make sure to know what issues you may face if you go down a certain path and prepare for it.
6. It’s okay to change your mind
Yes, people change their minds, and it’s okay. Whatever the reason may be, know that it’s not uncommon to want to change your major after a year or two of studying goes by. In fact, about 80 percent of students in the United States end up changing their major at least once, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
At the end of the day, what’s important is that you choose a path you will be proud to have taken and a degree that is going to multiply your knowledge in the field of your passion.