Picking a college major is a big step! Some students know exactly what they’re going to major in before they even apply to college, while others wish to wait until their junior year to declare. No matter what grade or year you’re in, you should always consider a few things before you choose.
Consider Your Interests, Strengths, and Passions When Picking
The first thing anyone does when it comes to career paths and intended majors is consider their interests and passions. These are both extremely important aspects of choosing courses. You don’t want to pick a major that has little to no interest to you, even if someone is insisting you should choose that path; passing the classes may be harder and you may not enjoy the jobs ahead of you. This choice will affect your entire career.
However, when you’re considering your interests and passions, don’t forget your strengths. For example, if you’re an outgoing, conversational person intending to major in English, you may want to think about working towards a degree or specialization in Journalism. Your personality will shine through in that major and in later jobs.
Take Introductory Courses for that College Major
Most schools don’t officially require you to declare a major until junior year, and, in most cases, you’re free to change your selection. Those first two years are an excellent opportunity to take introductory courses for majors that interest you. They can give you a clear idea of what lies ahead in courses and you may discover it is not what you thought.
Consider taking other elective courses that interest you as well, even if you’re not considering a major in that department. You could be pleasantly surprised and it may open new doors and possibilities for you. In fact, they may even convince you to change majors, minors, or specializations.
Take Your Dream Career Into Account
In addition to your interests and passions, many students also take their dream career into account when choosing a major. However, there is more to it than simply saying “I want to be a veterinarian,” for example. Studying to become a vet could take over eight years. You have to consider the time you will need to invest in college, Master’s programs, and internships.
Before heading straight into your dream career’s major, consider all the aspects of it and do your research. Are their jobs in the field? What is the pay? How many years of college will it require? Is this the right major for that career path? What courses do I have to take? Do I need a Master’s or a PHD? Once you understand what your intended job’s schooling entails, you can really decide if it is the right career path for you.
Almost everyone has a dream job. It may be one you’ve been thinking about since you were five years old or it may have been one sparked more recently by a course you took in high school. It’s important however to think carefully about your major and even take courses in the subject before choosing. You may decide it’s not quite what you thought or that it’s everything you dreamed.
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