The summer is the perfect time to start doing some research into your future education! This includes your college major. While not strictly necessary, there are many benefits to knowing your major before you start college. Here are three steps to get you on the right track to use this summer to find your college major.
Start With Your Interests
If you have no clear picture of what you’d like to do after college or what you’d like to study, start with your interests. Write down the things you like doing in your free time, subject matter you’ve pursued on your own, your favorite subjects, the classes you’ve done the best in, and the lessons you’ve been particularly engaged in or remember fondly. This list can give you an excellent diving board from which to work on.
Once you have a list, start working through them and consider what careers could grow out of those interests.
If you already have an idea of what you want to do after college or your interest list at least gave you direction, it’s time to explore careers. Make a list of careers that interest you, why they call to you, and start your research on each one.
There are quite a few things students need to consider here – more than many realize. Students should think about
- The education required to get hired in the field
- If the career requires a masters or doctorate, are you willing to go to school for that long?
- Employment outlook
- Will jobs be opening up in this field? Or is it competitive?
- Coursework required for the career
- Some careers will require very specific studies within a major or even a niche major.
- Salary averages
It’s also important to remember that careers can sometimes be very different than people imagine (CSI is a great example of this). Students should do research into what the career actually involves to ensure it matches up with their interests and goals. Shadowing could be a great way to get a clearer picture!
Research Potential Majors
Whether you have one career in mind or several, you can move onto the next step of researching majors that would be best to help you reach these career goals. You should be looking at
- The coursework that makes up the major
- How the major will help you achieve your career goals
- The academic rigor of the classes
- The best schools for these majors
It’s essential to give this process careful thought. Sometimes, choosing a major isn’t as clear-cut as people believe it is. For example, you may have an interest in computers and gaming, so think IT would be a good career path and aim for a degree in computer science. Without research into the major, some students find that computer science courses are much more difficult than they thought or the classes, education, or career aren’t quite what they imagined.
Using the Summer to Find Your College Major
If you’re not sure what to major in, talk to teachers, guidance counselors, and other trusted adults in your life. They can help point you in the right direction and may even connect you with professionals in the fields you’re considering.