Picking a major is almost as important as selecting the right college. Majors can determine what you study in grad school, what kind of career path you might take, what you’ll be studying for the 4+ years you attend undergrad school. In other words, it’s an important decision. So here are a few questions you should ask yourself before picking a major.
Why do I want to study this major?
Why is a pretty big question. It could be that you’re interested in the subject matter, that your dream career requires/recommends it as a major, or that it leads to good job opportunities. Whatever your reasoning: know it. If you don’t have a solid rationale behind your choice, why are you choosing it?
What is required of this major?
It’s important to know what sorts of classes you’ll be taking with this major, if there are any specialized requirements for graduation, what sort of books or equipment you’ll need to purchase, and more. Do some research into your major—are you willing to do all that’s required?
Do the colleges on my list have good programs in this major?
If a college you’re considering doesn’t have a strong major program, or doesn’t even have the major as an option, it may be time to reevaluate—either the major or the school. Some majors are really niche—like Retail Management—while others are more common and general—like Business. Are you willing to branch out and go more broad-scope, or do you want to go hyper-focused?
What are the career options for this major?
Now, we’re not saying that your major will absolutely, 100% determine your future career path. (My dad majored in accounting, but made a career in marketing). But your major can affect your job prospects, so it’s a good idea to have some sense of what the career options are for that particular major. Do some research—do you like what you see?
Does this major interest me?
This may seem like an odd question, but it’s an important one. If you don’t find a major interesting, it’ll be incredibly hard to stay engaged and focused on it. Some students select a major just based on how much money it could earn while having no real passion or attraction.