What should I major in? It’s a question that most high school students struggle to find the answer to. No doubt, it’s a big decision. A major can determine what classes you take, which programs you pursue, and even what colleges you apply for.
So if you’re asking yourself that question, here’s how to answer it!
Methods to Finding a Major
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to explore majors! Here are a few:
Perhaps the quickest and most convenient way to explore majors is by utilizing the internet. College Raptor has a huge database dedicated to majors! With it, you can discover the number of students pursuing that major, a related majors, focuses within that study, a summary, and a list of colleges ideal for that major!
Additionally, if you have an idea of what career you’d like to have, visit our Career Center! Simply search for your dream job and scroll down to “Typical College Majors” for a list of related programs.
Talk with Your Counselor
Another great resource to use is your high school counselor. Not only can they help you schedule out your classes, they can sometimes assist with college selection and major selection. They’ll likely go over which subjects you excel in and help generate a list of majors based on that.
Job Shadow / Internship
If you’re really dedicated to exploring a major or potential career, why not pick up a job shadowing or internship opportunity? It will give you a first-person look into the everyday experiences of that field. Who knows, it may just change your opinion one way or the other.
Thoughts to Keep in Mind While Asking Yourself “What Should I Major In?”
Whichever research method you’re using, there are a few questions and thoughts to consider while contemplating your options.
Consider Your Interests & Abilities
This is the first and most important step towards identifying a major that’s right for you. When you choose a major that interests you, the odds are higher that you will stick with it.
Think about things you enjoy doing and are passionate about. Do you enjoy crunching numbers or do you prefer to spend your time in the biology lab? Are you passionate about caring for sick animals or doing something about global warming? Does staring into the night sky through a telescope pique your interest more than anything else?
Thinking about your interests will help you narrow down prospective fields of study. Factoring in your skills, abilities, and limitations is just as important.
Is the Major Employable?
After graduation, it’s time to start repaying those student loans. With that in mind, you are going to need to be able to find a job pretty quickly.
If the major you are interested in is super niche, you might have a harder time finding a job, than a major with a broader field. Sometimes it’s better to have a broader major for undergraduate school, and go more specific when/if you attend graduate school.
Does it Pay?
Maybe you’d rather choose a major in your area of interest than choose a major only because it pays well. Let’s be honest. Money does matter. You need to find a job that will pay you enough to cover your monthly bills. That includes your loan repayments as well as your rent, utilities and groceries. You have to be practical when choosing your major. Consider yourself really lucky if your preferred major is employable AND pays well!
Still Haven’t Found the Answer to “What Should I Major In?”
Choosing a major is a major decision and sometimes it takes more than research and conversations. Sometimes it takes studying. It’s ok to go into college undeclared. Many students discover what they want to major in after a semester or two of taking college general education classes.
Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!