01 May 5 Tips for Choosing Your College Major
Selecting a college degree major is a big step in the pursuit of higher education. It’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, because what you decide now can affect your future. Here are five tips for choosing your college major.
1. Identify Your Passion
One big mistake students make when choosing a major is to go for the degrees that land them high-paying jobs. While financial stability is and should be a factor, it shouldn’t be the sole one determining your career path. Far too many students end up working towards a degree only deciding halfway through they aren’t interested in it.
Furthermore, if you end up with a job you’re miserable in, you’ll probably find yourself either dreading each workday or back in school to pursue a new degree to get you the job you truly want. Best to stick with something you love in the first place. It’ll be a money saver over the long run. Taking career assessments and/or aptitude tests can help you decide.
2. Locate Future Job Opportunities
If you’ve identified a career path you think you’ll love, it’s important to know if there are actual job opportunities waiting for you upon graduation. A good resource would be to talk to your guidance counselor. Also, plan to do some research through the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website – you can search for just about every career and get an idea of average salaries, requirements, and, perhaps most importantly, future opportunities and fastest-growing occupations through the federal agency’s forecast reports.
3. Determine Your Skills
Understanding what natural skills you can offer employers should also be a good indicator of what type of job you should pursue (provided it’s something you enjoy). Do you have any specific talents? Are your best grades in sciences and math or in English and the arts? Take a look at your previous grades, ACT, or SAT scores to see where you stand out and identify any strengths you possess.
4. Examine Degree Criteria
Another step in the process of choosing a college major is to carefully examine the degree criteria to ensure you’re up for the task or whether it’ll hold your interest. For instance, some degrees are more vigorous than others and require lengthy research papers, internships, and other specific criteria. Or, they may offer a number of classes you’ll find boring or, alternatively, maybe ones that truly excite you! Whatever you choose, be sure the degree requirements are something you can feasibly meet and be able to handle the course loads involved.
5. Take Core Classes First
If, after exploring majors, you still aren’t sure, in most cases you don’t necessarily have to decide immediately. If facing indecisiveness, enroll and register for a Liberal Arts (or General Studies) degree, take core classes, and explore a variety of electives for your first semester or two. Sampling an assortment of disciplines can help you to discover which subject areas you love. This also removes the stress of deciding as you adapt to college life.
Contact Accolade Financial
At Accolade Financial, it’s our goal to aid students and their families in identifying the right college. To learn more about how we can help, schedule an appointment today.