Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions you get to make. It can seem like a daunting task as it begins a chain subsequent lifelong decisions. But don’t let this scare you. Instead, let it be a wake-up call that leads you into thinking more about your future.
Five Tips to Help You Choose a College Major
1. Consider your interests
Remember when you were younger and all you wanted to be was one of your superhero characters? That is not the kind of interests you should consider here. We are asking that you reach deep and find something that you love now and will keep loving in years to come.
2. Think about your strengths
If you grew up watching (and loving) Grey’s Anatomy yet can’t stand the sight of real blood, I think it’s safe to say that going pre-med or biology may not be the best major for you. What we are trying to say is – when choosing a college major, consider where your strengths lie and gravitate towards them.
3. Avoid over-specialization
The Superman character will be rated highly over the Flash just because Mr. Kal-El has a slew of impressive tricks up his sleeves. The speedster, on the other hand, can only run fast – which is something even Superman can do. That is the problem with over-specialization. When considering a major, choose something that allows you to broaden your scope and gives you more options. That way you can avoid going for an option which calls for channeling your interests to one field only. For example, a marine biologist would have more limited choices than a biologist, but the opportunity to specialize in marine life can still be available down the road.
4. Marketability of skills
We did not use employability just because some of you might have plans on becoming entrepreneurs after rocking the Straight Outta College shirt. Whether you work for a company or yourself, you still need to think about whether or not the market would be interested in the skills you were offering. Conduct market research to see the demand for your skills. Look at the data you find to determine just how many college graduates are entering the job market each year so you can forecast what the labor market will look like when you graduate.
5. Review the Prerequisites
Most majors have prerequisites, and if you speak to any college students in their second year or higher, they will tell you to make sure you PAY ATTENTION to your prerequisites. Understanding what classes you are expected to take as prerequisites will give you insight into what you will be learning. This will also give you more insight into whether the major you choose is right for you.
You will also want to make sure these prerequisites are things you can work into your schedule so that you don’t default and lose the admission. Finally, ensure the prerequisites won’t alter any of your plans, especially towards graduation.
If they don’t, you are good to go.