2 answers

How do I decide what to major in?

Asked Flagstaff, Arizona

Learning fascinates me, and I want to do everything I possibly can, but I can't imagine nailing myself down to one major or career. #college-major #career-paths

2 answers

Ashish’s Answer

Updated India

Hellos,

Firstly gud question.

Second nobody can help you into this,you have to learn to take your own decisions in the life.

How much you ask others you will get more confusion.

Decide and definite, what will be happen the maximum?

Today if you will not learn to take your decisions by your own, you will not achieve what you deserve.

Goahead,decide and definite and achieve it with faith and dedication.



Best of luck.


Sarah’s Answer

Updated Chicago, Illinois

*please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors*


Hi Zachary,

First, great question! It’s terrific you love learning about a variety of things!


Second, while I've been working 11+ yrs (as a career advisor to college students and hiring college students for internships and grads for their first jobs) I've met so many students unsure about what to major in and unsure if their major choice was “right”. So, you’re not alone in thinking it’s hard to decide!


Here’s how the students I've met decided on their majors. I hope sharing how they did it will be helpful to you:



"I Want to Be A..."

I've met students who knew what they wanted to be since before they arrived at college. You've probably met them too! They are the students that say, "I want to be a _____." And what they say they want to be, is also their major. So for example, "I want to be an Accountant" or "I want to be a Nurse". Simple, right? :) Their major is based on their future career—like Accounting or in Nursing--and their major provides them with the education, skills and knowledge they need to start their career.


"I Want to Work in..."

Other students I've met are interested in working in a certain Career Area, such as Business or Information Technology. The Career Area they are interested in working in then becomes their major. They may not know exactly what they want to do in Business (like whether they want to work in Finance, Human Resources or Sales for example) but do want a career in Business. Choosing a Career Area as a major gives students the knowledge and skills in this area so they can start their careers after college. You can find out about all the different Career Fields (also called Occupational Groups) here https://www.bls.gov/ooh/


“I'm Really Good at..." or "What I Love Doing is..."

I've also met students who are really good at a certain skill or love doing one thing, and want to learn more about it while in college. These students majored in things like Graphic Design, Spanish, Creative Writing, Math, Dance, Animation, Film—just to give a few examples. As graduates, students found careers as their majors (such as a Graphic Designer, Writer, Animator, etc) or sometimes their major led to another career altogether. For example, a Math major I knew was hired as a Computer Programmer and a student who graduated with a degree in Film was hired as a web designer. After graduating, students can use the skills and knowledge gained to start careers in their majors or in different careers that need the skills and knowledge students gained in their majors.


“What Really Interests Me Is..."

Finally, some students major in a subject area they are very interested in. There are no limits to the areas of interest that students could major in, but some of them include majors like Anthropology, Asian Studies, History, Law, Philosophy, Political Science & Government, Urban Studies, and Women’s Studies. After graduating, students can start careers in their major area, or their major can be gateway to other opportunities in different careers and fields like education, government, legal, and social services, just to name a few.



HELPFUL RESOURCES


“WHAT CAN I DO WITH THIS MAJOR?”

http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/info.html


COLLEGE DEGREES & MAJORS MOST IN DEMAND BY EMPLOYERS

http://www.naceweb.org/job-market/trends-and-predictions/job-outlook-the-degrees-and-majors-most-in-demand/


JOBS WITH HIGHEST HIRING POTENTIAL THRU 2024

https://www.onetonline.org/find/bright?b=1&g=Go

Sarah recommends the following next steps:

  • Make a list of all the majors you are considering
  • Look up each major you're considering up on http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/info.html For each major, review the information about "Area" & "Strategies"
  • Then look up each major on the Occupational Outlook. There's a link at bottom of page at http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/info.html You can see information about pay, job outlook, similar occupations, etc.
  • By now, hopefully you are able to narrow down your list of majors you are considering. Can you get the list of majors down to 1-2? Could you major in 1 and minor in another?
  • If you still are having trouble deciding, try asking these 4 questions about each major you're considering… "After college, would I want to…" 1. Work as (my major)? 2. Work in the career field or industry that hires (my major)? 3. Use skills learned from (my major) to work in other jobs? 4. Can I do other things with (my major) in case I change my mind after graduation?
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