4 answers

How do you know you've picked the right major?

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A common question among first years at universities. I initially applied to do performing arts/theatre but I'm now an aerospace engineering major. I'm way happier now so is that an indication I'm in the right place? #general #majors #lifechanging

4 answers

Jeff’s Answer


Especially in the early years of school, it can be very difficult to "know" if you've picked the right major, but don't fret - You are in school for much more than just the phrase on your degree.

When deciding on my upperclass major, I was given the following advice:

"Higher Education is not meant to teach you how to just 'do a thing', but rather how to keep learning and evolving where the needs of the workforce meet the areas you are passionate about"

Consider your interest level in the topics you are learning about and coursework that come naturally and/or frustrate you. I always wanted to be involved in technology and originally had an Engineering Major to be a Programmer/Developer. A year into the program I realized I just wasn't 'wired' to tackle the mathematics required, but still loved the case studies. I shifted to a general business Major and graduated with a Sales and Marketing degree and minor in Information Systems which allowed me to stay involved in areas I enjoyed while having a role more in-tune with my natural abilities.

You can always change your major, and the amount of people who enter the workforce in a capacity different than their University major is staggering... That is NOT a bad thing, rather a side-effect of a well-rounded education.

Ultimately, think about WHERE you want to work - the kind of industry or space that interests you and pay attention to what you are naturally good at. Talk to your career counselors and professors to get their feedback and let the decision come naturally over time. Most University programs allow you to focus on general education requirements in your first year or two for exactly this reason so if you're unsure, work with your guidance/career counselor to build a curriculum that allows you to be agile should you decide on a different path in a year or two.

Jeff recommends the following next steps:

  • Find a guidance or career counselor at your high school or university
  • Create a shortlist of the types of industries or daily work that would interest you. Don't think too narrowly - Every company needs software developers, accountants, Sales and Marketing, Legal, and project/logistics planning, for example.
  • Share your thoughts with others and gather feedback - Friends, Family, Counselors, etc. Don't just take their advice blindly, think about how they perceive you and what a 3rd party opinion differs from your own.

Jasanpreet Kaur’s Answer


Hey Leah!

Yes, feeling happy is a clear indication that you have taken a right step. Even you will feel like searching for more information. Like, going through case studies, reading more books and acquiring more knowledge. These are the signs that you are on the right path!

All the best!

Rachael’s Answer


It can certainly be difficult determining a career path in high school you will stick with for your entire career. I think it's important to consider your values and field interests first and foremost because this will guide you in your career. Your first year of college mainly consists of introductory courses which should give you a taste of what the field is like. It's not until later in your college career when you're in the more detailed courses I think you have the idea it might not be for you. My moment I realized it was for me actually came in my capstone courses - I took on my minor as a double major because of how much I liked it. Choosing a major which can set you up with a foundation is a very important part. There's nothing wrong in pivoting from that but at least it gets you started. A major can have many different career paths. I think an internship would be extremely beneficial for you to aid in determining which application of that major you want to pursue. Perhaps the day to day operation of one does not interest you, but that doesn't necessarily mean the major altogether isn't for you. I would stress completing as many internships in different positions as you can to pinpoint which career path you want to pursue.

Niko’s Answer


Honestly, you never really do, but in the end your major doesn't matter all that much. I know far more people who have a job that is unrelated to their major than people who work in their major. Unless of course you wanna do something like engineering or medicine. I would choose what you enjoy the most. You only get 4 years to really learn about anything you want, don't waste it taking classes you hate because you wanted to choose a serious major. My brother was a creative writing major and no works at goldman sachs