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What advice would you give a high school student that has no idea what they would like to major in?

My nephew is about to graduate from high school. His dad is looking to me to offer up some great advice on what he should do. I need some reinforcement. #high-school-students #high-school

Thank you comment icon I went to college right after high school because I felt like I had to. I majored in fine arts, which I enjoyed, but still didn't have a clear career path afterwards. As an adult, I thought more about what I wanted to do and ended up back in school to pursue an entirely different career. In retrospect, I wish I got a degree in something that led into a career (like nursing, engineering, etc.), OR waited a couple years to explore what I really wanted. I know the latter probably isn't want a parent wants to hear, but what's the point in spending lots of money on a forced degree? I don't think it's a bad idea for him to be in the workforce for a couple years saving money while learning more about what he might actually like. Elisabeth

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Subject: Career question for you

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Daisy’s Answer

In my experience many high school students who are graduating are not sure what they would like to major in. For me, I switched my major about 7 times before returning to my original major and then switching again once I transferred out of community college.


I think the best advice to give someone in that situation is that it is okay to be unsure of what you want to do and to assure them that a major choice is not a permanent career choice. I would suggest that he begins with general courses first to try and see what strikes his interest. Something that I use with my undecided students is onetonline.org to gauge their interest and see what careers they like and then connect those careers with a major.

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Kelsey’s Answer

In my experience, it’s totally normal to not know what to major in. I was in the same boat - I was interested in so many different subjects that I didn’t know how to commit to one!
Luckily, many universities require all students take “general education” classes, which are meant to help freshmen and sophomores discover what they’re good at and what they’re interested in.

It may also be that he doesn’t know what careers are out there that match his interests! Have him explore career options online. This is a great site: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors-careers
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Simeon’s Answer

My general response is to look at the department of labor's website at the fastest growing jobs and see if any call out to you. You don't have to pick one, but it's nice to have a starting list if you're drawing a total blank. Look up videos on YouTube about the pros and cons of fields that interest you and make careful attention to see what hidden downsides people don't talk about. People often find out the worst aspects of their fields too late to be able to do much about it.
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