1 answer

what exactly should I major in?

Asked Atlanta, Georgia

Its always been a huge dream of mine to create my own cartoon on TV. I should be majoring in animation, right? #art #college-major

1 answer

Patty’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

No one can tell you what you *should* major in. The best way to determine the answer to that question is to evaluate your strengths and your weaknesses. A good start to do this is to speak with your guidance counselor in school and ask to take the various career/occupational assessments. Based on your self-reported answers, it will recommend careers that are well suited to your interests. Researching those careers to ascertain what type of training and/or education you would need would then help you to see if you have the abilities to accomplish that training. I am a firm believer in, "if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen." But from a realistic point of view, if the career that comes up as being suited for you requires a great deal of math, for example, and your overall grades for many years in math have not been stellar, or you simply do not like math, chances are, you may not really enjoy that career. You need to take a hard look at yourself and honestly assess whether you would be willing to do something that you may not like. Remember, a career is a long term thing. And yes, while you can change careers, after your initial schooling and acclimatization into a career, it becomes very difficult timewise, and financially to change careers, especially if the new career is radically different from the one for which you already have been trained.

Whatever you do, please don't make a decision based on salary expectations alone. Because I can tell you from experience, the novelty of being paid a high salary wears off pretty quickly if you don't enjoy the work. And then going to work becomes the most soul-stealing activity you will ever do. Find something you love to do, see if it is something with which you can make a living wage (contrary to popular belief, there ARE certain majors where you really won't be able to support yourself-- gender studies, for example, springs to mind!).

Also, don't rule out trades! Those are extremely necessary and are often recession proof! There are increasingly more available opportunities to get financial aid to acquire a trade. Explore those as well! Not everyone is suited to go to college and have an academic career-- which incidentally, is not a 'better" career path than a trade. In our society, where many of the previously lucrative types of jobs are being consistently outsourced to foreign countries, for many students, getting into a trade such as plumbing, electrical, or auto mechanics can result in becoming a small business owner who, especially with respect to trades, often become more successful than college educated individuals. If I had it to do over again, I would have definitely explored getting into a trade.

I hope this helps. I wish you all the success in all your future endeavors!

Patty recommends the following next steps:

  • Consult with a guidance counselor to undergo career/vocational/occupational assessments.
  • Investigate the educational requirements that result from the assessments.
  • Explore various trades and the schools where you can acquire those skills, especially if those also appear as potential careers for which you may be suited.