5 answers

i need advise on choosing a college major

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5 answers

Jacob’s Answer

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Hi, Patrick,

I think Julia gave you some sound advice - I'd like to add a few thoughts of my own.

Selecting a major is a big decision and one that you should think about carefully. I don't think you should agonize over it, especially not during your freshman year, but invest time so that you can really explore your aspirations and interests. I think a valuable way to consider the question is to backwards plan. Identify what careers you think you would be interested in. Try to find similarities between different fields that you're attracted to. See if you can find a major that provides options to pursue several different careers. For example, if you think you might want to work at a think tank doing research but also think you might want to consult for a professional services firm, consider something like economics or math. Both of those majors provide tremendous technical skills that are extremely attractive to employers and also provide a wide range of career options.

If you're having trouble compiling a list of career interests or just want a more pragmatic way to think about the process, check out the career guide I linked below. I recommend reading the entire thing. I know it is lengthy, but it contains a tremendous volume of information. Read a section a day and you will finish in no time. The research is also very interesting and it's very well written.

I hope this helps - good luck!

Jacob recommends the following next steps:

  • https://80000hours.org/key-ideas/
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Ryan’s Answer

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Hi Patrick,

The good thing is that you don't need to choose a major before going to college. You can go in undecided and decide from there. In order to do this, I would recommend taking a variety of classes in different areas that you have potential interest in. If you can find a broader area that interests you such as business, science, etc. this can also help. The best way to find out what you are interested in is to try it out to find out if its right for you!
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Michelle’s Answer

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Hi Patrick,

I went into college undecided but knowing that I wanted to do something in business. I took a class about finding the right career path for you and that was helpful in somewhat steering me in the right direction. The best thing for me was taking classes in different business sectors (marketing, accounting, finance, etc.) and that allowed me to decide on double majoring in finance and accounting. Also, remember that you have until the end of your sophomore year, typically, to lock in what your major(s) will be, so you have time to try a few different things.

Good luck!!
Michelle
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Julia’s Answer

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The best advice I can give on choosing a college major is that you don't have to choose right away. Use your first year to take a variety of classes that interest you, and then you'll have a better idea of what your long term interests are. If you still struggle to decide what suits you, choosing a generic degree, such as business administration, gives you opportunity to adjust where you work and what you do.

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Bob’s Answer

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Take the Myers-Briggs Personality Type assessment and the CliftonStrengths assessment to identify your strengths. This will allow you to select a major that makes best use of your natural skills and strengths. Does this help?
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