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How do you deicide what major you want to pursue?

Hi, I'm Selin, and I'm a 9th-grade student in high school. I know I have a lot of time, but I want to start looking for a field of study I'd like to pursue. I currently participate in varsity crew but have no interest in a particular field of study yet. If you're like me, how did you end up deciding what to major in? #college-major #major

Thank you comment icon I would recommend that you evaluate all the classes that you have taken in school thus far and see what brings you the most joy. If that doesn't work I would suggest that you go on to Coursera or watch videos on Youtube and see what you respond to the most. For me, as a Bioethics major, I always had an interest in science in particular biology and chemistry. I also enjoy working with people and having an influence on issues that are important to me. It is important to tailor your major to what you enjoy and at the end of the day if you don't find interest anymore you can switch. Good luck! katerina B.
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Subject: Career question for you

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John’s Answer

I completely understand Selin.

It's one of the first big independent decisions of your academic life. Most likely your parents have hammered into you, choosing a major in college is an important decision. It's important to listen to your parents' concerns and advice. However, it's important for you to remember it's ultimately your major. You will have to do the work and ultimately leverage that major as you transition into the workforce.

WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS?
The first thing to consider when picking a major is what you like to do. By the time you graduate high school you’ll have enough information and experience from your classes to figure out what you might or might not be interested in pursuing.

• LIST 10 THINGS YOU LOVE – Listing what you love doing, both inside or outside the classroom, is a great way to see possible paths you can take. If you enjoy art and drawing but you’re also interested in technology, consider majoring in graphic design. If you’re into business and traveling, investigate majoring in international business.

• STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES – Figuring out your strengths and weaknesses can help you assess what kind of major to go into. For example, if public speaking isn’t really your thing, you might want to avoid majors that could lead to careers like being a news anchor or spokesperson. You can also take your weaknesses and build on them in college. If public speaking is something you want to improve, go ahead and take a speech class. You might love it!

WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER GOALS?
After digging into what you’re interested in and potential careers options, it’s time to think about your goals and your future career—and how easy or how hard it might be to find employment. If you have a specific career goal in mind, you might need to pick your major or program in advance, sometimes as early as when you’re applying to college. It’s also good to know what degree you’ll need for the field that interests you.

• ASSOCIATE DEGREE – The two-year associate of arts (AA) or associate of science (AS). Some students who earn this degree transfer to a four-year bachelor’s program; others use it to go straight to work. Community colleges, career colleges, and some four-year colleges offer associate degrees.

• BACHELORS DEGREE This degree requires completing a four college program. Most students earn a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science degree (BS). You can also study toward a bachelor of fine arts or bachelor of architecture degree.

• GRADUATE DEGREE – Graduate degrees are advanced degrees pursued after earning a bachelor’s degree. Examples are a master of arts (MA) or master of science (MS). Students generally earn a master’s degree after two years of study. A doctoral degree (for example, a PhD) requires four or more years of study.

SEEK OUT ADVICE
• ADVISERS – The best source of college advice is your school counselor. They’ve helped lots of students who are making the same decisions you are. Your school counselor can tell you more about college majors and program offerings.

• PROFESSIONALS – You can also reach out to professionals working in the field you’re interested in. They can talk to you about how they got from college to where they are now. Whether they’re your parents, guardians, family members, or people you interact with professionally, set up a time to interview them. Be prepared with a set of questions to ask.

POPULAR MAJORS
As you think about your major, you should also consider which ones are most popular versus those that will lead to in-demand jobs that will increase your chances of being hired.

• Occupational Therapy Assistant – Associate Degree
• Physical Therapist Assistant – Associate Degree
• Business Management – Bachelor of Arts Degree
• App Design – Bachelor of Science Degree
• Physician Assistant – Master of Science
• Psychology – Master of Science

Remember, though this is an important decision, it is not etched in stone. If you start taking classes within your major and find you’re not enjoying them, switch classes or start trying classes in another major immediately. In fact, about two-thirds of undergraduates switch their major at least once, so keep that in mind as you take classes your first year.

Hope this was Helpful Selin
Thank you comment icon Thank You Tim. “The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: Doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good. ” – Ivan Scheier John Frick
Thank you comment icon Selin, selecting your major may seem hard, but you should never underestimate your abilities and keep on reaching the goal. John Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Dexter. “Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller John Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Suddhasattwa. “Alone we cannot change the world, but together we can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa John Frick
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Kamile’s Answer

I was in the same situation until my second year of college! I recommend thinking deeply about your passions. What makes your brain work and brings you happiness? Have you taken any classes that you noticed you really looked forward to, where the work was more enjoyable? For me, it became clear that I wanted to work in the professional world of business (I naturally gravitated there, says my family). As I took my business classes to complete my Associate's degree in a community college, I noticed that numbers and analysis were my strong suits so I focused on my accounting classes and realized I could really see myself in that profession. If you don't have any classes that have really brought you joy, then maybe branch out and take a course that you're really interested in! The important thing to remember is that you don't have to know right now and your answer can change throughout the course of your career and life. Good luck!
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Fred’s Answer

I also didn't know what I wanted to do when I went to college. Some of my favorite subjects were
math and science, so I started off in the engineering school at the university. I knew it would be
easier to transfer out than in. After a year, I realized it wasn't for me, so I moved to the Arts and
Science college. I ended up majoring in Theatre, which was my primary activity in high school
(backstage, not acting). I think it gave me a really good, broad education.

I then drifted around for a few years, doing some theatre work, retail (becoming an assistant
manager eventually), customer service/phones...eventually I realized what I wanted to do, and
went back to school part time for computer science - not for a degree, just for the education. I
was eventually hired as a programmer, and have been in IT for 20+ years now.

My point is that what you major in does not necessarily be what you do for the rest of your life.
Most people will go through several career changes in their lifetime. One of the main things you
do in college is learn how to learn.
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Tim’s Answer

I'll offer my own perspective and let you know that my experience is that it does and does not matter. If you want to be a Mechanical Engineer, you have to finish a Mechanical Engineering degree. If you're not sure what you want to do however, any Major you choose will support you in the future, so choose something that you genuinely are interested in and enjoy.

Part of my role is to host school groups in our manufacturing facility and one of the highlights is giving students the opportunity to meet Associates and ask them these very questions. One thing that surprises a lot of students is how many professionals are doing a job that has nothing to do with their Major in school. They went to school thinking they wanted to work in Forestry, or Mathematics, or work with animals, and they end up in Human Resources, working as a Grant Manager, or as an Environmental Program Manager. You'll find that life is going to change your course every 5 years or so regardless of what you choose. That is unless you are laser focused and determined to stay on one track (i.e. you've wanted to be a Medical Doctor since you were 6).

As you move through High School and into college, take every opportunity to explore every possible job/profession that you can. Look for internships and e-mail the HR department of businesses in your area asking for experience or to talk to professionals in various fields. Find something that you love to do, then find a way to do it. If graduation comes around and you're still not sure... Focus on General Studies as you continue to explore. More and more my opinion is that companies are less concerned with the Major, and more concerned with you, your work ethic, and your behavior. As a company, training to you do X is relatively easy, getting you interested and capable to learn X is another story.

Work hard, study hard, and always put your best self forward. Don't worry too much about finding your path. If you're not able to find it, it will find you.
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Youki’s Answer

Let me share my experience as an example for your reference.

I considered many different major when I was a form 5 student. I considered to be a pharmacist and nurse, but my study is not good enough to enter the related university. And I looked for some universities that I was able to join. I had two choices at that moment, Japanese major in the university of my hometown, Event Management major in another country where far from my hometown. Although I am interesting in Japanese, I chose another major just because I want to have a different college life in another country. I love this decision and I think this is a right decision still now, because I had a wonderful college life in that country.

After graduated, I work on Marketing, which somehow related to my major, for many years. But I don't think this is my favourite job. So I change to the existing job that totally unrelated with my major. Anyway, I love this job.

My suggestion is don't think too much. Just choose your most interested major, and, fully enjoy your life in the college. :)

Hope it helps.
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Jaden’s Answer

Hey Selin,
Choosing a Major in college is kind of difficult, and its okay to change majors if you want to. The first two years of college are working on an Associate degree with is general studies. I recommend you take a variety of classes during your first two years to help you decide what you want to study. I started out as a Business Administration student but changed my major to Management Information Systems. Colleges often have events you can attend to learn about the different majors. I went to such an eventwhen I decided to change my major. Colleges also have career advisors that can help you decide what to major in. Also keep in mind you dont necessarily have to go to a four year school to learn about something your interested in. Technical schools and certifications are also great ways to learn subjects. Also remember that you are not necessarily stuck working in the field you studied in college. Many employers just want to see you went to college.

Jaden recommends the following next steps:

Decide whether you want to go to college.
Attend events at your school to explore different majors
Meet with a career councilor to discuss your major options.
Take a variety of classes during your first two years to find a subject you are interested in.
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Kimberly’s Answer

Hi Selin,

Make sure you enjoy your high school experience because it will fly by! With that said, take note of things you become interested in over the next four years, There are many majors that can be applied to various professions/careers. So even if you choose a particular major prior to entering college, you can still keep options open as to which field you would like to work in one day. Many college freshmen apply to college as undeclared so the fact that you are trying to select a major already puts you ahead of the game. You have plenty of time to make a decision and when you know, you know.
Good luck!
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Erica’s Answer

Have you spoken to your guidance counselor yet? I believe that there are tests that you can take that can direct you to some careers that you may seem to enjoy or be good at. You have plenty of time to decide that. Good luck and enjoy your youth.
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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Selin:

Thank you for your question. Awesome that as a 9th grader you're thinking about your future and what you'd like to major in. You've received some great responses from the CV Professionals. Your Guidance Counselor, parents and perhaps close relatives may be able to assist you with getting off the ground on helping you find out what you're interested in. Only "YOU" can determine what you are passionate about. Best of luck to you!

~ Sheila
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Riley’s Answer

Hi Selin, I decided to pursue a major in software engineering because I love to play video games and math has always been my strongest subject. When I was your age, I started to think about what I wanted to do in life and I started by thinking about things I enjoyed, which were video games and any new technology for me. Then, I looked at all the classes I had taken in school and which ones I enjoyed the most, which was math for me. This is a really good way just to start thinking about this and maybe do some research on your own about careers that could stem from these interests.

Riley recommends the following next steps:

Start thinking about which classes in school spark your interest the most!
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Simeon’s Answer

Try to get an idea of what career you'd like to pursue with a college degree. I'd recommend thinking of possible career paths and not getting a degree just for the sake of getting a degree. Look at the department of labor's website and look at some of the faster growing career fields. See if any of these are right for you.

I was going to be a music performance major at first, tried out writing as a major for a few weeks, but ended up switching again to business management. I wanted to choose a general degree that was broadly applicable and I like business management since it was about bringing out the best in workers and helping them achieve their personal goals at work (which I know sounds like a super optimistic way of describing management, but one can hope, lol).
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Jessica’s Answer

Hi Selin,

Deciding a major is a big and difficult decision. I went back and forth trying to decide what to major in while I was still in high school. Right before I went off to college, I decided I wanted to pursue a degree that would afford me with a decent paying job after graduating. To do that, I initially studied Computer Science but I quickly discovered it wasn't for me. I changed my major 4 times during my first year in college. I finally came to the realization that if I want to gain value from my college education, it'd be wiser to study something I enjoy rather than studying a topic simply because I thought it'd have the best career outcome. I always loved History since I was young and decide to pursue that as a major. I'm glad I did - I enjoyed all of my classes and excelled academically. If I could go back, I'd do it all over again.

It is wise to think of career aspirations when selecting a major, but it is also important to enjoy what you do. If you enjoy what you do, you're going to succeed. All in all, think of your passions and hobbies and let that help you determine which major may be the best fit for you.
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Vinodini’s Answer

Great question! This was a challenge for me as well!

There are a few majors that you need to know before and declare before entering college - typically those in the Sciences (Nursing, Pre-Med, Bio, etc).

However, depending on your university, you can change once you get in! I ended up changing my major one semester in because I ended up taking a generic Business class that launched my interest in Finance and Marketing, and no longer on the Pre-Law track.

Make an educated guess, do some research online before on majors offered at universities but nothing is set in stone and you can pivot as your interest and skillsets change / sharpen.

Good Luck!!


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Blake’s Answer

Hey Selin,

I remember asking myself the same question when I was in high school. I can say that I am one, of many, that ended up in a field I had no idea about.... but good news is that I love it! I would recommend asking some of your friends what their parents do for a living and go from there. If it's something that interest you, then I would ask how they got to the job they were currently working. One other thing to note is that not all fields require one particular major. Often times you can major in something that's more generic and then refine that later in your college career.

Thanks,
Blake
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Erica’s Answer

Have you spoken to your guidance counselor yet? I believe that there are tests that you can take that can direct you to some careers that you may seem to enjoy or be good at. You have plenty of time to decide that. Good luck and enjoy your youth.
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Danny’s Answer

I'd recommend finding a topic or area you're interested in and pursue it. Your career is independent of your major so don't feel like you have to have it all figured out when selecting your major. :)
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Julian’s Answer

Hi Selin!

I think this is totally based on your interests and on what you can see yourself doing in the future! For me, I changed my major soooo many times throughout college. It was hard to pinpoint exactly what I wanted to do. I knew I had had lots of interests, but could never figure out what I wanted to do.

I ended up studying Journalism because I had a passion for telling stories! Fast forward to today, I am now working in HR, so the journey has been an interesting one!

Just find what you love to do, and follow that passion!
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Jessica’s Answer

Hi Selin,

Deciding a major is a big and difficult decision. I went back and forth trying to decide what to major in while I was still in high school. Right before I went off to college, I decided I wanted to pursue a degree that would afford me with a decent paying job after graduating. To do that, I initially studied Computer Science but I quickly discovered it wasn't for me. I changed my major 4 times during my first year in college. I finally came to the realization that if I want to gain value from my college education, it'd be wiser to study something I enjoy rather than studying a topic simply because I thought it'd have the best career outcome. I always loved History since I was young and decide to pursue that as a major. I'm glad I did - I enjoyed all of my classes and excelled academically. If I could go back, I'd do it all over again.

It is wise to think of career aspirations when selecting a major, but it is also important to enjoy what you do. If you enjoy what you do, you're going to succeed. All in all, think of your passions and hobbies and let that help you determine which major may be the best fit for you.
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Suddhasattwa’s Answer

Hi Selin,

Hope this another answer don't confuse you :-)
So I am not going to suggest what Major or Minor you should choose to get a good job, make career and someday retire eventually.

Just read all the answers especially John Frick's one.

I would like to say that, whatever Major you will choose, you need to like or more say Love it. It has to consume you so much that you are always busy around it, searching for more insights and you find it really interesting like you hobby. You have to love it, as you if you don't love it - then you wont be able to to do it for a sustainable period of time. If not lovable, sustainable then it doesn't leads to success or your goal as well so how will one work in the field of study that one doesn't love?

So choose your major, where you find your interest, yourself in it, you can teach someone in the class or your junior about it and then there's no turn around. Job, career, growth everything will come to you. Above all you will be contended in heart that you are dong a job that you loved to study once upon a time.

But dont take life that serious right so early, have fun, see life thru real examples of people around you and choose your way to best live it.

Good luck,
Suddho
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