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What should I major in/minor in?

I'm currently a high school Junior. I would like to be a High School English Teacher. Should I major in Education? Major in English? How will my major/minors work? #teacher #education #english #college-majors #college-minor

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Mark’s Answer

Hi Allie,
My mom and sisters studied and received bachelor degrees in English at college, then studied and passed the state exams for their teacher's licenses. Believe me, they enjoyed teaching for many years. Best wishes.

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G. Mark’s Answer

My advice is generally the same. Instead of collecting opinions and data only about a limited set of possible careers and guessing how it would be to have those jobs, take a more inclusive approach. Talk to a guidance counselor about taking a personality occupation assessment survey. These questionnaires consist of a set of questions -- generally multiple choice -- and match your responses to those of individuals who are happy and successful in their careers. The result is that your personality profile is evaluated to find out which careers your personality is most likely best suited to. By weeding out those professions you're not likely to enjoy or be successful in, you'll save a lot of effort and time and cover a wider range of careers. pursuing a career that's most lucrative is okay, but if it makes you miserable so you have to change, there's little point. You'll find that in a wide range of incomes, people usually modify their lifestyles to match their income anyway. Then you can also do research to look at fields that will likely be secure in the future and o from there. Plus, the test is fun and sometimes surprising. I was matched to physicist, engineer, entertainer or park ranger. I chose not to look for a job at Jellystone, but I figure it's always out there just in case this computer thing fades away.

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NANCY W’s Answer

Hi Allie -


First let me congratulate on your choice to become an education...we can always use more good ones!! Speaking from my experience as an educator, I would say major in English to start and minor in education for your undergraduate. This will give you a solid knowledge of your subject matter and allow you to find out whether it is really a subject you want to teach to others. The education minor will give you a taste of what is involved in becoming a teacher and what you can expect in maintaining your professional skills. The reason I said "to start" is because you will really want to go on to graduate school and switch the major/minor positions. Majoring in secondary education and minoring in English at that point will boost your teaching skills, as you will be required to do your student teaching, and your Bachelor's in English will give you more confidence in your subject matter. Having the education Master's will also put you in a better position to garner a higher wage as a high school teacher. This also means that, as you are doing your college selection, you should look for universities that have good schools of education with solid accreditation.


I hope this helps you; all the best in your future endeavors!


Nancy W. Campbell, M.Ed.

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Rachel’s Answer

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Collegeboard.org is a great resource for this! I poured through the pages of universities all over the U.S. when I was a senior in high school. Collegeboard was my go-to site! They put all of the information in one place and it is very easy to use. They even have various filters you can apply to see only colleges that have programs you are interested. To determine academic rigor, look at the admissions requirements, G.P.A. of past admitted applicants, SAT/ACT scores, class rank etc. This will give you an idea of what scores and grades you need to be accepted. However, don't be discouraged your application will be reviewed based on the full picture! College-board will help you get an idea of what is most important to the specific school you are applying to.</span>


This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Chat with your Guidance Counselor</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Create a Collegeboard.org account</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Start using CollegeBoard as a resource to look up schools.</span>


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