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How Should I narrow down what major I would like to go into when I am not sure what to choose.

I am very interested in psychology and communications. I am good with people and do well in sciences classes so I considered being a nurse. I have always been interested in being a detective or analyst, I am just not sure what jobs I would be able to get if I went into Criminal Justice and psychology. I also want to make a good amount of money, and be able to have kids and still have a job where I prioritized my family and work. #psychology #nursing #criminal-justice #career #sociology


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Brenda’s Answer

When you have multiple interests and strengths, it can be hard to narrow down or determine what major might be the best fit for your desired career. Typically when I meet with students that have a wide array of interests such as yourself, I often remind them that it is okay not to know what major to choose. A study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 80% of college students change their major at least once (2018). This being the case, many colleges have designed entry programs that give students the flexibility not to declare a major until later in their undergraduate education. For example, Purdue University offers the Exploratory Studies program which allows students to take courses in a variety of academic areas before they have to declare their specific major. This is just one example of programs that allow students to explore their interests while still taking courses to ensure a four-year graduation.

Another thing to consider is the possibility of a double major. I'll use myself as an example. When I went to college I had an interest in criminal justice because I was considering going to law school. However, once I got to college, I realized I also had an interest in communications and was able to add this additional major to my plan of study. Some programs will have overlap in courses which makes it plausible to do a double major like in my case, but just keep in mind that this can vary my school.

I hope this is helpful to you!

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Brody,

I would recommend taking a career interest survey (myplan.com is highly rated) to determine what career applies most to your interest. From there, I would seek to acquire an internship in that field (so if being a nurse was the highest on your survey, then get an internship at a hospital to shadow a nurse). As for the money piece, I would advise being very careful weighing too much on that portion. It's definitely okay to want to make good money, but you also don't want to be miserable at what you do for the rest of your career.

Blake

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Kathleen’s Answer

I just answered another one of your questions Brody, so check that out when you have a chance as it also applies here! But in summary, try to find an internship or work experience so you can explore different careers which may help you decide what to major in.

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Matthew’s Answer

I think that it's important to select a major that is more applied than general. What I mean is that it's better to be trained to actually perform a specific job when you graduate as opposed to having general skills. For example, it's better to have an accounting degree than marketing, it's better to have an engineering degree than general physics. From your list, I'd select 1) nursing, then 2) criminal justice, in that order. All other things being equal like talent and interest, etc.

When you are choosing to start a career, the selection process is 1) jobs where you can make decent money, 2) jobs that you are good at doing, 3) jobs that you enjoy doing. As you build your experience and career, you can then reverse these decision factors.

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