4 answers

Any advice for undecided majors?

Updated Rockville, Maryland

My friend switched from a math major to undecided and not sure what she wants to do now. Any words of advice to what she can do to decide on a major? #college-major #undecided

4 answers

Annabel’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hi Kemi,

I think that is a question that almost every college student struggles with. Often times, students feel they should know exactly what they want to major in when they arrive at school, but that is definitely not the case. I think the best thing to do is try a variety of different classes in your freshman and sophomore year. Your major does not necessarily have to align with the work you want to do after school, so it is important to major in something that interests you. If you take a class and you find it interesting and are finding yourself wanting to explore further, that could be a good path for you to take. I was an art history major in college because I was fascinated by it after taking a Renaissance art class, and then I went on to work in the hospitality industry. I would not get too caught up in picking a major that will then determine was profession you chose, as they are often not related and that is ok. Employers are looking for a variety of interests and backgrounds when choosing candidates for jobs so it is always good to choose something that you will actually be interested in learning about.

Updated
Thank you!

Whitney’s Answer

Updated

Hi Kemi,

I started off as an environmental sciences major, then changed to Math and later changed to French & History double majors. It can be a bit overwhelming to decide on a major but your friend is already on the right path by following her interests and being clear she doesn't want to continue with Math.


I coach people on their careers and what I tell them is to listen to the hints you get along your path. Most people don't have a "flash of lightening" moment about what they want to do with their lives or what they want to major in. It's more about paying attention to the breadcrumbs (hints) that you get along the way. So, instead of thinking about what she wants to major in and do with her life (those are such big questions they can create a lot of pressure), I'd suggest she starts by asking smaller questions- what was her favorite class? What does she like to do with her free time? Which homework does she choose to do first when she has several different assignments to do? If she was going to have lunch with one professor to learn more about their field, who would she choose?


Those questions will all give her hints about things she's interested in. Then, I'd encourage her to take more classes in the things that are interesting to her. When she finds something she likes enough to spend a couple years getting deep into it, that may be a good major for her. Meanwhile, she should also work with her college counselor to make sure she understands the required courses for whatever path she chooses.


Like others have said, a college major doesn't have to determine your future career - in a lot of fields you can study one thing and go into something different. I suggest your friend spend time in school learning about the things that interest her and make her want to learn more. Her major and future career will become clear if she continues to follow her interests.

Whitney recommends the following next steps:

  • Think about what she subjects she's enjoyed so far
  • Learn more about each of those
  • Talk to a college counselor to understand requirements for majors she is considering

Mariecel’s Answer

Updated Bellevue, Washington
Hello Kemi, I entered University unsure of what I would like to study and started off with Nursing. I found that my strengths and interest did not fall within my class requirements and knowledge needed to pursue this career (mathematics and science). I spoke with friends and my school counselor at my University to explore other majors out there that would allow me to leverage my strengths. I ended up graduating with a degree in Strategic Communication with a minor in Business Administration, which allowed me to consider several different career paths once I graduated.

Rafael’s Answer

Updated Valhalla, New York

Your choice of major does not mean that you have to work in a certain career. It is merely the choice of degree that that you want to pursue. A college degree will allow you to apply to many different jobs outside of your major. It may require starting at an entry level position but it should not be a deterrent to applying to different types of work/career.