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How should I choose my major in college?

I'm unsure as to what career I want to major in college, what is a good way of narrowing down the options?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Kwizera’s Answer

Hey Jenny, nice to meet you. When you are thinking in terms of career, you need to firstly understand what you love. What are you passionate about? I usually take an example like this: if someone asked me what is my favourite food I usually mention the food which I would love to eat at least three times a week if I was given the means. And I know this might be confusing but write down at least 3 activities that you wouldn't mind doing everyday and 2 that you wouldn't mind doing at least 3 times a week. For me it was attending to patients; I don't mind being in the hospital most of the time. Now after you have found your 5 activities look at the subjects and careers that they relate to. Then do some digging and see how many people make a living doing those careers. Remember to always go for something you are passionate about keeping in mind that you can make a living from it. Take care
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Luke’s Answer

You can narrow down your options based on your strengths in your high school course work. If you're good in math & science, look into engineering, pre-med, nursing, neurology, etc. If you're a better writer than scientist, then look into pre-law, journalism, etc.

In all cases I always suggest to choose a major that will help you land job - this is the goal when going to college after all. There are too many people that major in something that doesn't have a healthy job market after college. That being said, you should also consider a post-college plan. By that I mean (for example) if you are good in math and want to study engineering, then your post-college plan is simplified because engineers are in high demand and the profession pays well.
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Baljit’s Answer

Hi Jenny,
One way to figure out what you want to major in is your interests. What did you like at High School? Do you want to have a quick start work v education? Or are you in it for the long haul? What was you favorite subject at school? You could also do a career personality test. This test gives you options after analyzing your interests.

If you want to go to graduate school after you Batchelor you would need to prepare yourself during High School and College. Talk to advisors at school too and make sure you are on the right track. They may be able to give you advice on what is in needed in the community as far as work and career.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for the question. It is a very common question to many high school students. The most important is what you have interest.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about your hobbies, favorite, etc. and identify the relevant careers
e.g. If you are interested in maths, would you like to be an accountant, banker, financial analyst, engineer, maths teacher, etc.
If you are interested in music, would you like to be a singer, musician, composer, music producer , music teacher, etc.
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you may have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek advice from your mentor, school career counselor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue
5. Explore the entry criteria of the relevant subjects in the college
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Laura’s Answer

Jenny,

Great question, and one I get asked often.

First off, I'm not sure if you are in college or about to enter college, but I'd like to advise you not to feel pressured to pick your major before entering university. An undecided major is a totally acceptable and popular option, and can often lead you to select a major you would enjoy MORE than one you chose quickly because you were required to do so.

Second, in no particular order, here are a few ways to narrow it down (when you are ready):
- pick a few colleges (the bigger the better for this exercise) and go through their course catalogs. If it makes it easier, open up an excel document and start tracking the names of the classes you enjoy. Next to them, put the major the class is in.
- Don't judge your answers. Don't worry if you can find a job in the major at this point. Don't be afraid of the liberal arts degree. Just look for things that pop out at you. I know this can sound woo-woo, but tap into your own energy -- does it sound exciting to take this class? Do you have an interest in the subject? Could you see yourself wanting to learn more? That's it at this stage! Make a nice long list.
- Take a look at it and see if there are any similarities. Are they STEM-related? Are they humanities? Music? Arts? Any threads you can identify.
- If you struggle to find any similarities, don't fret! There are a ton of assessments that can help you. I'd head to onetonline.org and play around with some of their assessments. This can help you illuminate some professions (jobs) that may look appealing. You can back into the major from the job, so this is a very helpful tool.
- Then, once you have a list of possible majors, start talking to people. Who do you know who does this work? Can you ask them a few questions? Think big - aunts, uncles, your parents/grandparents friends, etc. This is called an "informational interview" and they are very popular in both college planning and career planning.

While this may not get you ALL the way there, it will most certainly help you narrow things down quite a bit.

YOU'VE GOT THIS! :)

Laura
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