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What college?

How do I know which colleges are best for me if I don't know what I want to major in

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Subject: Career question for you

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Natalia’s Answer

The best way to go around this is the other way around: first decide on what you plan on majoring in, then look for schools that are good for said program. The hardest part is, however, choosing what you want to study. I would start by thinking what do you see yourself doing in the future, careerwise. Would you like to be dealing with numbers daily? Or would you prefer dealing with people? After you decide on what you see yourself doing, look for majors that can lead you to that career path.

A more extreme measure would be going to a school that interests you, accessing their 'Academics' tab and checking their programs, one by one, seeing what each program studies, future job prospects for each program, see what sparks your interest. This one is way more time consuming but I think it is a good way for you to see the option available for you out there (which are MANY!).

Natalia recommends the following next steps:

Decide on your major
Look up for schools
See what characteristics are relevant to you and form your college list based on that (would you prefer studying in a small school or a big school? Big city or small city? Do you care if it's a "party" school or not? Do the clubs offered there interest you? etc)
Talk to the admission office and try contacting current students from the schools you like the most (Looking up the school name + your major on LinkedIn's search bar is a good way to find those students and even see what past students in that major are doing nowadays)
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Elyse’s Answer

Hi, Jennifer--I had no idea what I wanted to major in, so I went to a large liberal arts school and explored several different subjects my first two years before I needed to declare a major. I ended up graduating with a major and two minors because I learned about so many new interests. My daughter is a college sophomore and also had no idea what she wanted to major in when she applied for schools. College is a wonderful time to explore different fields while understanding more about yourself. Also take advantage of your advisor, campus lectures, etc Make sure you try new things and stay curious!
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Lyndsey’s Answer

If you do not know what you want to major in, you could start with other important factors considering this will be at least four years of your life. How far or close do you want the college to be from family? Cost - is a public, in-state school more reasonable or can you afford private or out/of-state? What is important to you regarding lifestyle aspects - college within a city or closer to nature? Do you prefer the sciences or the arts? These questions can help you narrow down choices and further explore majors within schools. Also keep in mind that there are options outside of college with technical trade schools as these careers are in high-demand and therefore have seen higher pay in more recent years. Best of luck!
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Janet’s Answer

I have three thoughts here. One is to select an affordable public college with a broad selection of degrees. Most colleges do not require that you select a major for the first two years. This will allow you get your general education courses out of the way inexpensively and explore various fields of study. Colleges have a lot of Career Center resources to help you figure this out. Take advantage of that. After two years, if the college you selected is not the best for your chosen major, you can transfer to one that is more suitable. Most gen ed credits will transfer.
The second thought is that the Bureau of Labor and Statistics has some great resources to help you figure this out. Projected growth fields, career quizzes, outlook for certain positions, salary ranges.... https://www.bls.gov/k12/students/careers/how-can-bls-help-me-explore-careers.htm. It can lead you to something you might want to set your sights on and possibly rule out others.
The third is to look around at adults in your life - parents, older siblings, other relatives, neighbors, etc. If they have a job that seems interesting, ask them if they would be willing to have you shadow for a day or two. My son did this and the folks he asked were flattered that he wanted to join them for a day. Best of luck!
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Ellie’s Answer

Hi!
It really just takes research! Look into different programs and see what makes you the most excited, and what can be sustainable.

You could also go to community College for a year! There may be a stigma around community College, but there really shouldn't be because theyre a great choice! It allows you to go a cheaper school and try of majors before commuting to an expensive one. It'll also help you get your gen eds out of the way.
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Baljit’s Answer

Hi Jennifer,
Ask your family and friends on what your strengths and attributes are so you can narrow down the options. The cost of your degree should also play an important factor in your decisions. There are online career personality tests that guide you into what you would be good at. The reputation of the school that you want to go is also something that you could look at. And lastly you should consider that graduation rate of the college of choice.
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