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How do I decide what to major in for college?

I'm in 11th grade and I love anything to do with art, so I think that might be something I'm interested in majoring in, but I dont know which field exactly I want to go into.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Warren’s Answer

You're in 11th grade, so your mind will change in many, many ways before you have to decide what you're going to do with your life. Unfortunately, college admissions are so competitive now that you really should be thinking about what it's going to look like for you. I don't recommend an art school. Most four-year colleges offer art as a major, and you'll pay less for a more well-rounded education in a more traditional curriculum. Most state schools have perfectly acceptable art departments, so it's really more important to be comfortable with the school so that you'll want to stay there until you finish.

Once you're there, you want to take the courses that motivate you. That way you'll look forward to going to class and doing your assignments, you'll make good grades, and you'll finish on time with a degree. If art's what you like, then it will serve you well as long as you apply yourself fully to whatever you are doing.

Also, start spending time at art museums. They always need volunteer help, and the experience will be very valuable when applying for college.
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Molly’s Answer

Hello Abby!

This is a great question! Simply answered, I would recommend to step your foot into multiple areas. If you find that what you are currently in or studying does not satisfy and appeal to what you want to do in the future, then you can easily shift away from that one area and focus in another. In college, I knew that I wanted to focus my studies in general business. However, that is all I knew. After focusing my studies in multiple areas of business, I found my way into Human Resources where I currently am working in today. I received my MBA focusing specifically in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources, and currently have a position as an Human Resources Administrator for a Sam's Club distribution and fulfillment center. You will never know what you like until you dip your foot in the water and tread through several areas!
Dimply put, you do not have to settle on the first major that you decide. You never know what you'll find until you step your foot out there and test the waters!

I hope this helped, and good luck in your endeavors!

Thank You
Molly H.
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Dennis’s Answer

Hey Rebecca, you have many paths to choose from in the art career field. I’ve seen artist go into animation to graphic design, or being a freelance artist. If you wish to pursue art seriously, find a good opportunity to work under a fellow artist, make some good connections with those in the career(s) of your interest, and hone in on your skill and build a portfolio. Portfolios are a major aspect of pursuing any art career. But also research what careers can come out of your medium/style. Google is your best friend and I wish you best of luck in your future endeavors.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Many students have similar question. The most important is find out what career you have interest.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about what interest, e.g. your hobbies, favorite, etc. and identify the related careers
E.g. If you like music, would you like to be a singer, musician, musical actor, music composer, music, producer, etc.
If you have interest in maths, would you like to be an accountant, banker, engineer, financial analyst, maths teacher, etc.
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your parents, mentor, school career counsellor, 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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Justin’s Answer

Hey Abby, here's what I'll say.
As a Senior Designer who grew up in rural Montana and now lives in New York City is that doing what you leave doesn't always mean you will be able to obtain (and/or keep) a job/career in that field. I love art. I love the ability to create things and bring them into existence and see them change and grow and impact the world around me, but those opportunities are rare. What they don't tell you in art school (and I went to a well-known state university) is that 90% of the time, hell even 95% of the time you'll be slogging through, grinding away just to make a living. Being an artist is not for the faint of heart, I've changed my career in the art field at least a dozen times.

I often look back at my college years and really wish I had chosen a major in either finance or business. At least then if I still wanted to pursue design, I could do it as a freelancer or as a side hustle and still have a solid, "reliable" foundation.

So in closing, it's all fine and well to go with your gut. And that can have great rewards and even greater struggles. We as a human race don't continue to propel ourselves into the future of progress, growth, and change because we chose the safe path, but at the same time, there is something to be said for choosing a practical path as well.

I hope that helps in even a small amount.

Best,
Justin.

Justin recommends the following next steps:

Do your research. Don't just choose something because it "feels good". Our emotions are unreliable and often lie to us. Instead, Implore logic.
Just because you choose a practical path does not mean that you can't do what you love as a second or side job.
Set up "informational interviews" with leaders in the various fields you're interested in pursuing. This can give you a first hand look into whatever field you may be looking to pursue.
Don't be afraid to get out there and pursue knowledge. Always be pursuing knowledge and growth, even as a professional. Don't just rest on your laurels or your foundations. People's lives don't change because they just did one thing with their lives or never pursued to opportunities to grow, no matter how risky they were.
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