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How do I find the right major in college when going in undecided?

I need advice on how to choose the right major.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Doc’s Answer

Ava one of the most academically exciting things about college is the fact that you have lots of classes to choose from. By taking a variety of classes, you’ll discover where you thrive academically. Taking a variety of courses will help you when it’s time for you to declare a major. While choosing a major may seem intimidating at times, you’ll find that you develop quite a few academic and career interests over the course of your first few years on campus. That’s why it’s okay to take your time in declaring a major. Don’t rush! Take the opportunity to experiment with various fields of study before committing to one. Also, once you select a major, you’ll have the freedom to take on a minor and explore even more possibilities through elective courses.
• SELF-REFLECTION- Begin by reflecting on your interests, passions, and strengths. Consider the subjects that excite you the most and evaluate your natural abilities. Think about the activities or topics that energize and motivate you. Understanding yourself and your personal preferences will help you align your major choice with your unique qualities.
• RESEARCH DIFFERENT FIELDS - Explore various academic disciplines and their associated career paths. Look for information about the curriculum, job prospects, and potential growth in each field. Attend college fairs, visit department websites, and speak with professors and professionals in the industries you are interested in. This research will provide you with a broader perspective and enable you to make an informed decision.
• TAKE INTRODUCTION COURSES - Many colleges offer introductory courses across different majors. Enroll in these courses to get a taste of different subjects. These classes can give you a hands-on experience and help you gauge your level of interest and aptitude. It’s an excellent opportunity to explore new areas and discover hidden passions that you may not have considered before.
• CONSIDER YOUR STRENGTHS - College is going to be harder than high school. You should expect it to challenge your abilities and your thinking. However, if you explore a major field that aligns with your strengths, it will be attainable with a bit of hard work. So, consider your strengths. Are there certain areas where you excel? Is there a way to channel these toward a major? You will find that college is far more enjoyable if you are able to focus your studies on a field that comes somewhat naturally to you. Having success in that field will make your college experience very rewarding.
• GET HELP - Once you start leaning toward a particular field or major, it’s time to start getting more specific advice. Reach out to the advisor or a faculty member who works in that major or the over-arching field that supports it. Set up a time to talk to them about their department. Get to know more about what you will study, what career potential there is, what are the benefits and drawbacks of that line of study, and whether your skill set fits well.

Hope this will be helpful Ava
Thank you comment icon Thank You Michelle. Unless someone like us cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. Doc Frick
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Andrew Vo’s Answer

I had no clue what I wanted to do going into college; all I knew was that it was something my family wanted to do and it's what felt like "the next step in my life was". Past that, I always just followed and did what I was told.

When you go to college, you'll finally get the opportunity to explore and look at what REALLY interests you: whether that's following the dream that your family wants you to achieve or something you saw online that you really liked, it's up to you.

Choosing a major goes hand in hand with this, but really you should ask yourself - what do you FEEL like doing? What's something that you feel like you have an interest in, want to pursue or even would help you achieve a goal you want? If at the end of the day your goal is to make a lot of money so that you can travel and get VIP section to concerts than work towards that. Life is your own video game that you can continuously level up and grow in.

Also, whatever you decide your major to be, chances are you're going to change it and your mind, which is entirely ok. Your life is your own path and at the end of the day, the only person who will truly have you in mind is yourself.

I'm rooting for you though, Ava. Just keep on rockin!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice this helped a lot! Ava
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Lisa’s Answer

Hello,

Discovering the perfect major can often be a journey of exploration and learning. My own daughter entered college with aspirations of becoming a Neurologist, but after just one science class, she realized that the medical field wasn't her calling. She's since shifted her sights to law. It's entirely normal to feel unsure about your choice before you've had a chance to dive into the classes. Remember, it's completely okay to discover that your initial choice isn't the perfect fit for you, and to pivot towards a different path.

Here's a little piece of advice: If math isn't your strong suit, Engineering might not be the best choice for you.

Wishing you all the best on your academic journey!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the help! Ava
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Xiaojie Johan’s Answer

Hello Ava,

One of the great things about being undecided when you first enter college is you get to take the base electives of a college and get to decide what your career interests are. There are a lot of available careers out there and being undecided means you can do your research on them. Doing this research is figuring out what your interests are in a professional career and this can be fun to explore even if it is not easy. I'd recommend talking to people who have graduated from whatever undergraduate institution you enter and talking to them about their career choices. Following that, you can decide whether that career is right or not for you.

Best of luck!

Regards,

Johan
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Jason’s Answer

It's truly commendable that you're stepping into the future with an open mind! There's nothing wrong with being undecided. In fact, it's quite admirable when individuals take a gap year between high school and college to gather some hands-on, real-world experiences.

Throughout my career in technology consulting, I've worked with people from diverse backgrounds, including nursing, engineering, and milling sciences. The essence of any profession isn't just a textbook full of knowledge, but the ability to apply your experiences in different situations to solve problems.

Sure, if your dream is to become a chef, you'll need to attend culinary school. If you aspire to be a nurse or a doctor, medical school is a must. But remember, there are also many professions that don't necessarily require a college degree, but do need certain credentials. Consider careers in insurance sales or real estate as examples.

What I'm trying to say is that it's perfectly fine to be undecided. Keep an open mind, explore widely before committing to a specific career path. Remember, life is more of a marathon than a sprint, and it's rare for anyone to wake up one day with a burning passion for one specific thing. The college major or career that will truly satisfy us usually comes from a journey of exploration and learning.

So, my advice to you is to take your time, understand yourself, be open to new experiences, and above all, pursue what you love!
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Kimberly’s Answer

Hello Ava,

I totally understand where you're coming from. You see, I too grappled with the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up, well into my adulthood. My journey through college was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I initially started out as a pre-med student, then switched to accounting, and finally found my calling in communications science. Eventually, I earned a master's degree in business administration and communications science.

If I could go back in time, I would take a different approach. I'd explore the wide range of subjects offered in undergraduate education before settling on a major. I'd choose courses that not only piqued my interest but also fulfilled the general degree requirements. The beauty of the first two years of a four-year degree is that they are usually dedicated to prerequisites and general education. This gives you a chance to dip your toes into various fields of study and discover what truly ignites your passion. For instance, I never imagined that opting for an alternative English course would lead me to discover my love for communications, but that's exactly what happened!

I hope my personal journey provides some insight for you. Wishing you all the best in your academic journey!
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Kristin’s Answer

Hello there,

It's perfectly okay to start college without a clear career path in mind. You might want to consider attending a local community college or vocational school first. This way, you can explore various programs and discover your interests without making a hefty financial commitment. You might even find that a traditional college isn't the best fit for your career goals.

If you're leaning towards a traditional college, look for one with a Liberal Arts program. These programs offer a broad spectrum of subjects, including philosophy, critical thinking, and presentation skills - all of which are great assets for any career. You'll also get a taste of science and math, and who knows? You might find a passion there. Many colleges also have career-focused organizations. Attending their meetings and events could give you the chance to learn more about different careers from the professionals themselves.

Remember, it's not unusual to change your major during college. I started as a Business major and ended up with a Communications degree - quite a change!

Getting a job can also be a great way to discover what you love to do. Do you enjoy office work, or do you prefer being out and about, meeting people? A job can help you figure this out and guide you towards the right classes.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a handy tool that can suggest potential careers that align with your personality. Don't view it as the only way forward, but rather as a stepping stone on your self-discovery journey.

Lastly, consider checking out the Occupational Outlook Handbook (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/a-z-index.htm). It's a treasure trove of information about various jobs and careers - what they involve, their prospects in your area, expected salaries, and more.

Best of luck with your journey ahead!
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Shayolanda’s Answer

It's perfectly fine to be unsure at this stage. Remember, you have ample time to discover the career path that suits you best. Don't hesitate to consult with your academic advisor; they're there to guide you. Your admissions team is also ready and willing to assist you in making this significant decision. This is a fantastic chance for you to delve into your passions and interests. Consider exploring areas like liberal arts or interdisciplinary studies. They could open up a world of possibilities for you.

Wishing you all the best!
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Cande S’s Answer

I recommend taking a career aptitude/interests test. I've taken the Myers-Briggs career test a few times starting with my freshman year of college. These types of tests are designed to show your strengths, weaknesses, and uses your interests to make recommendations for career/occupation options. They are pretty accurate and enlightening.
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Jean’s Answer

Here's a positive spin on your text:

I encourage you to jot down the things that spark your interest the most. You'll soon see a pattern emerging, a common thread. Sure, it might require a bit of digging, but it's worth it. Once you've identified this theme, social media can be a great tool to observe how others are thriving in that field and explore other potential paths.

And don't forget to connect with guidance counselors - they're there to help you!
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Mahi’s Answer

Explore Interests: Take time to reflect on your interests, hobbies, and activities you enjoy. Consider subjects that genuinely captivate your curiosity.

Self-Assessment: Identify your strengths, skills, and weaknesses. Think about what you excel at and what areas you'd like to improve.

Research Majors: Explore the various majors offered by your college. Look into the courses required for each major and the potential career paths they lead to.

Talk to Advisors: Schedule meetings with academic advisors or career counselors. They can provide valuable insights and guidance based on your interests and academic strengths.

Take Introductory Courses: Enroll in introductory courses from different departments to get a taste of various subjects. This can help you gauge your interest and aptitude for different fields.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Many students have similar question. The major you are going to take should be relevant to the career you have interest. So, you have to determine what career you have interest first.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about what you have interest, e.g. your hobbies, favourite subjects, etc. and identify the related careers
E.g. If you like music, would you like to be a singer, musician, musical artist, music composer, music producer, etc.
If you have interest in maths, would you like to be an accountant, engineer, banker, 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 mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 career you would like to pursue. The relevant subjects are the major and minor in the college you can focus.
5. Explore the entry criteria of these subjects in colleges
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
May Almighty God bless you!
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Pam’s Answer

I would recommend taking a variety of courses in your first year to see what you're interested in. I had a difficult time choosing a major and ultimately went with Business Economics because I felt like it was broad enough to help me with a variety of careers. It was very stressful for me at the time, but I have since learned that does not necessarily carry a lot of weight in the future. I remember someone asking one of our successful leaders about his major in college and it was something around cooking, which had nothing to do with his current job. It doesn't mean you're locked into a career in that particular field. It takes time to really discover what you love, so don't stress about it!
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