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What helped you decide on your major?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Jayavignesh’s Answer

I decided on a major that would allow me to study and work on problems that I believed were interesting or worth solving. The generalized form of my motivation is stated as "Find what you like and then find a way to make a living at it".


Slight tangent:

Claire McGahan's experience of not choosing any one major right away is common, but even if you think you know EXACTLY what you want to do, college will be the best time for intellectual exploration - so take classes that are very different from your normal course load and outside your comfort zone.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your advice! Mireia
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Rafael A.’s Answer

My one and only advise it to do something that you will enjoy. Don't get into a field based on the pay. The money may be good but are you enjoying coming to work everyday. Think of the things you would like to do and then look into the major and the opportunities for you once you graduate.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for your advice! Mireia
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Dr. Ray’s Answer

Dear Mirela,


You again? You sure ask a lot of questions! (Just kidding.) Fortunately they are interesting ones.


I started out as a physics major in college because I liked the class in high school. However in my first college physics course I was completely out of my depth. I wound up with a D and was glad to get that. Also, I really didn't like the subject. A friend recommended an introductory psychology course and I fell in love with the subject, changed my major, and went on the get a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. If you are in college or plan on attending (and I hope you will) I would not be in any hurry to pick a major. I didn't know the field of psychology existed until I got to college; your dream career may be in a field you never heard of in high school. I also agree with Jayavignesh and Rafael that picking a field because of the pay is likely to make you unhappy in the long run. I believe in the saying "Do what you love and the money will follow."

Thank you comment icon Thanks again! Mireia
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Alwyn’s Answer

I benefitted by having exposure to creative people. Furst my aunt and uncle - highly creative people that never got to do what I’ve done. Second, my high school art teacher Mrs. Ullman, exposed me to people earning money in creative endeavors and encouraged all of us in her class to think about carers in art. But most of all it was my art education and the mentors I had that guided me to what I’ve become and practice as the profession I love. Having passion, building a plan, having people who fortify, encourage, and help shape that plan and be there with you to support you is most important. Then believing in your self with unwavering self-determination and never accepting no. Go get it it’s within your grasp you just need to know what you want.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Mireia
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Claire’s Answer

I went back and forth so many times on my major. I started by taking classes I enjoyed in high school or was interested in the general concepts on the class and went from there! I took an Intro to Business class my first semester, really liked the finance section and kept going from there! It certainly is easier if you know a specific field you might want to go into, such as journalism or accounting, but I think taking classes that interest you is definitely the first step!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your expert advice! Mireia
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Sydney’s Answer

My high school career helped determine my major. And not to be cheesy but also an online quiz! I took some courses in my junior year that would help determine my future career. So, I took courses in Computer Science (which was really just coding) and Physics. I realized I really disliked physics so I knew I would have to opt out of any heavy physics related careers, leaving a minimum amount of engineering fields left. But my passion for coding was inspired through computer science, although I'm not the hugest fan. So I ended up going with Computer Engineering as it best suited my work-style and passions. It allows me to solve problems and later on I can move into more microelectronics and work with my hands and my coding skills evenly.
Thank you comment icon Great answer! Now that I think about it, a hybrid of computer engineering and computer science courses would be perfect for me! Thank you for sharing your experience, Sydney! Aun
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Cinthya’s Answer

I think this is something very personal. I will say that is a combination of your likes and what you excel .
I would suggest the following:

Cinthya recommends the following next steps:

Divide a piece of paper in 3 columns: Likes, Careers, Life I want
Put 20 things on each column
From those things select the 5 things that are most important to you
And there you go, I hope that might help
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Rebecca’s Answer

Deciding your college major can be a difficult decision, especially since there are so many possible fields to go into! My advice is to take a wide variety of classes during your first year and try to figure out what interests you most. I personally chose my major, business management, after taking an introductory course that emphasized everything I love about business. While determining what to study based on job opportunities and potential salaries is tempting, I highly recommend going with your gut and pursuing something you are passionate about and that you love doing. In the long run, happiness in your career path is far more rewarding than money.

Rebecca recommends the following next steps:

Do your research
Take a variety of classes
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Kimberly’s Answer

Hi! Thank you for your question. When I was deciding my major, I was not sure at first what I wanted to do. Someone pointed me in the direction of psychology and during my senior year of high school, I was able to take a class. I ended up being really interested in it that I pursued it in college. Since psychology has many field however, this was the tough part. I always dreamed of being a therapist, helping others, listening to them, and providing them support to take on the day. I took the time to study the courses to become one and had some experience in the clinical psych part but it felt draining to me at the end of each week. I explored more areas of psychology and spoke with a few individuals in each field. I landed on I/O psych and now work in HR. I absolutely love it and found my passion. My advice would be to try everything you have a passion around and see what sticks. You never know what might end up becoming your major.
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Steve’s Answer

Hi Mireia,

The first thing you need to do is to identify what's important to you.
If you think the practical thing is the salary, you can look at some salary ranking on Glassdoor.
Then, based on your own abilities and interest, do some further investigation, and filter it to the final one.
Hope this advice helps you.
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Cinthya’s Answer

For me it as a combo of what are you good at, what are you passionate about and a career test.
The career test basically said that I could pick any of my 3 main choices so then I dig dipper into what subjects I like and what I wanted to do in the future.
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Alex’s Answer

I would look at what you like and find a way to make that become your reality. This will be important in life and will really relate to your long term happiness. Also add in that you need to make money, so make sure your choice has profit potential.
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Brandon’s Answer

Hi Mireia! I really like your question! What helped me decided my major was taking a variety of classes in high school that sounded interesting to me. From US History to Chemistry I took them all and ultimately found myself enjoying 3 subjects: biology, physics, and computer science. In the end, I chose computer science for the puzzle solving required for the major and the limitless capabilities of computers. To conclude, it’s ok if you don’t know what you want to do right now. There’s always time to switch your major. Like everyone else is saying, focus on your passion and what you want to do not just the money that comes with your major. Try anything that seems fun or interesting. It won't hurt. Like the famous quote that Wayne Gretzky said, "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."
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Matthew’s Answer

Hi
My parents guided me toward a general field that I would major in now. However, it was my advisors and peers that helped me finally decide what i wanted to major in. There are student organizations that helped me see my interest in my major. Good luck!
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Christina’s Answer

Think about what you enjoy, what you are good at, and what is marketable post graduation. These may not all be the same thing and that is OK! Especially in the liberal arts, what you are learning most of all is how to think critically, read, and write--that's more important than any particular content area. Think about the subjects you enjoyed and were best at in high school, and why. Also don't be afraid to explore new subjects! I ended up majoring in Social Anthropology and absolutely loving it, and that was a field I had never heard of before I went to university.
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Vidhya’s Answer

When i was schooling the people associated with my environment inspired me with doing business and i got inclined with business studies thereby i chose MBA which will help me anytime to go back with my aspiration , so search what you love the most what excites you, energize you go for it
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