Choosing of a College Major
Are you stuck on choosing a college major? Here are some effective ideas that won’t let you make a mistake in choosing your future career!
The problem of choosing a college major is perhaps the most urgent and overwhelming for all students. At this point, they need to decide what their future career will be, and this responsibility makes them struggle and suffer. The responsibility itself is enough to bring dozens of sleepless nights, but other factors also have a strong impact on this situation. Your parents and teachers demand a quick decision from you, and all of them have their own vision of your future. They insist you choose a major that you do not actually like, and you need to resist this pressure.
Most of the students have multiple options of the college majors. Even if they have already made the decision on the general area, they still have smaller fields to pick from. Of course, making a mistake will not ruin your life completely, but it will bring some unpleasant moments. There are thousands of cases when people chose their dream majors, but pursued the careers in absolutely different fields. However, it is always better not to waste your time and choose the major that will be useful in your further life.
What Is a Major and Why Is It So Important?
A college major is a specified area of studying that will determine the following several years of your life. For example, you want to study architecture, so you need to define a major in order to select the subjects that you will study. It seems, that Architecture is quite a narrow field, but in reality, it has a wide selection of possible majors to study. You can choose Architecture Science and Technology, or Landscape Architecture, or Interior Architecture. Moreover, these are further divided into smaller sections. So before you make your choice, you need to compare all the fields and find those which seem attractive to you.
The importance of a major is obvious – you receive the education that will help you in your career. This is crucial for those who has chosen the path of a doctor or a lawyer. There are many occupations where college education is a must. However, there are also many occupations that do not actually require any major. According to the recent studies conducted by U. S. Department of Labor, most youngsters change careers every 3 years. Moreover, they change the fields themselves, which means that the college major does not actually determine person’s further actions. Modern generation is fearless. The youngsters are not afraid of changes and are ready for any risks.
Despite the fact that college major does not always have an influence on your career, it is still an important step. This step of education allows you to widen the understanding of the world, find the fields that are interesting to you, and change your major as soon as you feel that your expectations are not justified. You should not be afraid to quit college major after a semester or two if you understand that you have chosen the wrong one. Otherwise, you will regret it in the future when your job will bring you nothing but disappointment.
5 Ways to Choose a Major
So you have decided that you want to continue your education in college. Now it’s the time to make a decision. You should not act blindly without previous consideration and investigation of the issue. Of course, there are some students who have been preparing for choosing a college major since the middle school. They have already written college application essay, prepared all recommendations and letters, and found money to pay for the education. But most of the students have no idea where to go and how to even determine what they want to achieve. There are 5 basic ways to choose a college major that will help any student.
Find Your Dream Job
One of my closest friends has been dreaming about the career of an attorney. He’s been a huge fan of Suits TV series, visited courts, read professional literature and told everyone that he was going to become the best attorney in San Francisco. He was the only one among my friends who had no hesitation when the time to choose a college major came. If you have any dreams about your career, especially if you make everything possible to make these dreams come true, follow your heart and choose a major that will help you get this occupation. Of course, the worst decision in this situation is to choose a popular major that your friends chose or the major that results in a profession with high salary. This is the least effective motivation to continue studying.
Use Your Strong Points
If you have absolutely no idea what major to choose, you may try the method of using your strengths. For those, who still did not decide what they want to do in the future, this is perhaps the best way of choosing a major. Of course, it does not necessarily mean that you will enjoy studying and job itself, but at least you will develop your strong sides that can assist in future life. For example, if you have always been good in writing, you may give a try to English Literature. This major will present you with the opportunities to teach English at university or at college. However, you should be very attentive at this point. The matter is that using strong sides does not always mean that you will like the education and the work itself.
Use Your Potential
Some students think that potential and strong sides are the same things. In reality, they are different. Perhaps, there are some skills that you have never been working on but always felt that they may bring you some rewards. There is always a chance that your potential hides bigger opportunities than the skills that you have already mastered. This is a risky way, but you can give it a try. If you select the right major, the chances are that you will reveal your potential and find a right pass in your life.
Follow Your Passion
Today, almost none of the students chooses the career based on their passions. We all think about the real challenges of life: a good career, possibilities to grow personally and professionally, and chances to build our own businesses. Our real passions rarely become the motivation for the choice of the career. For example, you may dream of being an artist, but you understand that it will be difficult for you to build a career in this field. Or you may dream about being an art connoisseur and working in a gallery. Again, this may seem rather senseless decision. However, following the passion does not mean that you won’t be able to build a career. In modern world, everyone has possibilities to use their passions as the motivation for the following growth. For example, if you have always dreamed of being an artist, you may apply for the position in game development and design game landscapes and characters.
Apply for a Scholarship
Of course, this is not the perfect way to choose the major of your dream, but it is a good chance to save your money if the chosen major won’t fit you. Getting a scholarship means that you will not need to pay for education, thus you will never lose money. Besides, when applying for a scholarship, you need to define your strong sides, your motivation, and determine your possible career development. You actually do everything to find out what kind of major you really need.
8 Mistakes in Choosing College Major
For a student who is going to make a choice of their life, awareness of the mistakes is crucial. The matter is that we frequently do something without being aware to what consequences it may lead. It creates the necessity to carefully investigate all the challenges and possible problems that arise when choosing a major. Here, we collected 8 of the most common mistakes that have already ruined the lives of thousands of students.
Choosing Major Because of Possible Income
We have previously mentioned that you should never choose your occupation following the idea that it can bring you money in the future. Of course, money is a good motivator, but not the best one. Besides, money will not motivate you for years, and sooner or later you will lose the desire to work hard only to earn money. Besides, no one can guarantee you a good income even with a perfect occupation. Everyone knows that attorneys make good money, but no one thinks that the number of people with juridical education is by far bigger than a number of people who work in this sphere. Your income depends only on your desire to work hard and find proper opportunities in your sphere.
Follow the Desires of Parents
Another popular mistake that can really ruin your future career is to follow the desires of parents. Frequently, parents do not understand (or they rather do not want to understand) that their kids have absolutely different passions, preferences, and desires. Parents want their kids to do all the things they could not do by themselves when they were young. Of course, following this strategy, you will not be able to realize your own dreams and desires. If your parents want you to be an accountant, and you hate everything associated with calculation and digits, you will spoil several following years for yourself, and perhaps your career in general.
Rebel Against Your Parents
Following parents’ desires may lead to a disaster, but the rebellion can lead to even bigger catastrophe. If you do not want to follow the desires of your parents, you should never choose the opposite way of making everything possible just to rebel against your parents. There are hundreds of situations when kids decide to quit the idea of getting a higher education just because they do not want to follow their parents’ recommendations. If your parents do not support you, it is better to choose another way of conducting a conversation. Also, you can always apply for a scholarship and get necessary money for education from sponsors or state.
Dispersing Your Attention
One day you want to get MD, and another day you think that you desperately need JD. You start to read literature on arts, and just in a couple of days try your abilities in coding. Of course, to choose a major, you need to try different fields. But you should never disperse your attention on various fields. The difference here is slightly noticeable, but the consequences are huge. When you try different things, you make that consciously. You select fields of interest, you develop a plan for skill mastering, you understand how you can implement these skills in your future life. If you disperse your attention, you do that without understanding what exactly it will bring you in future. You do that only because you want, and all your actions are, in fact, incomplete. The comprehension of different aspects is superficial, thus, it does not bring the benefits.
Lack of Experience
Receiving experience seems something important but we always postpone it for tomorrow. We believe that we will find better opportunities or the experience that will be more relevant for our occupation. But if you still do not know what major to choose, why are you thinking about the further career? First, you need to try different areas and fields to at least understand what is interesting for you. Secondly, any experience will be useful for writing a college application essay, as a selection committee will see that you are really motivated person who looks for the different opportunities for self-development. And thirdly, it is always better to start working when you are still in high school, because you get to grow up and understand the value of money and responsibilities quicker.
Following Your Friends
Your high school friends may be the most important at this stage of your life. You may even give up your dreams about your future career by choosing the same major as your friends. You will continue studying together at the college, and perhaps even find a job at the same office. But the reality is that as soon as you go to college, your high school friends disappear even if you study together. And you have no choice, except to continue education that you do not like or just quit it. If you want to keep being friends, you do not need to study together. Each of you should respect the desires of others, and give space for personal choices.
Choose the Major According to the Budget
Of course, not all of us have enough money to get the education of our dreams. Sometimes, getting a major at college is expensive, so we need to make a choice: to get the education in another college or to earn money to be able to pay for studying. You need to carefully think of these two methods, as both of them have their advantages and disadvantages. If you decide to earn money, you may forget about free time and your friends. At the same time, you will be able to get the experience that you will need in the future. If you choose another college where the fees are lower, you may spend your free time on self-education. Also, there is always an opportunity of getting a scholarship.
Being Too Romantics About Major
Sometimes we make choices that make us regret them. This frequently happens when we do not give a proper assessment of the situation. This may happen with your major. Perhaps, you have already created an image of the process of education, your research and studies, your career and your achievements. You should be ready for the situation where all your expectations will have nothing common with the reality. You should only remember that every major is about hard work, sleepless nights, and on-going process of self-education. These three things will determine the following years of your studying, and perhaps your whole working life. Selecting a major is not a place where you need to be romantic. At this point, you should be as serious and realistic as possible.
Choice of the major is one of the most important steps that a person makes in their teenage years. There will be more important choices in the adult life, but this one can really be defining. You should always remember that once you choose a major, you choose your lifestyle for the following years. If some of the hesitations appear, you need to consider carefully all the options and decide whether to change it or give a try to this one. Follow your desires but do remember that you should keep your life in your hands. Good luck with choosing a major!
Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed his sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Apart from writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas.