One of the most determining decisions in the life of any young student is the choice of school or college major. Especially knowing that the school you choose can shape your future and college experience, so you’ll need to pick a major that aligns with your abilities, interests, and career goals. Many people struggle with this decision and find it difficult to choose their major right away. Luckily, many college programs allow their students to academically explore each school before choosing their study program. Plus, although changing schools in the middle of your program can extend your college career, you can always switch to another major and focus on the course of study you’re passionate about. Here are our best tips on how you can choose your college major.
Know Your True Passion
The major you choose has a great impact on your overall college experience. You will be subjected to different classmates and join certain clubs related to your major based on your area of study. The school you join will also influence your postgraduate life as you graduate and join the workforce. With these impacts on your life after graduation and during your college years, the ultimate decision would be to enter a school area that offers you a sustainable interest. Pick the college program or studies that you are passionate about and focus on the skills you’re interested in building.
Consider Each School’s Requirements
While some majors may sound appealing in the beginning, they may surprise you with a bunch of roadblocks throughout your college career. It’s normal for certain schools to be a bit more challenging and have higher rates of dropout. For this reason, you need to consider your options wisely before going with a tough major you can’t keep up with. Assess every major and the classes required for it, so you can set yourself on what to expect when you actually apply for it.
Assess Potential Salaries
For college students and fresh high school graduates, it is always optimal to have a general background of how much they will be making as they enter their major’s workforce field. You need to know which schools are more likely to grant you a high salary after you graduate. When you’re aware of how much you’ll be making after college, you’ll be able to optimize budgeting for essential things like graduate school and student loan payments. If you major in petroleum engineering, for example, your estimated starting salary as a graduate with a bachelor’s who’s been out of school for 3 years is around $96,500.
There are certain criteria of college majors that offer promising job prospects and salaries. These criteria include a group of fields that are collectively popular as STEM. An acronym that describes the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This umbrella covers many majors, whether you’re applying to a medical school, geology school, or even computer sciences. However, most of these majors are not fit for the faint of heart and students who don’t have strong problem-solving, mathematical, or analytical skills.
Seek Career Advice
Instead of discussing your college-related future decisions with your friends or family, how about involving an industry professional who truly knows more about the field you have in mind? Many surveys assert the importance of seeking advice from people who have experience in the field you’re considering. These people can be coworkers, employers, or even college tutors with experience in the same industry. When it comes to choosing your college major, it may be best for your parents to step back and let you make your own decision.
You Can Change Schools
As you join your college program and take more classes, your interests are more likely to change or expand the more knowledge you gain. This could lead many students to discover new interests in other careers later on. If you experience the same scenario, aim to make your transition as smooth as possible by making up your mind early on. Compare the pros and cons of switching majors and make sure you’re ready to spend an extra year or more in your college program.
The school you choose to join has a huge influence on your career and postgraduate life. Therefore, your major must align with your career goals and abilities. You also want to consider the academic requirements of the major you choose, because some schools will have higher dropout rates due to a challenging study course or classes. Make sure you can keep up with your college major requirements and that you seek the most professional advice regarding your study field.