Have you already decided that a college education is the best fit for you? If so, you now need to think about picking your major. A college major is just an area of study that you wish to learn about in-depth—and picking a major will help you ensure you receive the knowledge and skills you need for the career you would like to pursue.
Also, you will need to take a specific number of classes in that area to graduate.
Here are our tips for choosing a major:
- Begin with your strengths and interests
College is a long journey and keeping pace with all your studies takes a huge amount of dedication. Pick a major that attracts your interest to bring you to the finish line. So, a good place to start is to begin with an assessment of your strengths and interests.
There are many ways to consider your career interests. For instance, you can sit down with your college’s career counsellor and talk about your career goals and ambitions.
- Ask professionals in the workforce
You might be shocked by the advice family members or friends might have to give. If you ask professionals in the labour force what they think you would be good at, they may suggest specific degree programs or careers you never thought of. They may even suggest a degree program or career you didn’t know existed, making this a good idea to consider if you want to learn more about all the career options that are available to you.
- Research college careers and majors
Research the educational requirements for the career you’d like to work toward. A few careers are more flexible than others, especially when it comes to education. For example, you can find one career that needs a degree in math or science. Others may need a degree in software development or computer science.
Next, check if the college you want to attend has the degree course you would like to get involved in. Other colleges have a specific focus like business, liberal arts, medicine, or science. Do not assume that each college provides the degree you wish.
- Consider how long you want to study
Would you like to get a degree as soon as possible and enter the workforce? Perhaps you want to earn your doctorate’s degree? The timeframe of getting your degree can play a big role in choosing a major.
Degrees could take less than two years or six to ten years, depending on the degree you picked. For instance, if you like to become a lawyer, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree that could take four years to complete. You also need to attend law school for another three years before you can start working.
- Check the course requirements
Most degrees have core classes needed to earn the degree, but they have different requirements. These are needed to show proficiency in areas like social sciences, literature, general sciences, math, and writing.
Also, those requirements can be seen in the college catalogue or on the school’s websites. Most universities and colleges list all their available degrees online. An academic advisor can also help you in that aspect.
- It is okay to begin undeclared
Remember that many students will, later on, change their major. Starting off undeclared means you are one step ahead of those students who will change later on but do not know it yet.
You might feel pressured to pick a major, but you do gain an edge by taking a careful, thoughtful approach to the entire exploration process.
College is a time of discovery and exploration. You are coming into your own, experiencing new perspectives, and changing as a person. It is natural to find your interests changing too. If you are early in your college career, you can switch majors with little to no delay in your degree’s completion.
Your department chair, academic advisor, and career services centre at college could help you choose a college major that prepares you for a career that provides a lifetime of fulfilment.