For years of your educational life, teachers and parents are always encouraging you to think about college. But it’s for a good reason: picking a good college and the right major is important. Choosing a college and a major isn’t something that can, nor should, be done overnight. College is an extension of your education and helps to prepare you for a life and career beyond academics.
We’ll help you with a few tips to get you started in the right direction to pick the best major for you.
Take Your Time
Many four year-year colleges don’t require you to have a major picked out until the end of your sophomore year. This gives you some flexibility in selecting your major, but it’s not ideal to wait until halfway through college to make your first decision. By waiting until college to start thinking about a major, you’ll spend some of that time thinking about and re-evaluating your major, which can in turn cost you time and money when you do find the major you like.
On the flip-side, understand that it’s okay to switch your major. Many students do change their major during college. In many cases, it’s difficult to know whether or not you’ll like a major or industry until you’ve started spending some time in it.
Experiment and Find Local Opportunities Around Your Interests
One of the best ways to get a taste for whether or not you’ll like a given major is to identify the various interests you have or skill-sets you’re interested in developing. Then begin to look locally for opportunities at companies and organizations where you can work, intern or volunteer. This will give you direct hands on experience and will allow you to see inside the operations of your potential career path. If you like what you see, identify a related major (hint: you can ask the people you’re working alongside) or choose to find something else before you get too invested.
Talk to School Counselors
Most schools, including online education systems, have counselors (sometimes called “guidance counselors”) that are there to help you with your academic needs. From planning your high school curriculum to helping you identify colleges and majors, counselors have a wealth of information and connections to help you make the best choices.
Analyze Popular Majors
You can find online charts and data that will showcase some of the most popular major choices in recent years. While you shouldn’t choose a major strictly because of popularity, they can give you an insight into what types of majors, careers, and industries are being pursued. More so, it may help you to discover majors that you didn’t know existed, or combinations of majors and minors that could lead to interesting career choices.
All in all, there’s no “right way” to choose a major. It’s a combination of finding meaningful areas of interest and studying trends in modern industries. Finding a way to combine a passion with a growing industry can be the recipe for a successful and meaningful career.