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5 Ways to Find a Major

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

One of life’s greatest questions remains: what do I major in? At least for some of us. Let me first start by saying that it’s okay to struggle in picking out a major. It’s a tough decision that requires a lot of research, time, and thought and could impact you for a great deal of your life.

While a lot of people do go on to use their college degrees and internship experiences at a full time position in a real world workplace, the fact remains that some people don’t end up working in the same field as they studied or graduated in.

There is definitely still pressure in choosing what is hopefully the right major for you since it will cost a lot of time, effort, and money. You want to choose correctly if there ever is a correct answer in this tricky question. This is especially so when you’re aiming for high ranked universities, whose personal statements and supplemental essays all rely on explaining why you’re choosing this specific major at this specific college and what you’ve done to pursue this path on your own. Your answers determine your admission and it’s a big part of the selection process that matters even when you’re a straight A student.

Today, let’s consider some important factors and go through 5 tips that will hopefully bring you a step closer in choosing a major by the end of this article.

1. Find your passion

Everyone is different, with different skills, different talents, and different interests. Most things can be learned even if you’re not born with it, it all depends on time, effort and resources. But passion is not something to be looked over. Firstly, you need to understand who you are. Easier said than done in your teenage high school years, but it’s something to consider.

A quiet shy introvert with a love of English might prefer being an editor behind the scenes of a magazine rather than a news anchor right in the middle of the spotlight. The key word being might. A person will always constantly change throughout their lives, but it’s still something to think about. Your major will greatly influence your college experience and the following work world after, making it vital to choose an area of sustained interest. You could still be a news anchor after college, but at least you’ve chosen to pursue an English degree that will help you tackle some bullet points off of the qualifications list.

You might pursue an Engineering degree, maybe because your parents told you to, all your friends are doing it, or you hear it’s a good way to make money - all valid reasons to major in something, but if you yourself have no interest in it and are just going through the motions, it will definitely show in your personal essays, your major-related subjects, and most of all your will to continue this career path post-graduation. Switching career fields is possible, but it’s hard and it might not be necessary if you take the time to look into it now.

2. Major Research

There are tons of majors out there, some you might not have even heard of before. There are so many options, make sure you read through some online descriptions so that you’re not missing out on picking a major because you thought it was something else.

You could explore while considering your end goals. Work backwards from what you want to do in life, tracing it back to what you need to major in. Find out what kind of degree you need to land the job you want. If you want to work in Game Design, look into what it involves. Find a job description, look through the requirements, and match it with some possible majors on college websites. Is it really Computer Science? Some majors are not as straightforward as “I want to be a Biologist, so I’ll go study Biology”. Because even that has its own specifications, what kind of Biology? What kind of Business? What kind of Engineer?

Take the time to look into your options. Maybe there are more ways than you think to work within the career field you thought was so out of reach.

3. College Research

Different colleges, different majors offered, different curriculums. Consider how your major of interest is taught at your target colleges to ensure they have the best programs, clubs, classes and resources to fully support your time there. Do they even have your major? Some colleges have Economics instead of Business. Some colleges have Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology, while others have Molecular and Cell Biology. Really look into what is being offered at each university. Can you double major? What about taking a minor? Mix and match your interests, see how you can relate your different hobbies, because what if you have three different passions? What if you have none?

They say college is the time to get out of your comfort zone, the time to really find yourself, we’d say the research being done before that is just as helpful and eye-opening. Researching these potential career paths and institutions could set you off in a different direction you might not have expected. Or it could be just what you needed to make the decision you’ve been sitting on the fence for. We realize each family is different and not every student gets to freely choose their major, but showing them results and a plan backed up with research, possible statistics, and valuable information might help.

4. Seek Out Career Advice

While talking to family and friends may help, speaking to industry professionals will give you a better understanding of the field before you start committing to it. It's still your decision, just an informed one. Use family connections, talk to your high school teachers, interview company workers, whatever possible in gathering more input into this important decision. You’d be able to put yourself in their shoes and get a feel of whether or not you’d like that kind of position. Of course, every company is different and each person’s story is told in their perspective, so take it with a grain of salt. Did they open their famous restaurant with a Business degree? Culinary? Food Sciences? You could go so far as to plan ahead for internships or take other supportive classes. You’re trying to get to where they are so take some notes. It’s one possibility out of many, and one more piece of information you didn’t have before.

5. Consider Your Priorities

Having looked through all these sources and sites, sort through it by thinking about what’s important to you. Narrow it down after considering everything: tuition, cost of living, location, weather, safety, culture, university ranking, school type, college size, available programs, future job salaries, industry trends, your personality, and your passion. Which of these matter most to you, your parents, your career? All of these play a part in your college experience and higher education.

It does take some students more time than others, just remember that that is okay. You don’t have to know by the age of ten if you want to discover new galaxies or create the next innovative fashion trend. The earlier the better though. Having decided your major already, you can start to stack up your college resume with major-related activities and community service that will once again show your interest and initiative in your college application. With these activities, you can also decide earlier if you’re happy with this chosen path.

We hope this helped you get a little closer to your answer. For more tips, guides, and information, feel free to visit our YouTube Channel, Website, and Instagram. We’ll see you in the next blog post!

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