When and How to Choose a Major

Choosing a college major is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. Although many people don’t work in a field related to their college majors, your major can determine what careers you’ll be qualified for after college.

When to choose a major.

Some colleges force students to choose a major at some point, often sophomore year. If you aren’t sure about what major is best, don’t feel pressured to pick a major the first or even the second semester of college. When I entered college, I didn’t even realize that you could be undeclared. I went from the wrong major first semester to another wrong major second semester. Due to this impatience (and lack of knowledge), I graduated with a degree that wasn’t right for me.  To meet the requirements for most degrees, you’ll need to choose a major by your sophomore year if you want to graduate in four years.  If you wait until junior year to choose a major, summer or intersession courses can help you catch up.

How to choose a major.

The best way to choose a major is to choose a career.  Maximize your time and money by choosing a major that prepares you for a great career.  Take career tests, talk to college career counselors, and interview the people in careers you are considering.  Be aware that a technical degree will probably allow you to find a job more easily and offers more income potential, but a liberal arts degree isn’t completely useless.  There are career options for those with liberal arts degrees. Increase your chances of getting a job with your liberal arts degree by choosing a more practical minor.

Choice of major is not given a lot of thought by many students, which leads to difficulty during and after college.  Take your time choosing a major and don’t allow someone else to make the choice for you.  This is a decision that will affect you the most and one that only you can make.

Some resources to help you choose a major:

Guide to College Majors, 2010 Edition (College Admissions Guides)

Book of Majors 2010 (College Board Book of Majors)

Choose Your Major  – Marquette University

College Major Quiz – About.com


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1 thought on “When and How to Choose a Major”

  1. Another idea on how to choose a major is to attend public college for two years tops. The purpose of doing this is to save money the first few years and allow you to get a grasp of subjects you may like before deciding on a great college of your choice afterwards. For instance, I took a random course in public college during freshmen years since I’m not yet sure which course to take. However, after a couple of years studying subjects offered by the school, I immediately decide to pursue an interior design degree. If so, I apply for the college with an interior design major. Quirky method, but I find it helpful. Just wanted to share it to you.

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