Consider How Long You Want To Be In School
If youre pursuing a career in professional fields like medicine or law, you may require more than a four-year degree to get the job that you want. Certain professions may even require more than a decade of study, as well as certain GPA requirements, additional certifications, specialized internships and more.
On the other hand, there are a number of degrees where pursuing a masters degree or higher wont necessarily be helpful for your career. Will you want to jump right into a job after you graduate, or do you really want to dive into higher education and become a master of your field? Both of these are important when deciding what major is the best fit for you.
What Is A College Major
A bachelor’s degree typically requires approximately 120 credit hours of course work, with an average semester course load of 15 credit hours spread over four years. A major is the main declared field of study during the degree coursework. For example, you might choose to focus on mathematics, engineering, business or some other course of study. Depending upon both the program of study and the university, most majors require 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework for completion.
What Are The Most Popular College Majors
Exploring the most popular majors can give you an idea of what your options are. According to the National Center for Education Statistics , the largest majors include business, the social sciences, psychology, biological and biomedical sciences, and engineering.
Students with business degrees can pursue careers in nearly any industry, and graduates can apply to roles in some of the country’s largest workforces. Business is also a flexible major, allowing learners to combine disciplines such as analytics and marketing to keep things dynamic and exciting.
Healthcare degrees and psychology degrees offer the chance to make a difference by helping others in your community. Both disciplines can also lead to financially rewarding careers, like registered nurse or clinical and counseling psychologist. Psychology majors can also pursue careers in business that rely on maximizing interpersonal relationships, making it a flexible major.
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Youre Not Dying Of Boredom
Weve all had those days where we wake up, realize which class we hit that snooze alarm for and nonchalantly burrow deeper into the softness of our beds.
While not all classes will be a jolly good time even if you love your major, having a general appreciation for your classes, professors and studies is very important. Being anxious about not just one, but multiple present and future classes may be a sign that the major is not quite what you expected it to be, so might not be for you.
That being said, it does take some time to conquer those tedious intro classes to get into real material, so give it some time!
Ready To Start Your Journey
- Knowing what you’re interested in and what you’re good at can help you choose a major.
- Talking with your academic advisor could help you learn about new degree options.
- Many colleges let you create your own major so you can focus on a specific topic.
Choosing a major can be tricky, especially if you have multiple interests or don’t know what kind of career you want to pursue. According to a 2020 BestColleges study, 3 in 5 college graduates would change their majors if they could go back.
There are many factors you should consider before committing to a major, including the program cost, salary expectations, and employment rates in that field. In addition, you should think about your personality, personal and professional goals, and interests.
Including these variables in your decision process can help ensure you choose a major that resonates with your personal mission, values, and passions.
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What Do You Enjoy Doing
Being good at something doesnt necessarily equate to liking it.
Choosing a major thats going to direct you to a job you dont like doing well, the chances of you being unhappy in the future are pretty high.
On the contrary, youre much more likely to be happy and engaged in a major/job that revolves around a subject or activity you enjoy doing – something you are passionate about.
Youll probably be more determined and focused, have a better college experience, and build solid relationships with others in your field who share your interests.
Your passions should pay a considerable role in your major decision, but you should be careful in distinguishing them from your likings.
Liking something and being passionate about it are two different things.
Our likings change over time. Theres a big chance that what you like in high school wont be the same as what you like in college, or even 6 months later that same year.
Your passions, however, are something deeper. They motivate and excite you.
Liking political science isnt enough to push you towards law school.
Being passionate about justice and doing the right thing is.
What Is A Major
Lets start with the basics. Your major is the subject you specialize in while in college, for example, psychology or business. You will take a large portion of your classes in this subject area, usually 12 to 15 out of a total of 40 classes for your undergraduate degree.
Your major gives you a complete area of study in one subject, which will likely qualify you for entry into a career of your choice or graduate study in the same, or a closely related area of study. Choosing the best major for you is crucial.
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What Does A Bachelor Degree Mean
A bachelors degree means an undergraduate degree usually composed of 120 credit hours, awarded by colleges and universities after completing a course of study. Generally, it takes 4 years of study to complete a bachelors degree, but there are a number of accelerated degree programs offered online.
You Fail To Meet The Deadlines And Tend To Procrastinate
Many students tend to procrastinate.
However, once you put off almost anything related to your coursework until later and you end up completing it on time, it indicates that your subject isnt important to you.
It may also mean that youre too busy thinking of other things aside from your college major
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What Values Do You Stand For
What we mean by values is your core beliefs – something you stand for. A mission or an end goal.
Your values are decisive in the way you live your life and the way you measure success, so they should with no doubt influence your major decision.
If, for example, your goal is to help orphan children find better homes, you should consider a major that contributes and directs you towards that mission, like a major in social work.
If you want to participate in the making of better environmental policies, you could consider environmental law.
However, the thing with values and beliefs is that they usually form later in life so not everybody has them figured out when its time to decide for a major.
How To Pick A Major In College
While your major won’t ultimately decide the career you pursue for the rest of your life, you’ll spend a lot of time studying the subject you choose. Because of this, it’s important to pick a major that aligns with your interests and future goals. Here are the various steps to consider when deciding on a college major:
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Passion As A Motivator
If salary is not your priority and you want to choose a major you are passionate about, something you should add to the equation is employment rates.
Matter of fact, even if salary IS your priority, you should still look into these rates. A well-paying job does not guarantee stability.
You should know what to expect from the job market you are heading into.
As of July 2020, medical technicians had the lowest major unemployment rate at just 1.1%.
Right after them, we have majors in early childhood education , theology and religion , civil engineering , and secondary, elementary, and general education at 1.7%.
Can you guess which major had the highest unemployment rate out of the ones surveyed?
Well give you a second to guess
Its physics. Surprising, right?
Physics majors had an unemployment rate of 7.7% this year. Even more than mass media majors, who were at 7.3%.
This goes to show how you might struggle to find a job even with the toughest and top-paying majors.
Again, like with salary, you need to have a little perspective and try to predict the majors whose demand will increase.
Jobs in healthcare, community services, and STEM are expected to grow the fastest in the future.
Choose An Academic Area First
A list of 200 possibilities can feel overwhelming. Many of today’s majors didn’t exist in the 1970s and ’80s. Whether your child ultimately ends up in astronautics , informatics or viticulture , start by looking at broad areas of interest. Are they an art type or a science student? Choose a broad category first, then delve into the specifics and help them narrow the list.
When Do I Declare A Major
Typically in your sophomore or junior year, but the answer varies across schools and programs. Some colleges ask you to list your expected major on your college application , but don’t require you to declare definitively until later.
If you are interested in a major that requires a lot of classes, or classes that are limited to students in that major, then it is better to declare early. Some majors demand a strictly regimented order of courses, and if you fall behind, you may have to extend your college stay by a semester or two.
How To Choose A Major In 2022
If you landed on this article, chances are youre about to make one of the most major decisions in your career life so far.
Youre also probably feeling overwhelmed by all the options out there and asking yourself How do I make the right decision?.
Well, you could do all the research in the world and still get to one conclusion:
There is no single formula for choosing a major.
Its too much of a complex decision to be put in a line or two, no matter what way you approach it.
Thats why we decided to create this guide. Were going to teach you some tips and tricks that can make decision-making easier for you.
- The importance of your major choice
- 6 Questions to ask yourself before choosing a major
- What are your priorities and expectations?
- 6 decisions you can make if you are still undecided about your major
Lets get to it!
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How I Chose My Major
This blog post was written by College Forward student Anakaren Rivera. Anakaren is currently obtaining a B.S in Political Science at Concordia University.
Choosing a major can seem like the most significant decision you have to make leading up to college. Choosing my major became more manageable when I took a step back to look at what I want to bring to this world and my interests and passions. I didnt research majors until my senior year of high school when it was coming down to choosing which school I would attend. Once I looked into the majors offered at the school, I chose Concordia University Texas.
What Is A Major Whats The Difference Between A Major And A Minor
A major is a specific subject area college students specialize in. Typically, between one-third and one-half of the courses youll take in college will be in your major or related to it. Some colleges even let you design your own major!
A minor is a secondary field you can study in while completing your major degree program. Its a specialization that requires fewer courses than a major. Minors are only required for certain degrees.
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What Do You Want Your Legacy To Be
Asking the question, What do you want your legacy to be? when youre eighteen may seem overwhelming. And its a big question to be sure. But if you can get an idea of what youd like to see when you look back at your life, it can give you an idea of where you ought to go.
When youre old and gray, do you want to look back and see a life spent helping people? Do you want to know you made important discoveries that changed how we interact with our world? Do you want to know you worked hard and left a good inheritance for your children and grandchildren?
College Major Vs Minor Degree Whats The Difference Between A College Major And College Minor
As the name suggests, the difference between a college major vs. minor is the breadth of study. A major is the core focus of an undergraduate program, with 36 credits in courses that meet accrediting standards for a specific area, such as psychology.
In contrast, a minor is made up of less than 20 credit hours and often is more related to your personal interests, such as a minor in a foreign language while a major could be in chemical engineering.
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You Picked Your Major Because You Thought It Would Be Easy
The only reason you signed on for your major is because you thought you’d totally cruise though it.
Yeah, Cs get degrees and all that. Plus, it’s fine if you find your major easy because you love it so much and you’re talented in the subject. Still, if you picked it for the sole reason that it seemed simple, you’re doing college wrong. Challenge yourself!
How Flexible Is Your Degree
Students may have their sights set on one particular career or employer, but they should anticipate the potential need for future career changes. On average, Americans change jobs every four years and have 12 jobs in their lifetimes. A flexible skillset and degree can help professionals move between careers with greater ease.
When Picking A College Or Major Is Binding
If it’s easy to switch between schools once you enroll as a student, then don’t worry too much about the choice you make senior year. Just pick the college that is closest to your current interests. For example, at Cornell internal transfers are generally easy, but requirements vary depending on the college.
If it’s hard to make an internal transfer, however, you’ll need to think carefully and make sure you are choosing the right school before you apply.
For example, at Boston College, transfers into some divisions are harder than others. If you decide as an undergraduate to go into the Management College or Nursing School, it’s hard to get in. As a general rule, if a college has a very specific field of study and that particular college had extra requirements for undergraduate admission, internally transferring will be harder.
You Already Have New Ideas For How To Contribute To Your Field
When the light bulb in your brain turns on and you know you have the next big idea help your field, you may have found your calling!
If it looks to you that you are doing work in your major classes quickly and even doing your own extra research to further your own understanding, that really says a lot about how dedicated you are to the major and your potential industry.
New ideas dont even have to be revolutionary in a sense either! Little by little, if you take your major seriously, a lot can happen from the smallest things. For example, to help increase social media engagement at a company I interned for over the summer, I tested different emoticons on the feed and saw huge improvements. Its just a drop in the bucket in terms of how big the field of communications is, but something as small as this can go a long way and can help further your interest in your major.
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The Return On Investment
In todays competitive job market, ROI is critical especially since college is so expensive. Often, you can find data on how many graduates from a particular program find employment within a certain period of time after graduating. You can also find statistics on the earning potential for specific majors. While this shouldnt be the sole determining factor in choosing a major after all, graduates of different majors often go into a variety of careers its certainly something to consider.
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With so many majors and programs available, how do you know which one is the best pick for you? It can be hard to decide when youre still in high school, honing your interests and figuring out your career goals.
But, knowing what major youre interested in can play a role in determining the right college for you so its an important factor to consider. Thats why weve compiled a list of 200 college majors.
NB: Few schools offer all the majors on this list. Use our school-search tool to find colleges with the program that interests you.
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