How Far Will Changing Your Major Put You Behind Or Delay Your Graduation Date
This depends on how many classes youve taken beyond general education requirements. If youve only taken general education classes, its likely that all of the credits youve earned will count toward your new major. Depending on your old and new major, there might be some overlap between classes, and you could get credit for those as well. Changing majors early in your undergraduate career will probably not put you behind or delay your graduation very much, if at all. But changing majors late in the game can definitely add a semester or more to your graduation timeline.
What Major Should I Choose Help Me
I imagine that if you are reading this article, you are feeling some level of uncertainty or anxiety about choosing a college major. This is completely understandable. As parents, teachers, and counselors have no doubt hammered into you, choosing a major in college is an important decision. It’s one of the first big independent decisions of your academic and professional life. In many ways, choosing a major functions as a rite of passage in the process of becoming an adult.
Some people know what to major in in college before they even start high school. However, most people don’t, so if you have no idea how to choose a college major, don’t panic.
With that said, neither I nor anyone else can tell you what major to choose. And if you do let someone else choose for you , you’re likely to be miserable. The truth is that the process of thoughtfully selecting the best major for you takes workwork that you need to put in yourself.
While I can’t do that work for you, I can tell you the foundational principles of investigating and ultimately picking a college major.
Or just major in kitty cuddling and call it a day.
Multiple Minors Or Majors
To graduate with a four-year college degree, you need to declare a major academic concentration and complete around 120 or 130 degree credits. You may also need to choose a minor, which is coursework that supplements your major. For example, you could major in anthropology and minor in archaeology. It’s possible to earn a double major, though you often need to complete additional coursework, extending your college career. A double major could be helpful in the profession you want to pursue, and many employers may look favorably on this academic achievement.
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Where Do You Begin
Start by considering common academic disciplines, such as business, humanities, or the sciences. Identify what overarching area attracts you most and how your skills may apply. For example, assertive students with strong social skills might aim for business, while critical thinkers who enjoy mathematics and science should consider science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors.
Start by considering common academic disciplines, such as business, humanities, or the sciences.
You can narrow the field into specific majors by considering their personal interests. For instance, an aspiring business student interested in human behavior might choose marketing or sales, while a STEM student looking to help others might pursue a healthcare major, like nursing or nutrition science.
Failing To Do Your Due Diligence
When it comes to investing, one of the best pieces of advice Ive ever read is this:
Know what you own, and know why you own it. Peter Lynch | Tweet This
What is your college education if not an investment?
Youre investing years of your time and a lot of money to go to college; you should at least have some inkling of what youre getting yourself into when you choose your major. That means:
- Researching potential career opportunities in that major
- Making sure you know all the classes youll have to take
- Talking to people who have gone before you and getting their experiences
I talked to another student during my freshman year who said he was majoring in math, because:
It just seems really interesting to me.
I asked him if hed been really into math in high school. Nope. I asked him if he knew what he might like to do with that major. Not really.
This really isnt the mindset you should have when making a huge investment.
I can head to the library and teach myself calculus for free. I can sit in a cafe for an entire afternoon slogging through a dense, 10,000-word article on Bayes Theorem without paying a cent.
My interests can be satiated without a huge monetary investment on my part. Information is cheap and plentiful. If you dont know where to go to learn something for free or almost free, ask me and Ill find you a resource.
When it comes to a huge investment of your money and time, make sure you know:
Dont let a whim put you in debt. | Tweet This
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How Do I Know Which College Major To Pursue
There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a college major that you believe is the best major for you. Some of the obvious factors include program cost, salary potential, and job demand. If you choose a major that is in the top rankings for one or more of these factors, then you are off to a great start.
One of the biggest factors not mentioned yet is job satisfaction. When finding the best major, you need to look into the future and ask yourself: Will I enjoy the field of work with this college major?
Ultimately, you want to find a certain major that matches closely to your interests, values, and abilities. By doing so, you will have a better chance at achieving happiness with the career path you choose.
Is Your Major Locale
Students need to consider many things when choosing a major, and location is an important but often overlooked factor. Many industries and professions are more prominent in certain locations. For example, cities and metropolitan centers typically have a variety of technology careers, while rural areas have fewer opportunities in those areas.
Location can also affect wages and employment requirements. Big cities usually offer higher wages than rural areas do. Those who wish to live in small towns should keep this in mind.
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Why You Shouldn’t Get A Minor
Earning a minor can provide advantages, but not all students need them. Learners with unclear career goals, for example, may not find value in a minor. Additionally, those who have full schedules or are experiencing academic difficulties should avoid adding more responsibilities.
It’s also important to consider how a minor might affect your graduation date and tuition costs before making a decision.
Double Majors And Minors
Are you torn between two pretty different fields? Double majoring may be the answer. If you’re interested in investigating this possibility, here are some things to find out:
- Do you have to integrate the majors in any way? Some schools that allow double majoring require students to integrate the two courses of study in some way, often through a thesis or other project. If you are really interested in both majors, you may consider this a feature, not a bug. Of course, some majors may be harder to integrate than others: Religion and history? Great! Math and English? More of a stretch.
- Can you waive or double-dip on requirements? Can you count classes towards both majors? Depending on how different the majors are, this might be difficult anyways, but it’s worth finding out. Also, sometimes departments will let you waive some requirements if you are a double-major . That makes double-majoring less difficult.
- Can you make the schedule work? Because of the increased burden of requirements, you’ll need to pay close attention to your schedule. You’ll also need to do a lot of advance planning to make sure that you can actually fit in all of your requirements for both majors. It’s not uncommon for people who double-major to spend an extra semester on campus to finish everything up. So if spending an extra semester of tuition is a concern, it’s extra-important to make sure you can fit in everything in time.
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Do Earnings Matter To You
Theres plenty of information out there on earning potential and salaries for working professionals across industries. BLS and PayScale, to name two, can help you do some quick research on common salary ranges by career and location. If youre looking to make some serious money after you graduate, your best course of action is to select a degree and career path that typically comes with a big salary.
What Are The Best College Majors To Get A Job
The best college majors to get a job are those in the higher rankings of projected job growth and lucrative salaries such as business administration, healthcare, and technology.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of job growth and salary data for a wide range of professions. When looking for the best major, knowing which majors have the highest rankings in median salary and projected growth rate can be very useful in helping you make a more informed decision.
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Employment Rate After Graduation
If one of your primary goals of earning a college education is to secure a job after graduation, then it is important to consider which majors have high career prospects. Here are five undergraduate majors leading to jobs with high entry-level employment rates after graduation, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics:
- Social work
You can also perform more research on your intended career following college to gain a clearer perspective on the outlook.
What College Majors Are Worth It
Every college major is worth it, even if you dont end up working in the field you studied. There are liberal arts majors who enjoy lucrative careers as lawyers and physicians.
Remember, part of earning your degree is showing employers and graduate school admission committees that you can learn and accomplish your goals. Colleges have certain rules, requirements, and red tape that define how to succeed. Navigating this landscape helps advertise your characteristics of being a go-getter, problem-solver, and finisher.
If you do work in your degree field, all the better. Your education will help you bypass certain entry-level positions and start earning a professional salary.
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Do You Have A Knack For Or Some Talent In The Subject
Maybe youre good with computers, an excellent designer, or a standout musician. Wherever your talents lie, its good to have some sort of natural capacity or aptitude in your chosen area. This will likely make your undergraduate experience more enjoyable and feel a little less like youre starting from scratch.
Are You Ready To Discover Your College Program
A student’s major can influence their education and career, but choosing the right major takes a lot of consideration. The decision depends on each learner and what they wish to get out of their education.
Some students seek out the highest-paying college majors, while others might seek job security by choosing a high-demand field. As a helpful starting point, the following page details some of the most popular college majors, along with expected coursework, potential career pathways, and prospective salaries for each.
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Choosing Based On A Romanticized Image
One of my best friends spent his first 5 semesters trying unsuccessfully to major in computer engineering. Now, if you see a person doing this major, what would you expect to see them doing in their free time? Id guess:
- Building their own computers
- Programming for fun
- Experimenting with lots of new software
but this friend of mine wasnt doing any of that. So, eventually, I asked him bluntly:
Do you actually want to get your hands dirty and;do computer engineering,;or are you just wanting to be like all the cool hackers in movies like;The Matrix?
Hesitantly, he replied:;*Sigh* The second one
Dont choose your major based solely on a romanticized image.;
You will not be Tank from;The Matrix;if you major in computer engineering. The world is not currently under attack from killer robots, and you dont have a crazy ship or a crack team of gun-toting martial artists.
You will not be James Cameron taking a submarine down into the Mariana Trench if you major in Marine Biology. Youll probably be studying seaweed.
You will not be House if you decide to become a pre-med. The first time you talk to your boss like an asshole, youll just get fired.
Look, its totally cool to get inspired by what you see in your favorite movies, books, and games. However, you need to realize the real world isnt like what you see on TV. You arent going to be a movie character.
Hopefully this post has pointed out some of those potential pitfalls to you.
Personal Interests And Skills
Having natural skills and interests in a certain subject can help you stay focused and excel throughout your college career. When choosing your college major, consider subjects that you want to spend the next few years learning more about. It can also be helpful to think about your current skill set and how you could apply it in different classes. For example, if you like exploring abstract concepts and questions that may not have a definite answer, you might like studying philosophy.
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Choosing A College Major
If youve decided that a college education is right for you, youll now want to think about choosing your major. A college major is simply an area of study that you want to learn about in depthand choosing a major will help you make sure you get the skills and knowledge you need for the career you might want. Youll need to take a certain number of classes in that area in order to graduate.
Do Spend Time Reflecting
Research is important when choosing a major, but so is self-reflection. Shakespeare said, To thine own self be true, and this is great advice for selecting the right college major.
You need to spend time considering what your skills are, what makes you happy, and what you enjoy doing.
- Career research is a good idea, but you should also spend time picturing yourself in various careers.
- What would be fulfilling work? Where would you be happy? Would you be competent at a specific job, or would it be overwhelming?
Spend some time reflecting on your interests and passions.
Considerations like salary and job prospects are necessary, but you dont to pursue something that isnt a good fit for your unique skills and passions.
Think About What You Like To Do
If youre not sure about youre interested in or passionate about, think about the classes that youve done well in while in high school, or other activities that you enjoy. Do you like to read, or spend a lot of time working with computers? Are you that friend that everyone comes to for advice? Do you still have a neighborhood of Lego buildings in your basement? Do you feel best when youre spending time outside? All of these could be good indicators of what career might be the best fit for you.
Dont Choose A Major For The Wrong Reasons
Along the same lines, make sure you dont choose a major for the wrong reasons.
Some students decide to be a doctor or lawyer just because it sounds good or prestigious, or because it suggests a wealthy future.
These students may then discover that they have no talent for or no interest in these professions.
- This results in a costly or time-consuming change in major.
- Or, if the student sticks with this career path despite reservations, this may result in an unsatisfying and stressful career.
As you start leaning toward certain majors, ask yourself why this decision appeals to you.
Make sure that this is something that you actually want to do and also have the ability to do well.
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Is Your Major Adaptable
Choosing an adaptable major helps accommodate the potential for future career changes. For example, a major in communications can lead to careers in publishing, journalism, marketing, public relations, and sales, whereas a literature degree might offer a more limited pathway.
Students can also improve their major’s adaptability through concentrations, research projects, electives, and internships. Diversifying your resume while in college can open a lot of career doors after graduation.
Top Choice #1 Petroleum Engineering
- Starting Median Salary: $84,000
- Mid-Career: $126,000
- Future Growth: 3%
Petroleum Engineering is first on our list of rankings for the best college majors. It can be one of the most fruitful majors for young students. While the market is insanely competitive, the financial rewards for majors in this field can be incredibly high.
A student who selects this major can expect a high-intensity program featuring a diverse collection of classes, including engineering, economics, and environmental studies.
Because of the high competition levels for future jobs in this major, students should consider taking a masters or even a PhD in this field for furthering their chances of success once they enter the job market in the future.
If you have a good background in math and the sciences, this may be the best college major for you. Although some core courses for this major may be completed online, petroleum engineering bachelor degrees are not offered entirely online.
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